In light of the growing concern within the tourism industry that Namibians generally do not have a culture of taking vacations, as they mainly prefer to return to their villages, Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) says its accommodation facilities are very affordable.
Asked what the main causes are for this trend and how they can improve the current situation, NWR manager for corporate communications Mufaro Nesongano said this statement used to hold water a few years ago.
“However the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) must be applauded for having actively worked on various domestic campaigns aimed at creating awareness of the great beauty Namibia has to offer. This has led to an increase in domestic travel,” he said.
Many Namibians tend to return to their villages of origin instead of touring and exploring other parts of the country, a new report on tourism in Namibia says.
According to the National Sustainable Tourism Growth and Development Strategy 2016-2026, many Namibians do not take leisure holidays at all.
“In their vacation time they go ‘up north’ to their villages. There is a need to raise awareness of the preferences of international visitors, since the culture does not exist locally,” the report shows.
Nesongano noted that NWR introduced the NamLeisure card roughly three years ago, which gives Namibians 50 percent discount on accommodation. He further said NWR also offers a 25 percent discount to all Namibians.
Asked if accommodation facilities – especially those of NWR – are affordable to ordinary Namibians, and if so, what are the current rates for locals, he said the facilities are very affordable.
“Besides the discounts we offer, there are facilities that ensure any family that intends to travel will be able to stay with us. For instance, a stay for a couple at Gross Barmen for a day will cost N$1 200. With this offer, a couple has the opportunity to enjoy all the facilities there, such as the gym, spa and sauna,” he noted.
Queried on how often NWR facilities get visits from locals for leisure purposes, Nesongano said: “We can safely say that the number of locals that visit us is quite sizable, although we would want more, as we’re of the strong belief that Namibians need to see their country instead of someone else telling them about it.”
On whether NWR is really doing enough to market its products to both locals and international visitors, he noted NWR has a two-way approach to the manner it markets its facilities to locals and visitors from abroad.
Local visitors are offered the NamLeisure card, in addition to standing discounts of 25 percent and 35 percent for pensioners. In addition, he said they also have key campaigns, such as the ever-popular 75 percent discount for all their facilities in the month of March.
“These are just a few things we do locally. When it comes to international tourists, we make it a point to attend the major trade events and expos in our source markets, where we are able to interact with tour operators and company owners, who greatly contribute towards the number of visitors we receive. This in essence covers how we as NWR market ourselves,” he explained.