01 Nov 2014 10:00am
SHENZHEN, 01 NOV (NAMPA) Namibias Ambassador to China, Ringo Abed says Air Namibia should introduce direct flights between Windhoek and China to cater for the large number of Chinese nationals travelling to Namibia for business and/or leisure.
Such flights could introduced be between Windhoek and Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou cities.
Abed told Nampa in an interview on Friday that there has been a significant increase in the number of Chinese nationals who have been coming to the embassy in Beijing over the past two years to obtain Visas to visit Namibia. In view of this, the embassy has sent a proposal to Air Namibia, requesting for the introduction of direct flights.
It is the strong view of this mission, without any benefit of doubt, that the entry of Air Namibia into this commercially viable market will increase business activities between the two countries and enhance investment through tourism, he said.
In 2013, Chinese travellers overtook Americans and Germans as the world's top tourism spenders, with 83 million people spending a record of US.dollars 102 billion (approximately N.dollars 1 020 billion) on international tourism.
By 2015, an estimated 100 million Chinese will be travelling abroad, according to the United World Tourism Organisation.
Abed said the Namibian Embassy in China will team up with all interested parties involved in the promotion of the Namibian tourism industry to continue intensifying efforts aimed at marketing Namibia as an attractive tourist destination.
In this regard, a team of the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) is expected to visit China next week in order to participate in some planned tourism road shows which will be conducted in the cities of Guangzhou and Shanghai later this month.
The NTB delegation will also participate in the China International Tourism Mart in Shanghai from 14 to 16 November 2014.
The embassy has successfully marketed our country among the Chinese public who hardly knew about the existence of a country called Namibia, he Abed.