Problems that Namibia’s flag carrier, AIR Namibia, is encountering could be a deterrent for the country’s tourism sector, with analysts and operators saying this may affect the performance of tourism during the first quarter of the current year.

Air Namibia has been facing problems with delayed flights have been become more frequent in the past few weeks.

The airline has also been accused of failing to effectively communicate with travellers over the problems that it has been facing, said respondents who participated in a tourism survey.

“In addition, there is still concern over the falling load factors on international flights and the cost implications thereof over the medium to long term,” said Namene Kalili, the head of research and competitor intelligence at FNB Namibia which carried out the survey.

The tourism industry in most African countries remains subdued by world economic troubles global economies are facing although the abetting situation in world markets is slowly driving up interest to visit African countries.

Nearly 55 percent of respondents to the Namibian FNB & Fenata Tourism Index said they were not happy about low demand from source markets.

“The sector expects poor business performance for the first quarter of 2013 when compared to the same period last year,” he said.

This is expected to significantly hit the revenue performance of Namibia’s tourism sector. Kalili said fewer tourist arrivals and little revenue spent by the few visitors would largely take a toll on the country’s economy.

“FNB bank data shows also shows that the first quarter historically attracts budget tourists that spend 19% less than tourists that come in other quarters,” Kalili said.

Online encyclopedia, Wikipedia says about “one million travellers visit Namibia” each year, “with roughly one in three coming from South Africa, then Germany and finally the UK, Italy and France.”

It says the country is among the prime destinations in Africa and is known for ecotourism which features Namibia’s extensive wildlife.

In December 2010, Lonely Planet named Namibia 5th best tourist destination in the world in terms of value.


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