Tourism Expo returns after two-year hiatus

Staff Writer

After a two-year hiatus, the annual tourism expo will be held from November 3-5, at the SKW Sport Field in Windhoek.

Heather Sibungo, Deputy Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, made the announcement today during the 2022 World Tourism Day celebrations in Omuthiya, under the global theme of ‘Rethinking Tourism’ and the local theme of ‘promoting heritage/cultural experience to harness sustainable tourism.’’

“I am further informed that the Tourism Expo under the umbrella of Tourism Namibia have solicited investments to the tune of N$1 million from the private sector stakeholders such as First National Bank and Namibia Breweries Limited (sponsors) to get this event back on track after a two-year absence. From the total investments of N$1 million, N$500 000 would go towards the hosting of the Tourism Expo and the difference of N$500 000 would go towards accommodation and activity operators through a reward system to benefit holiday makers or consumers,” she stated.

The three-day event will foster the necessary synergy and revitalization of domestic travel following the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.

Furthermore, Sibungo stated that the ministry believes that the time has come to transform the future of local tourism and build a sustainable and inclusive sector that will benefit the majority of people.

“This will require concerted effort and adopting workable business models best suited for our challenges, as we cannot go back to the old ways of working or doing business,” she said. According to Sibungo, in recent years the tourism sector has been recognized by the government as an important economic sector and a critical tool for sustainable development as highlighted in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

“The tourism sector has been identified as one of the four pillars that will drive economic diversification and ensure Namibia’s long-term sustainability. The inclusion of tourism in the Sustainable Development Goals indicates the understanding and vision of decision makers that tourism must be placed at the forefront of development plans in order to achieve sustainable and economic growth. “Tourism is one of the backbones of Namibia’s success story. Namibia has the necessary framework conditions for the tourism sector to continue growing exponentially and through that contribute to, local economic development, employment creation, community empowerment, and poverty alleviation.

These elements are key development priorities for the Namibian government,” she stressed

Meanwhile, Sibungo said Namibia’s conservation success stories stand out top of the World!

“The government will continue to make effort to create a conducive and enabling environment for all the stakeholders to participate and to grow the sector from strength to strength.

I call on the communities, to partake in tourism and take advantage of the heritage tourism product development in the rural areas to benefit our people,” she concluded.

By Observer