Namibians love to travel. Tourists that never cross the border are considered part of a domestic tourism industryuThe recent festive season recorded an increase in the number of tourists, locals and residents from Namibia at the facilities of Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR). This is despite the fact that the period is generally considered the low season for NWR due to the relatively low arrival of overseas tourists.
Zelna Hengari, the Acting Managing Director of NWR attributed the increase in visitors to the concerted efforts of the NWR to increase regional and domestic tourism, more so because of the recently launched Nam Leisure Card that provides significant discount to domestic tourists.
"Certainly in the past we had low numbers of Namibians exploring our beautiful country. However, our efforts that focus on encouraging domestic tourism, quality service delivery and the continuous upgrading of [NWR] resorts is changing all that," Hengari explained.
She went on to say that NTB's pricing is also quite competitive and not out of range for many Namibians especially if combined with the discounts offered by the Nam Leisure Card.
"Apart from that we have also done substantial advertising to break away from the norm that our resorts are expensive," she said.
According to Hengari, the Etosha National Park, the Namib Naukluft and the newly refurbished Popa Falls are some of the popular tourism sites that have received overwhelming response from the public via Facebook.
"We have just completed refurbishing Popa Falls and Torra Bay and construction work has also already commenced at our resorts in the Hardap Region and Gross Barmen, to name a few. We expect all of them to be ready for the market in 2014. Our other focus is to deliver quality service. In this regard we have fundamentally re-oriented the company's strategic focus," Hengari reiterated.
She then explained that every resort is treated and regarded as a strategic business unit whose performance will be monitored and continually improved. "The metrics include customer care and satisfaction as well as financial performance, amongst others. We have commenced with extensive learning and training programmes at resort level to attain this new strategic orientation and to increase the quality of our service to all our visitors," she said.
Last week, tourism operators at the coastal towns of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund told New Era that they have benefitted greatly from the past festive season.
Tourism entrepreneur Fried Fredrick from Township Tours said December was one of the busiest months they had ever experienced. "More Namibians are becoming aware of or taking an interest in local tourism activities. In fact, if all the other months could bring business for us like in December it would be of great benefit for us all," he explained.