The coastal hospitality and tourism industry experienced a significant increase of tourists visiting the coast during the past holiday season.
This, the operators say, is a clear sign that Namibia is steadily establishing itself as one of the major tourist destinations in the world.
Tour operators – especially those specialising in catamaran tours, quad bike rides and 4X4 tours – told New Era this was indeed one of their busiest festive seasons ever.
Walvis Bay entrepreneur Fried Fredrick from Township Tours said he is satisfied with the number of clients they had in December.
“It’s been a while since we experience such a good season. It was hectic. We had so many trips scheduled daily, that I can say it was worth it to operate this time around,” he explained, adding that he received mostly Batswana people for guided tours, followed by South Africans.
“However, I must say I am impressed how domestic tourism is picking up. It means so much to the tourism industry that Namibians are exploring and experiencing the thrills of our own country,” he said.
Heinrich Hafeni of Township Tours in Swakopmund told New Era it was also a good season for his traditional cuisine restaurant.
“I can tell you that we had a lot of clients, mainly from Botswana. Some of them even struggled to get accommodation in Swakopmund,” he said.
Simon Williams, who too works in the hospitality industry, said finding suitable accommodation was indeed a hurdle for him and his friends.
“All the places were fully booked and we ended up staying in a basement room, as we really wanted to be at the coast.
“Even last night we wanted to go eat out at a popular hotel, but all the restaurants were fully booked,” he explained.
Mola Mola Safaris at Walvis Bay said that they had a far better season.
“We were fully booked for the whole festive season. It was definitely better than last year and we have noticed that more locals supported us too, which means that the industry is definitely on the right path,” a Mola Mola employee said.