Namibia projected to be Africa’s emerging millionaires’ hub

Martin Endjala

According to the New World Health report, Namibia is fast gaining recognition as Africa’s emerging millionaire hub, owing to its favourable fiscal environment marked by low tax rates and a robust banking system.

Economist, Theo Klein, believes that this positive international perception will be a boon for the country’s tourism sector.

“As Namibia becomes a magnet for the affluent, it is naturally set to attract a higher number of tourists. Despite a four percent decline in Europeans’ intent to travel compared to the previous year, our outlook for the local tourism sector remains positive,” Klein said.

He noted that while Austrians, Swiss, and Germans have shown travel hesitancy, the French, Belgians, and British are more eager to travel in the forthcoming months.

Klein attributed the decline in travel intent to the financial strains faced by Europeans and concerns about rising travel costs. This could slightly affect Namibian tourism since Austrian, Swiss, and German tourists account for 34 percent of Namibia’s annual tourism.

He added that Namibia remains a desirable destination due to the Rand’s 14.2 percent year-on-year depreciation against the Euro.

“As the tourism industry is vigorously promoting Namibia across Europe, the USA, and regionally, there’s also a strategic alliance forming with stakeholders and law enforcement to combat the recent uptick in crimes against tourists,” he said.

Tourism occupancy rates in Namibia have bounced back to pre-pandemic levels, with August 2023 seeing an occupancy rate of 68.9 percent, a rise from 60.98 percent in July 2023. This is a significant 7.6 percentage point increase from August 2022’s 61.3 percent. “Given that September is usually the peak month, it’s expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels. Currently, the average occupancy rate is at 49.1%, which is 2.1 percentage points below 2019’s average of 51.2 percent,” Klein observed.

He said that these numbers underline the tourism sector’s steady and essential recovery, which is a boon for the GDP.

“Increased tourist activity means more consumer spending, offering critical support to accommodation and tour operator businesses,” he said.

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