NWR Impressed By Turkish Hospitality (allAfrica.com)

Two Namibian Wildlife Resorts (NWR) executives, Zelna Hengari, its managing director, and Mufaro Nesongano, the NWR’s communications manager, recently returned from a working visit to Turkey.

The visit took place between September 5 and 13. The aim was for NWR executives to study the best tourism practices in a country that receives an estimated 42 million visitors a year.

The visit enabled the two executives to find out why Turkey is so highly regarded within the tourism industry and what Namibia, along with NWR, can learn from Turkey to better position the country as a leading tourism destination in southern Africa.

During their stay the Turkish Travel Agency provided the two with an opportunity to engage Turkish tour operators and journalists on what Namibia can offer Turkish tourists.

During this interaction Hengari showcased what NWR has to offer as the leading accommodation provider in Namibia, with specific attention to the fact that NWR is the only tourism establishment that is allowed to operate exclusively in Namibia’s national parks.

The Turkish Travel Agency also arranged for the two executives to visit different parts of that country with the aim of showcasing the best that Turkey has to offer Namibian visitors.

Hengari also visited Cappadocia, which has one of the oldest underground cities in the world. She saw the massive opportunities Namibia could also leverage, as the country has some unique historical sites that international and local tourists would be interested in.

During her stay she also had an opportunity to stay in a cave hotel built a few centuries ago. This, she said, “showed the creativity Turkey has in finding ways to use their natural resources to create streams of income for its citizens through tourism.”

What impressed her most was the Turkish citizens’ tolerance of one another and, most importantly, of tourists. She strongly believes this is one of the reasons Turkey has such a customer-centric culture within the tourism sector and the country as a whole.

“This is one area Namibia can take a leaf from Turkey if we are to improve on our customer service,” she said.

“I truly believe Namibia and NWR have a lot to learn from Turkey. We, as a country, should look at Turkish Airlines flying directly to Namibia. This would greatly benefit us, as Turkish citizens would be able to fly to Namibia with ease.

“In addition, it would tremendously assist us in ensuring that we can have exchange programmes between our different hospitality establishments. During the coming months I look forward to engaging with our tourism partners in Namibia to see this happen, as there is a lot Turkey can assist Namibia with.”

Hengari was also very grateful to the Turkish Travel Agency and the Turkish Embassy in Namibia for making the trip possible. She strongly believes this is the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship that will see the NWR soar to greater heights due to the plans that were made during her stay in Turkey.

NWR’s vision is to become a recognised leader in tourism and hospitality services in Namibia.