Tourism industry: Open borders in July


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Dec 18, 2015
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Tourism industry: Open borders in July

'Other open countries will take our market share'

With only 60% of the peak season of Namibian tourism remaining, the tourism sector advocates that land borders be opened in mid-July.

Two petitions - one from the travel industry and one from employees, volunteers and the informal sector in the tourism industry - were found on the Facebook page “Local Tourism is Lekker - Namibia” by a founding member, Ms. Yvonne von Holtz, posted.

It will later be handed over to the relevant ministries and State House.

The petitions stem from the overall collapse of tourism and the past three months of income and job losses lost to the tourism sector during the Covid-19 restriction.

“Tourism is currently experiencing a complete downturn and local tourism is not enough to compensate for the huge income and job losses.

"Our population is just too small to replace the international tourists and the bigger the international crisis, the less money available to Namibians to support local tourism," says Von Holtz.

The tourism industry's proposals include allowing foreign tourists in stages to limit the risk of transmitting the coronavirus.

Phase 1 involves the borders being opened in July for major markets such as Germany, France, Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Italy.

Phase 2 will be implemented in mid-August with Americans and Scandinavian, Swiss and Austrian tourists entering the country.

During phase 3, the borders for other European countries and South Africa can be opened at the end of August.

Von Holtz believes additional measures should be in place to protect Namibians and visitors from the risk of infection.

"The measures must convince overseas tourists that Namibia is a safe destination."

Von Holtz says because of the low infection rate in the country, Namibia can be marketed as a safe country.

"With our wide, open spaces and lack of mass tourism, Namibia is the perfect destination for social distance," says Von Holtz.

“If we open our borders early enough with clear and practical security measures in place, we can start to recover some of our revenue losses since March.

“We need to attract tourists who would go to other destinations where the prevalence of the virus is higher.

"If we don't, countries like Tanzania, Australia, New Zealand will take part of our market because they are already opening their borders to some countries," says Von Holtz.

She believes it is also a good opportunity for Air Namibia to tap into much of the market with shipping companies that will not fly from Europe to Namibia as often.

Von Holtz says if the borders do not open, the Namibian tourism industry will be put on hold for five years.

“Conservation will be in jeopardy. People will resort to poaching to survive. The presence of tourists in conservation areas is also a strong deterrent for poachers, ”says Von Holtz.

The petitions can be sent to

The original version in Afrikaans below:

Toerismebedryf: Maak grense in Julie oop

'Ander oop lande gaan ons markaandeel vat'

Met nog net 60% van die piekseisoen van Namibiese toerisme oor, pleit die toerismesektor dat landsgrense middel Julie oopgemaak word.

Twee versoekskrifte – een van die reisbedryf en een van werknemers, vrywillige werkers en die informele sektor in die toerismebedryf – is op die Facebook-blad “Local Tourism is Lekker – Namibia” deur 'n stigterslid, me. Yvonne von Holtz, geplaas.

Dit sal later aan die betrokke ministeries en Staatshuis oorhandig word.

Die versoekskrifte spruit uit die algehele ineenstorting van toerisme en die afgelope drie maande se inkomste- en werksverliese wat die toerismesektor tydens die Covid-19-inperking verloor het.

“Toerisme ondervind tans 'n totale stilstand en plaaslike toerisme is nie genoeg om vir die enorme inkomste- en werksverliese te vergoed nie.

“Ons bevolking is net té klein om die internasionale toeriste te vervang en hoe groter die internasionale krisis word, hoe minder geld is vir Namibiërs beskikbaar om plaaslike toerisme te ondersteun,” sê Von Holtz.

Die toerismebedryf se voorstelle sluit in dat buitelandse toeriste in fases toegelaat word om die risiko van die oordrag van die coronavirus te beperk.

Fase 1 behels die grense word middel Julie vir die belangrikste markte soos Duitsland, Frankryk, Brittanje, België, Nederland, Portugal, Spanje en Italië oopgemaak.

Fase 2 word in middel Augustus geïmplementeer met Amerikaners en Skandinawiese, Switserse en Oostenrykse toeriste wat die land kan binnekom.

Tydens fase 3 kan die grense vir ander Europese lande en Suid-Afrika einde Augustus oopgemaak word.

Von Holtz meen bykomende maatreëls moet in plek wees om Namibiërs en besoekers teen die risiko van infeksie te beskerm.

“Die maatreëls moet oorsese toeriste oortuig dat Namibië 'n veilige bestemming is.”

Von Holtz sê weens die lae infeksiekoers in die land, kan Namibië as 'n veilige land bemark word.

“Met ons wye, oop ruimtes en gebrek aan massa-toerisme, is Namibië die perfekte bestemming vir sosiale afstand,” sê Von Holtz.

“As ons vroeg genoeg ons grense oopmaak met duidelike en praktiese veiligheidsmaatreëls in plek, kan ons sommige van ons inkomsteverliese sedert Maart begin inhaal.

“Ons moet toeriste lok wat na ander bestemmings sou gaan waar die voorkoms van die virus hoër is.

“As ons dit nie doen nie, gaan lande soos Tanzanië, Australië, Nieu-Seeland 'n deel van ons mark vat, want hulle maak reeds hul grense vir sommige lande oop,” sê Von Holtz.

Sy meen dit is ook 'n goeie geleentheid vir Air Namibia om 'n groot deel van die mark in te palm met rederye wat nie so gereeld vanaf Europa na Namibië sal vlieg nie.

Von Holtz sê indien die grense nie oopmaak nie, sal die Namibiese toerismebedryf vyf jaar in trurat gesit word.

“Bewaring sal in gedrang wees. Mense sal hulle tot wildstropery wend om te oorleef. Die teenwoordigheid van toeriste in bewaringsgebiede is ook 'n sterk afskrikmiddel vir stropers,” meen Von Holtz.

Die versoekskrifte kan na gestuur word.


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Hopefully this proposal gains momentum for Namibia's sake!

Philip Glass

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Terrible proposal. They put Italy ahead of the US! The reason the US has so many “cases” is the massive random testing going on here. A “case” is supposed to be someone who is sick not someone who tests positive in random sampling. When are governments going to accept the truth that this a Covid mess is all lies? Even CDC has to admit we are at 0.25% death rate and falling now whereas the idiots originally said 6% death rate. Folks we are nearly down to season flu death rate which is where it will end up.
Sad situation. Sad for Namibia.

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