02 May 2019 14:00pm
DURBAN, 02 MAY (NAMPA) Most African countries do not appreciate the role of tourism boards, despite the tourism sector being the biggest wealth creation and contribution to countrys Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Namibia Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer, Digu //Naobeb has said.
//Naobeb made these remarks in an interview with Nampa on Thursday at the 2019 Africa Travel Indaba underway in Durban, South Africa.
He emphasised that across the globe, tourism boards are luxuries to their countries and are fully funded by governments, given the understanding of the tourism sector being a wealth-creator sector and key contributor to GDP.
//Naobeb singled out South Africa and Mauritius in Africa as the only countries funding their tourism boards 100 per cent from State coffers, which he says is significant to the boards in executing their mandate to full capacity.
In Namibia the tourism board has to try and collect levies here and there, which is defeating the purpose of what the tourism board was established for. Instead of spending money on marketing Namibia to the world, funds are being used on human resources collecting levies, he stressed.
He noted that when NTB is marketing the Namibian tourism industry, the competition arena is huge as the country has to compete with bigger tourism boards that have the full financial backing of their governments.
Bigger countries do not say Namibia does not have money we should spare them. It is an aggressive competition in the tourism sector, he said.
//Naobeb noted that for NTB to fully execute its mandate, it should be fully funded by government in order to secure skills, capabilities, and innovative means of making Namibia the worlds best tourism destination.
He added that NTB has been doing its best for the past few years through partnerships and relationships with private sectors.
More than 27 local exhibitors, under the umbrella of the NTB, are participating in the 2019 Africa Travel Indaba.
The three-day event, which started on Thursday, showcases the widest variety of Africas best tourism products, destinations and attracts international buyers.