Holidaymakers descend on coast

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Holidaymakers standing in a queue to enjoy the facilities at Dolphin Beach Water Park during the festive season.

SWAKOPMUND – Holiday accommodation has become a scarce commodity at the coast as most of the accommodation and camping facilities are already fully booked by visitors.

Many accommodation facilities are saying they are expecting their last batch of clients to arrive on Monday for the Christmas holidays.

Bed-and-breakfast facilities New Era spoke to yesterday confirmed they are full with only a few rooms available in between Christmas and New Year, while most of the upscale hotels still have a few rooms open.

Ruweida Schrywer of Tina’s Bed and breakfast in Swakopmund told New Era they are reasonably full as from December 23 to 27 with only one or two rooms not yet taken between December 29 to January 3, 2014.

According to her most of the bookings are made months in advance.

The Esplande Park accommodation facility of the Walvis Bay Municipality upon enquiry told New Era they are also fully booked – up to January 4, 2014.  They had to refer all accommodation seekers to various bed and breakfast facilities in Walvis Bay.

The upscale Sea Side Hotel and Spa located on the outskirts of Swakopmund also told New Era on Wednesday they have no more rooms available and that most of their clients made their reservations in January last year already when they checked out.

“You might be lucky to find an opening in between Christmas and New Year’s Eve,” one of the supervisors told New Era.

Swakopmund municipal bungalows upon enquiry yesterday also said they are quite full with just a few rooms available.

“But one can never say that you are fully booked as there might be cancellations also.  So those last minute holiday goers should try as they might get lucky,” said a worker at the bungalows.

Gert Kruger of the Walvis Bay Municipality said they have standing reservations each year that only leaves limited accommodation still available this time of the year.

“People already made their reservations when they checked out last year after New Year. Accommodation will only be available from January 3, 2014 next year. Even our camping sites are full,” he said.

Their clients are both foreigners and Namibians while the majority are South Africans.

However camping facilities, such as Jakalsputz, Mile 104 and 72 are said to have attracted less visitors than last year.

It is reported that some of the regular campers normally from South Africa had refused to make use of the camping facilities, complaining they are in a dilapidated state.

Coastal residents are taking advantage of the situation and have made their homes available for hire as they opt to go on holiday elsewhere to have a change of scenery.

The high influx of visitors is expected to boost the coastal economy especially from boat, camel and quad bike rides offered at reasonable prices in Swakopmund and Walvis Bay.

According to Fried Fredrick of Township Tours, his business has received more clients than usual this year.

“Support is very visible and Namibians are mostly making use of my facilities,” he said.

By Eveline de Klerk

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