27 Sep 2018 18:50pm
WINDHOEK, 27 SEP (NAMPA) Namibia on Thursday joined the rest of the world in celebrating World Tourism Day in Budapest, Hungary.
This years World Tourism Day was celebrated under the theme Tourism and the Digital Transformation.
Speaking during the commemoration in Budapest, Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta said the theme befits Namibia as it is currently trying to take advantage of technology in the management and collection of data related to tourism.
In his statement availed to Nampa, he said over the past years tourism has become an important sector for the growth of the countrys economy, contributing about 15 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product.
Quoting the 2015 Namibia Statistics Agency, he added that the tourism sector has generated 44 000 direct jobs and 100 000 indirect jobs, making it the third largest contributor to the Namibian economy.
The government of Namibia has prioritised the tourism sector as one of the segments that has the capacity and potential to reduce poverty, contribute to income diversification, advance rural development and create jobs through its multiplier effect, Shifeta said.
He however said the sector still faces challenges such as customer service delivery, limited geographical spread of tourists, community beneficiation and access to funding, among others.
The minister went on to say that recent incidents of crime against tourists is a great concern as tourism hold enormous significance for the economy and it is therefore essential that Namibians accord visitors the warmest hospitality.
We can only take tourism to the next level by understanding that we need each other and by marketing Namibia using innovative means, including digital technology. We need to protect the sector and tourists through unity, he said.
World Tourism Day is celebrated annually on 27 September since 1980.