Namibia yet to benefit from Chinese tourism market: Hausiku

21 Nov 2013 16:10pm
KUWAIT, 21 NOV (NAMPA) – Namibia is still not tapping the Chinese tourism market, Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Marco Hausiku said during the Third Africa-Arab Summit, which ended here on Wednesday.
The summit, which was attended by 63 African and Arab countries, aimed to highlight the true friendship and cooperation between the two regions and focused on boosting cooperation in the fields of politics, economy, investments and partnerships between civil society institutions.
The summit further coordinated the African-Arab positions towards political issues of common interest, especially regional security and peace.
According to the United Nations’ World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), China has over the past decade been the fastest-growing tourism source market in the world thanks to rapid urbanisation, rising disposable incomes and the relaxation of restrictions on foreign travel.
“Before 2004, we were at a stage where the Chinese government had not yet declared Namibia as a tourism destination, as with them they have to declare this first,” the DPM said.
However, in 2005, president Hifikepunye Pohamba and Hausiku went to China and during their negotiations, convinced the Chinese government to declare Namibia as a tourism destination, which that country subsequently did.
Hausiku said the Chinese market represents the third-largest travel market worldwide, and more Chinese tourists are going beyond South-East Asia to spend vacations in Africa.
Namibia should thus take advantage of this.
“At present, a documentary is being made on Namibia, and that documentary will expose the Chinese to Namibia in terms of our road and hotel facilities, as well as the necessary documentation they may need to visit Namibia,” he noted.
The documentary is being produced by a Chinese company with the assistance of people in Namibia.
Hausiku led the Namibian delegation to the summit, which kicked off on Tuesday.