It is that time of the year again! Summer, swimming, eating, relaxing, and celebrating the season with family and friends. Many Namibians enjoy this period, but others cringe thinking about the financial pressure that goes along with the holidays.
Normally, the summer holidays, combined with the festive season celebrations and the exchange of gifts, comes with increased spending.
However, irrespective of whether families are travelling or if they are staying at home as a more cost-effective holiday option, Team Namibia encourages everyone to support Namibian service providers and to buy local products.
Any trip within the borders of Namibia supports domestic tourism service providers and contributes to the growth of the local economy. Namibians are indeed supporting local when staying in Namibia during their holidays.
Although travelling abroad can be exciting and can contribute to widening the horizon, one is essentially “importing” tourism services, which negatively affects Namibia’s trade balance.
But how can Namibians worried about the financial strain enjoy the vacation period without breaking the bank?
Bärbel Kirchner, account director at Team Namibia, has a few tips to stay on budget: “Namibians are keen on visiting friends and family living in the North, at the coast or on farms. Accommodation and travel expenses can increase a household budget and for those that have opted for staying at home, can save on these costs.
“Alternatively, for last-minute promotional deals, families can monitor local tourism or accommodation websites or can still opt for staying at local campsites. Depending on the duration of their intended trip, staying at a bed and breakfast or self-catering unit might also be a convenient option.
“It is now the time when families also decide on how to entertain themselves during the holidays. That would largely depend on what type of vacation households can afford. Engaging in local activities will of course support local tour operators or other service provider offering a variety of adventure activities. Although, chances are the more activities families participate in, the more expensive the holiday becomes.”
However, families can still have an entertaining and affordable vacation.
“Visit and explore a new place in your town through biking and hiking trails but keep safety a priority,” suggests Kirchner. She advises inviting friends and family to a picnic in the park or another outdoor spot that is suitable.
“If everyone brings food, snacks, and drinks, it will be inexpensive,” says Kirchner. “Namibia is such a beautiful country, and many towns have well-known landmarks and popular tourist spots. Consider a one-day break-away and visit a local lodge or another tourist attraction in your area. This will break the daily routine without breaking the bank,” explains Kirchner.
Despite efforts to save, generally, during the holidays, consumption of food and beverages normally increases. Namibians are encouraged to buy local products. Namibians are advised to consciously read the product label to determine the origin of the product.
“Team Namibia would like to encourage Namibians to replace imported products with Namibian goods when planning their holiday spending,” comments Kirchner. “By buying local goods and services, Namibians help to make our communities a better place to live in,” encourages Kirchner.
An overview of some local products:
For last-minute Christmas stocking fillers, there are Namibian-made sweets, chocolate, and cookies, or even some
locally manufactured cosmetic products and creams.
Local bakeries and dairies supply our retailers with fresh bread, milk, yoghurts, cream, and a variety of traditional dairy products. For the snack on the road, Namibia has its locally produced Biltong, sweets, cookies, dried fruits and nuts mixtures.
Namibians are also spoilt for choice with locally manufactured soft drinks: Code, Vigo, Rietfontein, Vita Juice, Oasis etc. To avoid being dehydrated, holidaymakers can look out for the great variety of Namibian bottled water.
Even for the braai, there are Namibian produced firelighters and local wood. Everything one needs for a typical Namibian braai is also locally produced: beef, chicken or lamb, great pasta, veggies, bread for the toasts, flour for the pap, and of course Namibia’s world renowned locally produced beer. There is even locally bottled wine, schnapps, or liquor. Leather shoes, handbags, clothing and a variety of arts and crafts are great gifts.