A reduction in domestic tourism is emerging as a concern for the industry.

Namibia Wildlife Resort's (NWR) Manager for Corporate Communications, Nelson Ashipala, says this is despite efforts by the company to promote domestic tourism.

"The mandate highlights that on top of ensuring that we run a facility in parks, we have to ensure that Namibians get to experience the fauna and flora at a fraction of the cost at a reasonable cost. But we haven't been seeing that much response from local tourists. Mostly, it has just been international."

From November 2022 to November 2023, a total of 511 984 people visited the Namibia Wildlife Resorts facilities; out of this, 22 622 were Namibians. This equates to 10%.

"The numbers are just too low; we want Namibians to start experiencing local tourism. That's why we will always go back to the drawing board to drop strategies on how we can encourage Namibians. I mean, an occupancy of 14% across all facilities is quite alarming and concerning for NWR. We are at 10% of Namibians visiting our resorts, and the rest are from across the world."

Ashipala says domestic tourism remains key for the NWR.

"For starters, our strategy has been to bring in much more events at our resorts to increase the customer experience in terms of functions. NWR will also, in the future, announce domestic local prices that speak to Namibian tourists. You know when we did the analysis why the travel is low, it was the cost, but we will make tailor packages that speak to Namibians to be able to reach our camps, such as offering transport and trying to cut those challenges that Namibians struggle with."

The packages are expected to come out in February next year.

"I know there have been complaints regarding Namibian prices vs. European prices. I think we have seen that NWR is good at offering Namibian goods at good prices, like 50% discount cards. We need to understand the importance of  traveling."

Photo Credits


July Nafuka