Windhoek, Sept 9– The Namibian Tourism Industry is currently experiencing one of its biggest challenges in recorded history and memory. As with all companies in Namibia and the world over, the past five months have been challenging and distressing.
In response, Namibia Wildlife Resorts Ltd (NWR) adjusted its business operations to withstand the challenges brought about by Covid-19. NWR embarked on various actions, such as signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with its social partner the Namibia Public Workers Union (NAPWU) which resulted in cost-cutting measures for the better good of the organisation. Equally, NWR adopted a new pricing model targetting the domestic market, which was able to sustain its operations thus far.
However, it is no secret that the domestic market alone is not sufficient to sustain the tourism sector. Thus, the official opening of the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) on 1 September 2020 as part of the Tourism Revival Initiative announced by the Namibian Government is a much-needed encouragement to the sector and NWR in particular. “We are aware that the opening of the HKIA is one of the steps towards the revival of the industry. We are hopeful that through its opening, a more positive sentiment will begin to filter into the industry as international travellers start arriving” says Dr Matthias Ngwangwama, NWR Managing Director.
Before the official opening of the HKIA, the industry had been and continues to be affected by the pandemic. Similarly, some of the travel limitations cast further doubt on any company in the industry recovering in the short-term. “We are, therefore, very mindful of the role that we fulfil in the Namibian business arena and social ecosystem. Thus as we look to the future, we understand that there is a long way to go before the sector experiences some of the occupancies it had pre-COVID-19” says Dr Ngwangwama.