from ALFRED SHILONGO in Windhoek, Namibia
WINDHOEK – NAMIBIA’S hospitality and tourism sector is expected to return to pre-coronavirus levels next year.
An increase in hotel occupancy over the past year buoys this projection by the Rand Merchant Bank (RMB).
Latest data from the Hospitality Association of Namibia indicates hotel room occupancy in April this year was recorded at 36,5 percent, up from 27 percent over the same period last year.
This represents two-thirds of the pre-pandemic occupancy rates.
“Encouragingly, guests from Europe make up 47 percent of the rooms occupied, an indication of an increase in foreign tourist activity,” Daniel Kavishe, RMB economist for Sub-Saharan Africa, stated.
He attributed the increase in the occupancy rate to the return of international airlines and increased flight schedules by most airlines operating in the Southern African country.
RMB is also buoyed by the number of regional and international arrivals as indicated by the Regional and Internationals index.
These average 130 percent year-on-year.
“Barring any further COVID-19 waves and travel bans, we expect occupancy rates and tourist activity will continue to recover with activity returning to pre-pandemic levels in 2023,” Kavishe concluded.
– CAJ News