Namibia is upbeat about reviving its ailing tourism industry which lost more than about 220 million U.S. dollars in a year due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic following the advent of a vaccine, a senior government official said on Wednesday.
Romeo Muyunda, Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism chief public relations officer, told Xinhua that the advent of vaccine inoculations in the region spearheaded by government efforts as well as donations from China have given the southwest African country a ray of hope in reviving its tourism fortunes.
“We are confident that the vaccines being administered elsewhere in the world will bring about hope to the struggling tourism sector. We expect the numbers of tourists’ arrivals to slowly pick up with renewed hope. Already we anticipate a decline in our annual tourist arrivals for the first time since independence, due to the pandemic,” Muyunda said.
He said Namibian authorities are also closely monitoring developments in other countries that are closely linked to the Namibian tourism industry to come up with a thorough conclusion of the time frame that their industry will fully recover.
Muyunda also added that “it is still a bit too early to tell how things will shape up, but we must observe the travelling trends across the globe.”
According to Muyunda, the tourism industry in Namibia, which is one of the largest contributors to the country’s GDP, is well poised to benefits accruing from the favourable travelling conditions created by the COVID-19 vaccine availability.