TRAVEL GAZETTE – Namibia’s tourism industry is set to remain a beacon of hope despite the economic headwinds that have resulted in a deterioration of Namibia’s fiscal and external trade position in 2015/16, according to an expert from an investment research firm, Simonis Storm Securities (SSS).
In a report on the tourism industry released Friday by the firm, economist France Uusiku said, with the operations of additional airlines (Qatar Airlines, KLM, and Ethiopian Airlines) in Namibia, tourists from Central Africa, Middle and Far East, and Europe are likely to be more attracted into the country.
“This would improve Namibia’s net travel receipts and therefore ease pressure on the current account, which we estimate to be at 13 percent of GDP,” he added.
Uusiku said that embracing an “open sky policy” would be necessary to optimally capitalize on export earnings from international travel services.
“This will also go with the Government’s ambition of positioning the country as a transport logistics hub for southern Africa,” he said.
Furthermore, he said, the revenue generated from the tourism levy is under-optimized due to alleged underreporting of accommodation occupancy rates.
“Therefore, we believe strengthening the efficacy of the levy administration holds significant potential to beef up the revenue and therefore improve international marketing of Namibian tourism,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said the Namibia tourism industry has less regulatory barriers compared to its neighbours such as South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Angola and this presents an attractive investment climate for further investment.