Eba Kandovazu

THE Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) says it would not be revoking the license of Hoodia Desert Lodge after it was accused of denying entry to a Russian woman, as the lodge seemingly adopted a policy which denies admission to Russian nationals because they are “aggressive” or “rude” when intoxicated.

NTB instead advises that the victim sues the lodge or institute a criminal case with Nampol under the Racial Discrimination Act. NTB Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Digu /Naobeb, says the board has no powers to discipline the lodge as there is no code of ethics and conduct or any other statutory instrument provided for in the NTB Act, or in the associated regulation governing breach, misconduct or unethical behavior.

“The interest of NTB is to protect the tourism industry as a whole. To that end, NTB believes that Namibia should have policies that encourage the entrance of tourists and not the other way round. At the same time, NTB shall not tolerate any form of discrimination against any of the business entities required by law to be registered with NTB or against any visitor. As a neutral party NTB urges restraint and a balancing of rights,”/Naobeb says.

/Naobeb confirms that the prohibition of Russian nationals, any other nationals or tribal groups in Namibia is indeed discriminatory. “As a destination marketing organisation, we wish to extend warm welcome to Russian nationals to visit Namibia,” he says.