Hotel Group Pumps Back into Society

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By William J. Mbangula OSHAKATI Africa Stadt Haus, the first and only hotel in Ongwediva, intends to spearhead the promotional campaign of the artwork of the Ongwediva College of Education (OCE) students as part of its social responsibility towards the community here. Already the Africa Stadt Haus Hotels, a family owned business, is doing promotional activities for the community project Ohandje, which sells traditional baskets, pots and other related items. Such wide range of local arts and crafts stocked at the hotel can be admired or purchased as souvenirs or gifts by visitors, mostly tourists. “We would like to create a platform for the artists especially OCE students by encouraging business people visiting our place to do business with them through sponsorship and otherwise,” said the marketing manager Heinrich Schmidt. The hotel started with the construction of the first phase in early 2005 with 19 luxury rooms. Last month, the second phase was completed, and the hotel now boasts an accommodation capacity of 82. All the construction work was done by the Chinese State Company at a cost of N$12 million. “We accommodate almost every one here from truck drivers to the CEOs of various companies in Namibia. In fact, our place was graced recently with the visit of the former Head of State Dr Sam Nujoma together with current President Hifikepunye Pohamba during the Unam graduation ceremony. We hosted them for lunch here.” Schmidt noted that the construction of the hotel in Ongwediva is part of the long-term investment plan in the town, which started almost ten years ago. The land was purchased a long time ago when the company was still pondering a suitable type of investment. Said Schmidt: “We looked at the needs of the town and realised that the demand for high quality, warm and dedicated service is there.” The hotel with a workforce of 15 people can cater for about 500 people for on-site gatherings, which can enjoy a variety of services such as corporate functions, weddings, staff parties, catering, airport transfers, car rental, air charter service and daily flights between Windhoek and Ondangwa – all tailor-made packages for frequent business travellers. Other services provided are mostly related to outdoor entertainment such as arrangements for traditional dances and meals, local tours to famous places such as Ombalantu Boabab tree Heritage Centre, Tsandi Royal Homestead, Ruacana Water Fall, Nakambale Museum and many other interesting places in the North. Ongwediva Town Council Public Relations Officer Andreas Uutoni told New Era that Africa Stadt Haus Hotels is one of the applicants which were considered to be serious investors in the town. Previously there were only bed-and-breakfast facilities in Ongwediva and some of the applications received, said Uutoni, needed to be scrutinised properly to avoid dubious investors who may only cause unfair competition against genuine investors. “We have received many applications for people who want to build hotels in Ongwediva but we need to properly scrutinise them first. Africa Stadt Haus Hotels was one of those who submitted proper business plans and other related matters to the council and was considered as a serious investor. We regard them as partners in development.” Uutoni noted that the hotel has addressed the acute need of accommodation in the town not only on the part of visitors for other institutions and individuals in Ongwediva but also with relation to the town council when it comes to their guests, more especially those coming from outside the country. “We normally receive visitors such as those from our sister towns in Belgium (Lommel and Ardooie) but we had no proper place in town to accommodate them. Previously we used to take them to Oshakati but now it is no longer the case. Now our guests will sleep and stay in Ongwediva. I think this specific hotel has definitely addressed the need for accommodation in Ongwediva,” said Uutoni.