By Foibe Paavo
SWAKOPMUND, July 12 – For almost two years, the world has been battling the public health emergency caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result, the government imposed preventative measures against the pandemic but the tourism industry was one of the casualties of measures to control the pandemic.
Erongo Region, the heartbeat of tourism in Namibia, suffered a great deal in the process as tourism came to a standstill for the past two years.
However, the Governor of Erongo Region Neville Andre, when presenting the state of the region address on Friday, said the Erongo region recorded improved performance in the tourism sector during the first quarter of 2022.
He highlighted that the hotels and Restaurants’sector in the region recorded an increase in real value added of 4.4 percent during the first quarter of 2022 compared to a decline of 8.7 percent registered in the corresponding quarter of 2021.
He added that the improved performance in the sector as a result of more airline passenger arrivals into the country led to an increase in demand for leisure and conferencing activities.
Andre stated the Hotels and Restaurants subsectors witnessed a 2.6 percent and 6.5 percent increase in the real value of revenues during the period of 2021-2022. And these are positive indications that the sector is busy recovering.
“Tourism experts recently indicated that all hotels and accommodation establishments are fully booked, which serves our region well in terms of employment creation and spin-offs from the sector,” he added.
“I am also pleased to note that the Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre is now open and has to date employed a remarkable 164 employees, compared to the 179 they had prior to the closure,” said the Governor.
He acknowledged the Namibian Government and its agencies for their considerable contribution to the recovery of the tourist industry in the Erongo region.