Tourism stakeholders urged to diversify local industry

11 Jun 2015 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 11 JUN (NAMPA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has called on tourism stakeholders to not compromise the long-term sustainability of the industry by offering similar products.
In addition to concentrating on wildlife, scenery and landscape, Nandi-Ndaitwah said, they have to diversify by developing other products, including business and cultural tourism.
“For us as a nation to make more inroads into the industry, we need to look outward so that we do not compromise the long-term sustainability of the tourism industry,” she said during the official opening of the three-day Namibia Tourism Expo underway in Windhoek. The theme of this year’s expo is ‘Embracing Eco-tourism’.
In 2013, Namibia became the first African country to successfully host the Adventure Travel World Summit.
“This event came as a result of our success story of eco-tourism and conservation. Should all stakeholders hold hands in aligning their activities to the theme, we will celebrate the dawn of a new era of prosperity together,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
She further stated that President Hage Geingob declared war against poverty in his inaugural speech earlier this year.
The most effective way to break the back of poverty is by ensuring that people have jobs which will enable them to meet their basic needs, Nandi-Ndaitwah stated.
She noted that tourism has a big cultural component and like sports, tourism can be a national unifying factor, particularly in Namibia where the sector is not fully exploited.
The deputy premier then called on all role-players in the tourism industry to work together to ensure the positive growth of tourism in Namibia.
“I am fully cognisant of the competitive nature of the global tourism industry, yet confident of Namibia’s uniqueness which is our competitive edge,” she said.
The Namibia Tourism Expo ends Saturday.