The Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) on Thursday announced the impressive performance of the tourism sector during the third quarter of 2023, with a report showing the third quarter ended with a 65 percent occupancy rate across accommodation establishments in the country.
HAN chief executive Gitta Paetzold expressed a sense of accomplishment and encouragement over statistics for the accommodation occupancy report for September released Thursday.
“This figure is notably higher than the equivalent period in 2019, surpassing it by a quarter of a percent. Comparative data points to an upswing fueled by increased arrivals from Central Europe, with German-speaking countries, France, and Italy registering growth rates of over 3 percent compared to 2019 levels,” she said.
Despite the overall positive trend, Paetzold said September 2023 saw a marginal dip of just over 2 percent compared to September 2019, marking a slight deviation from the growth witnessed in July and August of this year.
Paetzold also said leisure travel continues to dominate the occupancy numbers at Namibian accommodation establishments. Some hotels, however, are showing a gradual uptick in demand for business and conference packages, signaling a potential shift in the market.
According to Paetzold, in discussions within the travel industry, it was highlighted that the accommodation sector’s performance outpaces the recovery of the larger tour operation sector.
“This underscores the resilience of the online reservations and self-drive components of the Namibian tourism market, which were the first to fully rebound and expand,” she said.
Looking ahead to 2024, early projections suggest further recovery in the group travel market, with promising forward bookings in this segment of the industry, she observed.
“As Namibia now gradually moves into the tourism shoulder season, it is hoped that preparations both in terms of strong marketing efforts within the international and regional markets are being prepared, while service providers and property and infrastructure owners use the time for maintenance, skills development and product optimization, to ensure that Namibia can keep the momentum of a growing and vibrant tourism industry,” she concluded.