Namibia Tourism Board promotes domestic tourismUutoni calls for collaboration among local authorities

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WINDHOEK: The Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) is championing domestic tourism as part of a tourism revival initiative which involves members of the local media and social media influencers touring local establishments in central and western Namibia.

Scheduled for 11 to 18 March 2024, the familiarisation trip focuses on the central and western areas of Namibia.

NTB’s Head of Marketing, Charmaine Matthias on Monday outlined the board’s overarching goals and objectives in promoting Namibia as a premier tourism destination, both domestically and internationally.

She emphasised the importance of the initiative during which local media and influencers will promote tourism in Namibia by showcasing positive experiences during the trip.

‘Participants will explore a myriad of tourism products, ranging from picturesque wineries, breathtaking rugged mountains, ancient rock paintings, exhilarating surfing spots, vibrant cultural groups, diverse landscapes, tantalising cuisines, comfortable accommodations, to an array of t
ourism activities and scenic views,’ she said.

The selected travel dates strategically coincide with the period leading up to the Independence and Easter long weekends.

‘We aim to entice Namibian travellers with fresh ideas about the tourist attractions along this route, encouraging them to consider travelling before and during the upcoming holidays,’ Matthias said.

Highlighting the significance of local tourism, Matthias revealed that during the COVID-19 pandemic, only 4 per cent of Namibia’s tourism contributions came from domestic travellers. She encouraged Namibians to explore the tourism market within their own country, stressing the importance of supporting local businesses and experiencing the diverse offerings firsthand.

The familiarisation trip not only serves as a platform for the media and influencers to showcase Namibia’s tourism gems, but also aims to inspire and educate the local populace about the rich tapestry of attractions within their homeland.

With this proactive approach to domestic
tourism promotion, the Namibia Tourism Board is hoping to stimulate interest, encourage exploration, and foster a deeper appreciation for the country’s natural wonders, cultural heritage, and tourism offerings among its own citizens.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

KEETMANSHOOP: Urban and Rural Development Minister Erastus Uutoni has said collaboration among municipalities, regional councils, and traditional authorities is essential and local authorities should not operate in isolation.

Uutoni made the remarks at the Association of Local Authorities in Namibia (ALAN) local economic development conference in Lderitz on Tuesday. He challenged the local authorities to share success stories, learn from each other’s challenges, and pool their resources.

‘We can address common issues such as accelerated land delivery, housing, sanitation and environmental sustainability. Let us foster a spirit of solidarity that transcends boundaries and benefits every Namibian,’ he said.

Uutoni said effective local economic development requires a holistic approach as it is not only limited to attracting foreign direct investment or building infrastructure, but involves an understanding of the unique needs of local communities, harnessing local talents and promoting sustainable practices.

Let us explore avenues for diversification, value addition and inclusive growth. Our rural areas, often overlooked, hold immense potential, let us therefore unlock that potential through targeted interventions and smart planning. That is why the national policy framework refers to regional and local economic development (LED) and not just LED, because there are integral links between rural and urban areas which we need to maximise,’ he said.

Uutoni further said while local authorities play a critical role in fostering sustainable growth, prosperity and well-being for citizens, local economic development is not merely an abstract concept, it is the lifeblood of towns, cities, and rural areas that drives job creation, infrastructure development, and social progress.

‘When our local economies thrive, so do the livelihoods of our people and that is why it is our collective duty to nurture an environment where businesses can flourish, innovation can thrive and opportunities can flourish,’ he said.

The three-day
meeting is aimed at providing an opportunity for stakeholders in the local economic sector to discuss and deliberate on matters that shape the future of their communities. It is being held under the theme ‘Promoting local economic development through, inclusive strategic planning, innovation and diversification of revenue streams’.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency