Namibia’s tourism industry loses $220 million due to COVID-19 pandemic

NAMIBIA - 2019/12/01: Springboks (Antidorcas marsupialis) in the barren desert landscape in the Sossusvlei area, Namib-Naukluft National Park in Namibia. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Namibia’s tourism industry lost about 3.2 billion Namibian dollars (about 220 million US dollars) from travel-related service as a result of COVID-19, Bank of Namibia governor Johannes Gawaxab said Wednesday.

According to Gawaxab, the lack of activity due to the restriction of people’s movements and the compulsory closure of leisure and catering facilities due to the dangers of traveling had a devastating effect on the industry which is one of the main contributors to the country’s economy.

“A study carried out by the sector which is yet to be released showed devastating results. About 70 percent of businesses in the sector recorded bookings below 10 percent of normal bookings,” Gawaxab said.

He said, pre-COVID-19, Namibia received over 40,000 tourists a month but between September and December last year, the country only received about 6,700 tourists.