An artist arranges artworks at a marketplace in Okahandja, Namibia, on Sept. 20, 2022. (Photo by Ndalimpinga Iita/Xinhua)
Namibia’s Deputy Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism Heather Sibungo on Tuesday encouraged communities to partake in tourism and take advantage of the heritage tourism product development in rural areas.
WINDHOEK, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) — Namibia’s Deputy Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism Heather Sibungo on Tuesday encouraged communities to partake in tourism and take advantage of the heritage tourism product development in rural areas.
Speaking at the country’s commemoration of World Tourism Day that’s observed on Sept. 27, Sibungo said Namibia believes the time is now to transform the future of tourism in Namibia and build a sustainable and inclusive sector to the benefit of the majority of Namibians.
This will require concerted efforts and adopting workable business models best suited for the challenges, she said.
“I call upon the private sector to invest more in our conservancies and community-based tourism enterprises, develop and promote cultural and heritage tourism by including these people-centered services and products in their travel itineraries and create new innovative products to increase value for money and guest experiences and by so doing enlarge the national product offering of the Destination Namibia,” she said.
People perform during the Cultural Festival in Windhoek, Namibia, on Sept. 8, 2022. (Photo by Musa C Kaseke/Xinhua)
According to Sibungo, Namibia has the necessary framework conditions for the tourism sector to continue growing exponentially and through that contribute to local economic development, employment creation, community empowerment, and poverty alleviation.
“Namibia continues to experience from late 2021 to the second quarter of 2022, a growing trend in tourism arrivals. This is a positive outlook and we should continue to make Namibia an attractive destination through value addition by introducing new tourism services and products, especially heritage tourism and gastronomy,” she said.
This year, Namibia launched the Tourism Recovery Plan aimed at rebooting the sector over the next three years, fostering growth, and addressing constraints associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The potential of tourism is enormous, and we have a shared responsibility to make sure it is fully realized,” she said.
Namibia celebrated World Tourism Day under the theme “Promoting heritage/cultural experience to harness sustainable tourism.”