Oil, hydrogen projects increase business visitors


The current oil exploration and green hydrogen projects in the country are increasing the number of business visitors to Namibia.

Recent figures show that tourists that entered Namibia for business purposes increased their share of the market to 17.3%, while leisure tourist constituted 80.4% of the market and 1.38% of visitors came for conferences in June.

Presidential economic adviser and Green Hydrogen Commissioner, Office of the President of Namibia,

James Mnyupe in an interview early this month disclosed that Namibian Synthetic Fuel Industry Strategy estimated that more than 184 000 direct jobs could be created by 2040, up to 420 000 additional indirect and induced jobs, and more than 50% of the current GDP in value by the green hydrogen industry.

Namcor announced in March that it had made a third oil discovery with partners Shell and QatarEnergy in the Orange Basin. The new discoveries could make Namibia, the southern neighbour of OPEC member Angola, another oil producer along the African Atlantic coast.

Privately-owned local passenger airline, FlyNamibia last month launched flights to Lüderitz and thanked TotalEnergies EP Namibia for their support which enabled the start of the flights. This week, a report by Simonis Storm Security said although our tourists mainly come to Namibia for leisure, tourists coming for business and conferences are increasing and are mainly associated with Namibia’s oil explorations and green hydrogen projects according to engagements with local travel agents and tourist operators.

Europeans accounted for 45% of all visitors across nationwide hospitality establishments in June, the report by Simonis said.

The majority of visitors to accommodation establishments during June came from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (24.06%), followed by locals (30.23%), South Africans (11.46%) and the French (5.44%).

“Tourists from Germany, Austria and Switzerland are exceeding pre-pandemic occupancy rates, and tourists from the rest of the world are near to reaching pre-pandemic levels.”

Whilst the European Union has avoided economic recessions during the first half of this year, Namibia has benefited from improved travel across the globe and the current tourist peak season (May to September each year) is expected to be supportive of economic growth in Namibia given the wide value chain of tourism.

Business activity in the restaurant and hotels sector has improved to about 86% of pre-pandemic levels indicating that most of the recovery has been achieved, the June figures revealed.

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