The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has commended Namibian President Dr Hage Geingob, for his leadership during COVID-19, particularly with regard to the international tourism revival initiative, which includes the key health and safety protocols drawn up by the specialised tourism industry body.
This was highlighted following a meeting yesterday (November 4) between UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, and the President during a three-day visit to the country.
Namibia is the first African country to be visited by a UNWTO delegation since the outbreak of the pandemic and is part of the organisation’s commitment to working closely with African member states to realise the potential of tourism to help societies recover from the effects of the pandemic and enjoy long-term sustainable growth.
“The UNWTO Agenda for Africa maps our collective way forward, and I am pleased to see first-hand the commitment shown by the government of Namibia to support tourism at this vital time and embrace the sector as a driver of positive change for all,” said Pololikashvili.
Amongst others, the UNWTO delegation met Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, to identify ways of growing the country’s tourism sector, including a greater focus on gastronomy tourism, rural and community-based tourism.
The UNWTO delegation visited several of Namibia’s leading tourist sites. These included the Namib Sand Sea coastal desert – a Unesco World Heritage Site – Swakopmund and the up-and-coming Walvis Bay tourist destination.
Additionally, the Namibia Tourism Expo provided an opportunity for UNWTO to engage with public- and private-sector leaders from across the region and sent a clear message to the world that Namibia, ‘The Land of the Brave’, is open and ready to welcome tourists again.