The development of new products and routes must boost tourism

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

The Minister of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, has stressed the importance of developing new products and routes across the country to extend tourism economic activities to all regions.

Shifeta made this statement during the announcement of the new board members of the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB), scheduled for the period from November 1, 2023, to October 31, 2026.

Highlighting key focus areas, Shifeta stated that the agenda should include the creation of cultural heritage tourism products, popularising Namibian gastronomy experiences, and implementing marketing initiatives in transfrontier conservancy areas.

He expressed the government’s intent to diversify into sub-sectors such as meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions, film tourism, cruise tourism, sports tourism, medical tourism and the integration of tourism with the creative industry.

“Collaborate in the implementation of the National Tourism Sector Recovery Plan (2022-2024) to resuscitate the sector. Digitalising the regulatory framework and marketing platforms will make doing business much easier in Namibia,” he stressed.

Addressing NTB’s pivotal role, Shifeta urged meaningful institutional alignment and increased synergy between the NTB and various stakeholders, including government ministries, Namibian Embassies and relevant agencies.

Given the competitiveness of the sector, Shifeta emphasised that it is not the time for Namibia to play small. Instead, the country, through NTB as its agency, should collaborate with partners and stakeholders to take up the promotion and marketing of the country at a high level. With the aim to reposition Namibia as a destination of first choice for leisure tourism, adventure, and business appealingly.

Moreover, the seven-member board includes Olavi Hamwele with experience in Human Resources, Ally Karaerua in Business and Tourism knowledge, Janette Fourie with experience in Tourism, Maggy Mbako with experience in Tourism and Media, Ngivitjita Zatjirua with experience in Commercial and Business, Efraim Nkoshi with experience in Finance, and Rachel Nathaniel-Koch with legal experience.

The board will be led by Fourie as Chairperson and Hamwele as Deputy Chairperson and they will serve from 1 November 2023 to 31 October 2026.

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