Tourism ministry condemns attacks on tourists

14 Aug 2017 16:50pm
WINDHOEK, 14 AUG (NAMPA) - The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) has expressed dismay over attacks on tourists in several parts of the country.
MET Chief Public Relations Officer, Romeo Muyunda said in a media statement on Monday the ministry condemns, in the strongest way possible, the destructive actions of attacks on tourists.
Namibia has always been regarded as a safe travel destination with peaceful people.
“This reputation has contributed to the growth of tourism in the country and with the current trend where tourists are being attacked, we are called upon to take collective measures, as individuals and institutions, to restore our status of a peaceful environment,” said Muyunda.
At least two attacks on tourists over the span of two weeks this year were reported.
The most recent attack on 10 August was on a couple from Germany and their two minor children along the Western Bypass dual-carriage road.
The attack and attempted robbery had the family call off their tour in Namibia and return to Germany.
Four men have been arrested in connection with the incident and are in police custody awaiting prosecution.
Muyunda said MET is calling on people tarnishing Namibia’s image and jeopardising Government’s developmental efforts to stop the destructive actions and help the country grow.
These actions have far reaching consequences to Namibia’s aspirations as a tourism destination.
“Violence is not an experience we want to create for our tourists,” he said.
The ministry wants tourists to experience the peacefulness that Namibia has always offered, said the spokesperson.
Muyunda said MET is also calling on law-enforcement agencies and law-abiding Namibians to be vigilant and act proactively against attacks on tourists, while imposing punishment as a way of discouraging the disturbing behaviour.
“Tourism is a people driven and people centred industry and one thing is for sure that we cannot achieve our desired results if we pull in different directions,” he said, while noting the significance of tourism in generating foreign exchange earnings, employment, rural development and ultimately growth in the country’s economy.