Namibian tourism statistics: The Rainmaker Hospitality & Tourism Marketing Academy

Namibian tourism statistics: The Rainmaker Hospitality & Tourism Marketing Academy
07 August 2018
The rainmaker Tourism and Hospitality Marketing Academy keeps you up to date with the most recent developments in Digital Presence Exposure, Optimisation, Reputation and Distribution Management.
Every month we publish a dedicated marketing tip or highlight certain travel and consumer trends for the Tourism and Hospitality Industry.
Rainmaker is the brainchild of some of the most experienced hospitality, tourism and digital marketing veterans in the industry. We bring 50 years of experience in the hotel, tourism, sales and marketing fields, as well as more than 35 years of experience in IT and 15 years digital marketing experience to your project. This is enhanced by over seven years of in-depth research and involvement in the Southern African hospitality and tourism industry, giving us peerless insight into the various source markets, market segments, value chains and market dynamics.
TIP #6 | Namibian Tourism Statistics – Decrypted
Did you know that among the 1.57 million foreign arrivals to Namibia, only one-sixth are relevant to tourism? Rainmaker has decrypted the Namibian tourism statistics for you.
As usual, we have received astonishing tourism statistics from the Ministry of Tourism last year. No question, tourism throughout Southern Africa has grown significantly in 2016 (and yes that is the latest tourism statistic from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism released in December 2017).
This is largely due to the optimal exchange rate but, above all, to the fact that many European and international destinations have more or less failed due to terror and other events. Also, you have to praise the good work of the Namibian Tourism Board in Frankfurt.
According to MET statistics, more than 1.46 million tourists (out of the 1.57 million foreign travellers) travelled to Namibia in 2016. But is this correct information relevant to tourism?
Let’s examine the number exactly. Of the approx. 1.47 million tourists, about 399,000 were from Angola. Angolans have little to no relevance to tourism. Angolans come to shop, to do business and get medical treatment. Many of these travellers can also be classified as VFR – Visiting Friends and Relatives.
About 342,000 travellers came from South Africa. We all know that many South Africans come here to do business, but still tick ‘tourist’ on the form. Another high proportion are campers who bring everything they need in their trailer. Again, the influence on tourism businesses such as lodges, guesthouses, etc. is limited. Among these travellers, approximately 150,157 South Africans are also VFR – Visiting Friends and Family. Now we still have to deduct the approx. 52,000 travellers who come to Namibia explicitly for business reasons.
Similarly, for the same reasons as with Angola and South Africa, we deduct Zambia (190,000), Zimbabwe (83,000) and Botswana (50,000).
Thus, of the total of about 1.47 million arrivals, only about 354,000 real tourists are left. Of these, about 50% come from Germany, the UK, France and the US, followed by The Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal and Belgium.
Almost half of European tourists are over 50 years old, while Namibia has lost many guests in the important 30-50 age group in recent years.
Calculating the average length of stay of about 19 days, this results in about 6.7 million overnight stays per year. Spread over approx. 2,100 NTB-registered accommodations, this results in an annual average total utilization of approx. 31%.
An occupancy that is alarming for every hotelier, because usually a guest enterprise can only profitably be operated from approx. 60% utilization.
That is why it is particularly important to address new target markets and new market segments. It is also necessary to reduce the seasonality in Namibia and to attract tourists all year round.
We have to make sure that all market participants, whether lodges, B&Bs, car-rental companies, activity providers, but also tour operators, optimally present themselves digitally and offer attractive products for new target groups. It is not enough just to walk the traditional paths. The industry must jointly develop new markets and new target groups in order to remain competitive. Here, a special focus on the young tourists is vital, but these days all of them are online.
The new routes from Condor, KLM, Qatar and others open up incredible opportunities for new attractive products for young people and should ideally be incorporated in Namibian strategies.

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