Nearly 24,000 tourists visit Namibia since September

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NAMIBIA - 2019/12/01: Tourists at Deadvlei, a clay pan characterized by dark, dead camel thorn trees contrasted against the white pan floor, located in Sossusvlei area, Namib-Naukluft National Park in Namibia. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Tourists at Deadvlei, a clay pan characterized by dark, dead camel thorn trees contrasted against the white pan floor, located in Sossusvlei area, Namib-Naukluft National Park in Namibia. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Namibia has managed to attract 23,997 tourists since the launch of the country’s International Tourism Revival Initiative which commenced on September 1, 2020, Deputy Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Heather Sibungo said Monday.

The initiative was launched in a move to assist in the country’s tourism recovery, which was hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sibungo said Namibia recorded a decline of about 87 percent in international tourist arrivals in 2020 and a loss of over 1,000 jobs, with some establishments having closed completely, while others have not opened and some are gradually opening.

“Tourism is a socio-economic pillar for Namibia and therefore collective efforts are necessary for us to find solutions and map the way forward to safeguard the future of tourism amid and post COVID-19,” she added.

According to Sibungo, Namibia has since improved the capacity in pertinent areas such as laboratory testing of COVID-19 for purposes of traveling. Rapid testing is now available and the roll-out of vaccination is now throughout the country.

“The tourism task force continues to engage strategic stakeholders for relevant interventions as and when required,” she said.

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