The Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) says the country’s tourism occupancy rate was 18,5% in January this year, a decline of 2% compared to the same period in 2021.
The decline was partly due to the large-scale cancellations the sector received in late November when Omicron caused most source markets to introduce a travel ban to southern Africa.
New Era quoted HAN chief executive Gitta Paetzold as saying that the occupancy rate of 18.5% in January 2022 is half of the 37% recorded in January 2020, the last normal tourism month before COVID-19 struck.
She said the occupancy percentage from Namibians also dropped from 61.4% in January 2021, to under 53% in January this year, which shows the economic constraints due to the pandemic.
Paetzold said Namibia should ensure that all systems are put in place to allow for a free and easy return of regional, continental and international travel to Namibia.
She said vaccinated travellers should be allowed to travel without unnecessary obstacles.