Africansmake up most of Namibia's tourists

04 Nov 2014 11:00

Figures from the latest Tourist Statistical Report from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism indicate that Africa is the greatest visitor to Namibia.

The report states that tourist arrivals from the rest of Africa has continuously increased from 2012 to 2013 with 10.4%, and 5.4% between 2011 and 2012. The figures indicate that overall tourism market for Namibia both in 2012 and 2013 is Africa with Angola being the lead followed by South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Tourist arrivals from North America increased from 2011 to 2013 as a result of the World financial crisis in 2010 and 2011. The report indicates a 7.7% increase in 2012 as compared to 6.4% in the previous year. With just over 1m tourists coming into Namibia borders in 2013, tourism has increased by 9% as compared to a 5% increase in the 2011-2012 statistics.

According to the most recent foreign and tourist figures, arrivals increased by 5.5% from 2012 to 2013, and the tourist figures increased by 9% for the same year respectively. In 2013, total foreign arrival accounted for 1 372 602 of which tourists amounted to 1 176 042 representing 86% of all foreign arrivals. The figures also indicate that Germany still tops the top ten overseas holiday tourist arrivals to Namibia in 2013 as it did in 2012, however a shift was noted in the same category showing the United States as the second overseas holiday tourist arrival country from the United Kingdom which took second place in the previous year. The report states that most tourists visited Namibia during the season between May to September which accounted for 42% of all tourists travelling to Namibia. The 2012/13 reports indicates that more than over half of the tourists entered Namibia through Hosea Kutako International Airport which represents 27.3% mode of transport used, which is preceded by Northern boarders at 31.1%.

The reports also showed a significant increase in visitors from Asia with 9 910 more visitors coming from China in 2013 as compared to 8 830 in 2012 which moved up from 4 085 in the previous year. Overall Namibia’s top ten biggest tourist markets are Angola, South Africa, Zambia, Germany, Zimbabwe, Botswana, the United Kingdom, United States of America, France and Portugal. Minister of Environment and Tourism Uahekua Herunga noted that the figures give the ministry confidence that they are making progress in their efforts to grow and develop the tourism industry as a global sector.

“Without accurate and reliable tourism and reliable tourism statistics it is nearly impossible to navigate our journey towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and our long term development goals in Vision 2030. The information generated by these reports thus enables all stake holders to do general planning in the interest of sustainable and competitive growth of the Namibian tourism sector,” he said. Herunga stressed that much as the figures are positive there is still room for improvement in the Namibian tourism industry especially when it comes to service delivery. Namibia was voted as the second preferred destination in the world after Singapore by Lonely Planet which is the world’s greatest travel guide book publisher.