Manager of Research and Competitor Intelligence at First National Bank Namibia (FNB), Namene Kalili in a media statement issued on Monday said the industry is now also moving into the slow season.
“The first quarter of 2013 would be worse than 2012, based on airline load factors and the fact that tourists in the first quarter were low spenders. The industry’s investment appetite continued to deteriorate while employing fewer people. Furthermore, inflation within the tourism sector remains relatively high in relation to inflation in the main source market, Europe, which will make Namibia a less competitive holiday destination when compared to other holiday destinations,” he stressed.
Activity operators were the only operators optimistic about the first quarter and understandably so, given the hype surrounding the Adventure Travel World Summit slated for October this year, Kalili stated.
The tourism index showed that the industry continued to improve on a year-on-year basis, with the index climbing a further 4.5 per cent and making the final quarter of 2012 better than the final quarter of 2011.
FNB Namibia released the first tourism index of 2013 in conjunction with the Federation of Namibian Tourism Association (Fenata).
The industry enjoyed slightly more favourable exchange rates throughout the final quarter, but the big driver was the December occupancy rates.
Year-on-year, the December occupancy rates increased by 5 per cent mainly as a result of joint efforts by the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) and local establishments.
The tourism index also advised that local establishments promote their holiday packages to Namibia quite vigorously but despite this, recovery remained fragile.
Kalili emphasised that revenue deteriorated during the final quarter and expectations shifted to poor.
However, assets within the tourism sector increased and this meant that the industry as a whole was financially better off. Poor tourist numbers were reported by operators, especially amongst guest farms, tour operators and trophy hunting outfits.