NTB Spends N$35 Million in Tourism Marketing

The Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) has been pursuing ger growth by spending about N$35 million on destination marketing.

Uahekua Herunga, Minister of Environment and Tourism revealed this last week in the National Assembly, while motivating the ministry’s N$725.368 million budget for the 201415 financial year. Herunga said whilst taking into account the need to sustain the current source markets, which include Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, France and South Africa, the NTB has also considered the diversification option to increase tourism arrivals.

He also noted that China, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and North America and SADC states were identified as emerging source markets and efforts to lay the groundwork to attract visitors to Namibia are being rolled out.

Since there are no direct flights to these countries, Herunga said Air Namibia is collaborating with other airlines to increase greater connectivity and airlift. “Therefore, there is a need for the NTB and Air Namibia to work on joint destination promotion campaigns, which is currently being considered by the leadership of the two entities,” he said. The New York Times has selected Namibia as the sixth ‘Must Visit’ destination in the world, while Wanderlust magazine in the UK selected Namibia as the number one country to visit. Herunga also highlighted some major capital projects, which have been completed over the last financial year such as the Popa Falls Resort in the Kavango East Region that was successfully re-developed and completed for approximately N$41 million. In addition, he said the re-development at Tora Bay to the tune of N$6.5 million was completed and the facility re-opened for business in December 2013 already.

Another capital project Herunga singled out is the re-development underway at Gross Barmen Resort.

The project is expected to be completed in the last quarter of this year, while the renovation of the Hardap Resort is expected to be completed in October this year and the upgrading of the Hobas and Naukluft camps is expected to be completed by June this year. “Re-developed facilities are expected to increase the revenue generation capacity of the company, as well as play a significant role in gainful employment creation in Namibia,” the environment minister said. He further revealed that during the last financial year, the gambling, entertainment control and lotteries sector contributed about N$20 million towards state revenue through the issuance and management of gambling and casino licenses.

According to Herunga, there is scope for higher revenue collection from this sector if effective monitoring and surveillance mechanisms can be put in place. He said one of the major challenges faced in this sector is the slow progress in passing the Gambling and Entertainment Control Bill.

“The passing of these pieces of legislation will be a focus for 201415 as these will lead to a significant increase in revenue to the state and also ensure the social welfare of the Namibian public through improved control and regulation of the gambling lotteries sector. The ministry is committed to ensure that our communities benefit from the tourism sector,” Herunga said.

Source : New Era