News Column

Tourism Index Fell 1,7 Percent On Quarterly Basis

August 11, 2014

THE tourism index fell by 1,7% in the first quarter of this year, when compared to the last quarter of last year.

This is according to the index issued by FNB Namibia and the Federation of Namibian Tourism Associations (FENETA).

The index stated that the measure of tourism activity in the country fell by 1,7% from the previous quarter on the back of lower seasonal demand but at the same time the first quarter figure was 17% higher than the same period last year, which means that the industry had a better first quarter than usual.

Namene Kalili, Senior Researcher at FNB Namibia, said the sector performance had been boosted by a weaker local currency as it had lost ground against the Euro and the US Dollar and travel to Namibia had been 6% cheaper for tourists from Europe and America.

"The local tourism sector continues to adjust to a turbulent global tourism market. And although international demand is under growing pressure, domestic demand is growing due to accommodation inflation remaining well below household income growth," he said.

Kalili said with economic growth estimated to strengthen over the medium term, the tourism industry is expected to remain a driver for economic growth, while generating increased export earnings for the country. Domestic investment is also on the increase in order to cater for more discerning clients, he said.

He said the business performance the index improved from fair to good over the past two quarters and said this improvement had been underpinned by increased tourist spending at accommodation establishments.

"Although there had been fewer tourists, the few that did travel to Namibia spent more money than usual. Revenue outturn improved from fair to good, with two thirds of the respondents reporting well to very good revenue outturn. This was mainly on account of the local currency translation," Kalili.

Kalili said there had been an increase in local tourists, who accounted for 49% of the customers as opposed to 43% at the same period last year.

According to the European Travel commission, tourist numbers to Africa were expected to increase by 3,7% as opposed to 4,4% for the rest of the world.

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Source: AllAfrica

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