Namibia a fast growing holiday destination - Herunga

04 Nov 2014 18:12pm
WINDHOEK, 04 NOV (NAMPA) – More than one million tourists visited Namibia in 2013, according to statistics issued by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
Speaking at the launch of the 2012/2013 tourist arrival statistic report on Monday, the Minister of Environment and Tourism Uahekua Herunga said Namibia is making good progress in developing its tourism industry as a global sector.
“These figures give us confidence that we are making good progress in our efforts to grow and develop the tourism industry as a global sector. To date, the Namibian tourism sector’s performance, especially inbound demand, remains remarkably strong despite the persisting global economic crisis,” he said.
Herunga added: “We have been voted as the fastest-growing tourism destination in the world. In order to uphold and build on these impressive numbers, we have to continue to make our best endeavours to ensure that Namibia remains a value-for-money destination by providing excellent services.”
A total of 1 176 042 tourists arrived in Namibia in 2013 while the number of foreign arrivals was recorded at 1 372 602.
Foreign arrivals include one-day visits as well as official (business) visits to Namibia.
A total of 1 078 937 tourists arrived in Namibia in 2012 compared to 1 027 229 in 2011.
The increase of tourist arrivals from 2012 to 2013 is 10.4 per cent while the increase was 5.4 per cent in 2012 compared to 2011.
The top arrivals in Namibia are from Angola, South Africa, Zambia, Germany, Zimbabwe, Botswana, United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (USA), France, and Portugal.
Tourist arrivals from China in 2013 was recorded at 9 910, according to the statistics. Data analysis indicated that tourist arrivals from China have considerably increased from 5 830 in 2012 to 9 910 in 2013, up from 4 035 in 2011.
Most tourists visited Namibia during the season between May until September, which accounted for 42 per cent of all tourists travelling to Namibia during the period under review.
The 2012/13 report indicated that more than half of the tourists entered Namibia through the Hosea Kutako International Airport. This figure represents a 27.3 per cent mode of air transport used. The growth of aviation cannot be recorded without a healthy growth in the tourism sector, according to Herunga.
“Tourism is a vibrant sector with lots of opportunities and challenges. Partly, the tourism industry needs to diversify its tourism products, address seasonality and manage growth strategically. We should ensure that every new tourist visiting Namibia is given the best experience possible so that they become a returning friend,” Herunga added.