The President of the Republic of Namibia, Dr. Hage Geingob has stated that real recovery will only be possible when international tourism returns to pre Covid-19 levels.
To do that would require universal access to vaccination against COVID 19, as well as build the capacities of Medium and Small Size Enterprises in the sector.
According to him during the pandemic, Namibia’s domestic tourism helped sustained jobs and businesses in some destinations. “However, domestic tourism can only partially compensate for the loss of inbound tourism”, he posited.
The President in his Opening Address at the just ended Brand Africa Conference in Namibia also postulated that ‘Tourism for inclusive growth, is more pertinent than ever. It is of paramount importance that we develop coherent and comprehensive approaches to tourism policy-making as a means of enabling our tourism sectors to effectively address inequalities and improve the resilience of our economies.’
He added that recovery also requires global cooperation and evidence-based solutions that will enable the safe lifting of travel restrictions. “In the aftermath of the pandemic, our ability to foster resilience within tourism will be key to ensuring not only the sustained growth of this sector but also enhance preparedness for any future shocks”, the President said.
Dr. Geingob also called for the promotion of African tourism brand, through media and the use of technology. “To achieve this, we need to use our media platforms to showcase and celebrate African capabilities, innovations and achievements”.
“The promotion of Brand Africa will require a unified and collaborative effort between Africa and diaspora leaders, academics, decision-makers, influencers, the private and public sectors, as well as youth, to shape and drive the African agenda as a means of enhancing the overall image of Africa, he noted.
Praising the UNWTO for organizing the conference, he said that, “I am confident that this conference will provide the ideal platform for us to further unpack these concepts so as to add value to the UNWTO strategic roadmap for Africa.”.
The World Tourism Organization(UNWTO) Regional Conference taking place in Windhoek, Namibia is a three-day event organized to ensure the swift recovery of the tourism sector from Covid-19.
Story by: Emmanuella Asare