Namibia Ranked Continental Fourth in Tourism

THE World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Travel amp Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015 has placed Namibia fourth on the continent behind South Africa, Mauritius and Morocco.

Namibia is ranked 70th out of the 141 markets surveyed, placing it just inside the top half of countries worldwide. The 2013 edition of the bi-annual report placed Namibia 91st out of 140 countries, though a rework of the 2015 survey methodology translates into a weak comparison with historical trends.

The WEF report indicated a g evaluation for Namibia in terms of price competitiveness, environmental sustainability, airport, ground and port infrastructure, natural resources, and tourist service infrastructure. However, Namibia is ranked on the bottom third of countries, with a ranking of 94th or worse in the areas of health and human resources. Namibia is ranked in the bottom 15% of countries with regard to employment, staff skills and productivity indicators.

Related to employment in the tourism sector, the recently released World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Economic Impact 2015 publication on Namibia indicates that tourism directly supported 24,000 jobs in the country during 2014 and three times as many indirect and induced employment opportunities. Direct jobs are projected to double over the next decade, an average growth rate of 6,7% per annum, with a similar growth pace envisaged for the number of international tourist arrivals.

Commenting on the report, PSG director Brian van Rensburg said the positive overall industry competitiveness assessment from the WEF and the positive outlook for arrivals growth by the WTTC are good news considering the latter’s estimate that some 18% of Namibia’s GDP last year was as a result of direct and indirect tourist activity.

“The human resources issues facing the industry are certainly not a surprise considering Namibia’s long-standing challenges in the labour sector: the WEF Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) 2014-15 identified an inadequately educated workforce, restrictive labour regulations, and a poor work ethic as among the top five problematic factors for doing business in Namibia, as identified by local executives,” said Van Rensburg.

Source : The Namibian