11th annual Crayfish Festival boosts business for SMEs

Windhoek -Business development expectations for SMEs were successfully met during the 11th annual Crayfish Festival that recently took place in the coastal town of Luderitz, according to organisers.

One of the objectives of the festival is to ensure that the event creates a platform for SMEs and established businesses within the Luderitz business community. According to the Luderitz Town Council this year's event was ideal for interaction between business and customers, thus contributing to the continued growth of business in Luderitz.

On average we experienced an increase in the number of visitors who came from all walks of life. We welcomed visitors from the Northern Cape (South Africa) and from all over Namibia. This was due to extra activities that we added to the festival in order to attract the masses. One of the highlights was Windhoek Spin City, which came down to Luderitz for the first time ever. In comparison to 2017's event, which recorded about 3,500 visitors, 2018 saw an inflow of more than 3,800, said the town council's economic development officer, Peya Junior Mushelenga.

He added that businesses attracted significant customers while the sleepy town benefitted from the increased traffic, which was evident from the fact that all accommodation facilities were fully booked a month in advance prior to the event.

However, Mushelenga noted that the success was not achieved without some stumbling blocks, which include the lack of an appropriate venue to host the annual event, the high costs of seafood products, which are being subsidised through the festival coffers, and the lack of suppliers for the highly-specialised services needed for an event of this magnitude. These all added to the high costs incurred in hosting the festival.

Useful experiences were gained and lessons were learned as we take critical stock of challenges facing this local initiative in terms of cost for services, lack of capacity and revenue generation, Mushelenga said.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia