Namibia welcomes the world


(eTN) – Namibia hosted its 11th Annual Namibia Tourism Expo last month and the country’s tourism authorities are happy to report that visitors and exhibitors alike were enthusiastic about the offerings and the response from attendees.

A showcase for Namibia’s tourism industry, the travel expo drew more than 18,800 people over the four days, Namibia Tourism said. “Close to 450 exhibitors participated including SADC countries such as Botswana, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Other exhibitors included: Air Namibia, the cities of Windhoek, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay and hospitality groups like Legacy and Protea Hotels. Lodges, tented camps, individual properties took booths including Ecolodgistix, Gondwana Collection, Leading Lodges of Africa, Namibia Country Lodges, Namibia Wildlife Resorts, Big Sky Lodge, Kalahari Sands, Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge, Kempinski Mokuti Lodge and Uris Safari Lodge.”

The Namibia Tourism Board said it invited more than 80 travel industry professionals representing 17 countries to attend the Travel Expo as part of the destination’s first ever “Namibia Academy.” Participants from Europe, Asia and neighboring African countries including Angola, China, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, South Korea, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Zambia, the United Kingdom and the US were invited to take part in a network session, visit the Expo and take a familiarization tour of the country.

Despite a rough two years for international tourism, Digu Naobeb, CEO of the Namibia Tourism Board was optimistic about the future. “The Namibia Tourism Expo is becoming a formidable promotional event with constant improvements and innovative offerings,” Mr. Naobeb said.

Tourism is an engine for economic development, particularly in rural development. The CEO stressed the importance of strategic partnerships for increasing tourism.

The host airline, Air Namibia flew the international travel industry professionals in for the expo. The airline offers six flights a week from Frankfurt to Windhoek and service from Johannesburg, Cape Town, Maun, Luanda, Lusaka and Victoria Falls.

Many of the participants stayed in the Hotel Windhoek Country Club Resort and the Safari Hotel Windhoek and were treated to delicious meals at NICE, a restaurant run by the country’s hotel school, Fusion, a charming local restaurant owned by a young Namibian entrepreneur and at the city’s Hotel Heinitzburg, a beautiful Relais & Chateaux, on a hill overlooking the city.