WINDHOEK, March 18 — Namibia is exploring ways to grow its base for China as a key source market for its tourism and hospitality sector following disruption by the COVID-19.
Nelson Ashipala, manager for corporate communications at Namibia Wildlife Resorts, said Friday that China is part of the country’s short and long-term strategy geared towards the revival of the sector.
Strategic interventions include a targeted marketing approach and nurturing partnerships.
“Amid COVID-19, a new phenomenon, we are exploring new ways to establish such collaborations. China is very much on our radar exploring new ways and means,” he said.
According to Ashipala, the hampering of COVID-19 on travel has been hostile towards the sector’s accomplishments, particularly on international travel and markets, including China.
Tourist arrivals to Namibia from all markets severely fell in 2020. Although initially observing a 26.1 percent positive growth in 2019, the 2020 arrivals from China were not spared, following a 91.9 percent decrease, according to the Tourist Statistical Report 2020. Before that, Chinese tourists were among those that frequently visited Southern African nations.
“For now, though, it is starting to pick up, and we are seeing some travelers returning, mostly after we started to relax COVID-19 rules and procedures. Seeing flights returning is also a welcoming gesture,” Ashipala said.
So far, Namibia has witnessed a positive trend in international tourists’ arrivals in 2021. Tourist arrival trends from January to December 2021 indicate an increase of 37.81 percent compared to 2020 figures. (Xinhua)