Tourism in the Erongo Region – especially at the coast – has received another significant boost with the opening last Friday of a new state-of-the-art Tourism Information Centre at Henties Bay.
The new centre that cost Henties Bay Council some N$8.1 million to construct was hailed as a step in the right direction by Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta when he officially inaugurated it on Friday morning at the quaint coastal town, known mainly as a holiday and fishing resort.
According to Shifeta, the significance of tourism as an economic sector is recognised globally and developing the sector should be done collectively by both the government and private sector. As such, Shifeta says government identified the sector to have the potential to contribute significantly to social upliftment, poverty alleviation and raising the quality of life of Namibians through job creation, especially for semi-skilled and unskilled workers.
“As a result, government has identified tourism as one of the priority areas in the National Development Plan (NDP4), soon to be followed by the NDP5. Cabinet also recently approved the first ever National Sustainable Tourism Growth Strategy and the Tourism Profile and Investment Strategy that calls for our collective efforts to make Namibia a preferred destination worldwide,” he noted.
Shifeta then explained the strategies and initiatives that seek to complement government’s existing efforts in ensuring that tourists receive the best local experience. He added that tourism is a people-driven and people-centred industry and thus working or operating in isolation is not advisable.
“We need all stakeholders to play a part in developing a tourism-friendly environment, diversified tourism products and infrastructure development in order to provide world class service delivery.
“In this regard, the construction of the Henties Bay Tourism centre is a step in the right direction and could not have come at a better time,” he said.
“I have no doubt that the centre will add value and improve the accessibility of information and services required by tourists. The centre will further contribute to the overall tourism growth of the town of Henties Bay, the coast and the country at large,” he concluded.