Poor customer service remains a challenge tourism growth: Shifeta

14 Dec 2017 17:40pm
WINDHOEK, 14 DEC (NAMPA) – Poor customer service remains one of the challenges hampering the potential growth of the tourism industry.
Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, said Namibia lacked good customer service practices in the hospitality industry which was sensitive.
Shifeta was speaking at the launch of his ministry’s 2016 Tourist Statistics Report on Thursday.
He added that an inter-ministerial committee was looking into improving customer service in the industry, which meant involving training of new and old employees who did not understand the industry.
Shifeta he said that other factors hampering the growth of Namibia’s tourism industry include the absence of a national marketing strategy and especially in the domestic market, which he described as weak or non-existent.
“For the last five years the sector has been growing year to year at an average of six per cent despite the global economic adversities being experienced the past years,” Shifeta said.
He further indicated that despite the several challenges faced in the industry, international tourism volumes increased by 3,6 per cent in 2016 with figures of 1 574 148 compared to 1 519 618 the previous year.
Countries with the largest number of tourists who visited Namibia in 2016 were Angola, South Africa, Zambia, Germany, United Kingdom, United States of America and France.
Accommodation statistics show that most tourists preferred bed and breakfast accommodations, rest camps and tented lodges.
“As we are receiving more international airlines, we might end up experiencing pressure on the current facilities we have at airports,” the report indicated.
There is therefore a need to urgently upgrade the airport facilities across the country as well as ensure efficient and smooth customs and immigration procedures to relieve the pressure, especially at Hosea Kutako International Airport, the report recommended.