WINDHOEK, 01 OCT (NAMPA) -
Namibia is the first African country to be selected as guest of honour at the Colmar SITV International Tourism and Travel Fair in France. A 100-member delegation will attend the three-day event that is to be held from 06 to 08 November 2015 at the Colmar Parc des Expositions in Colmar in north-eastern France.
Colmar is situated about 60 kilometres southwest of Strasbourg on the Lauch River. Informing the media of Namibia?s selection here on Wednesday, Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism Tommy Nambahu boasted that Namibia is the first African country to be named guest of honour at the Colmar SITV (Salon International Tourisme Voyages) International Tourism and Travel Fair in France.
"As a nation, we should be proud of this platform presented to us to market and showcase Namibia. There are tremendous benefits for Namibia that can be derived from optimised relationships with global partners such as France. This is true not only in terms of increased business activity and economic growth, but also improved general prosperity and social welfare," he noted.
Nambahu said the travel fair should serve as global exposure to deepen Namibia?s tourism potential and should be treated as a plus to the existing promotion and marketing efforts in the tourism sector to help the tourism industry grow.
He indicated that events of such a magnitude are beneficial as it exposes Namibia as a preferred tourist destination. Colmar is situated in a region with nine million inhabitants.
The travel fair is visited, on average, by more than 31 000 visitors while 400 exhibitors makes it among the largest tourism fairs in France. Nambahu said such exposure will allow for more visitors across the world to become aware of Namibia and they will be enticed to visit the country.
Meanwhile, the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) donated N.dollars 300 000 to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to attend the event. Handing over the donation at the same event, NAC Chief Executive Officer, Tamer El-Kallawi said the contribution is a direct step towards building sustainable capacity, as it will be the foundation upon which the Namibian tourism industry grows.
"We take cognisance of the reality that Namibia's tourism industry depends on the support of various sectors and to that end, we trust this donation will be a welcome aid for those who will benefit, directly or indirectly, from the summit," he stressed.
Speaking about Namibia being a preferred tourist destination, El-Kallawi suggested that the country should not continue to rely on her reputation as a peaceful and stable nation, but must collectively and proactively continue in her stride for infrastructure development, technological advancement and customer service excellence, especially at airports.
The Namibian delegation will include tourism industry role players as well as cultural groups. Visitors will also get a taste of Namibian cuisine during the fair.