Country’s safety a highpoint in marketing strategy

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Alvine Kapitako

Windhoek-The CEO of the Namibia Tourism Board, Digu //Naobeb, yesterday said the country’s safety is key in marketing messages to attract tourists to the country.

Of late, however, the crime rate against tourists has increased, he told New Era in a brief interview.
“This year is particularly bad and we are very worried about this negative trend,” //Naobeb said.
This, he said, was what led the German and Canadian embassies to rate Namibia as a high risk travel destination on their website.

“This has a negative impact and the relevant stakeholders, including the police, should come together to see how best we can arrest the situation,” said //Naobeb.

He was responding to an incident witnessed by this reporter in Independence Avenue on Tuesday night where one of three tourists was robbed of their possessions, including a credit card.

Although the police could not confirm whether a case was opened, Chief Inspector Kauna Shikwambi, the head of media relations at the Namibian Police Force, said in a statement this week that the police recovered items such as cameras, lenses and a mini iPad, following a robbery reported on September 13 involving Swedish tourists at a service station in Hosea Kutako Avenue.

“We wish to alert the Namibian nation as well as our tourists that this time of the year is when many Namibians are moving toward the spirit of spending and robbers are no exception,” said Shikwambi.

He said people should protect themselves and their valuables and reduce the possibility of crime.
“The police can put mechanisms in place but those efforts can be in vain especially if society creates opportunities for robbers, making themselves targets. The police cannot be everywhere, every time to remedy situations and therefore we humbly request that we all ensure our safety and that of our properties,” said Shikwambi.

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