By Johannes Hangula
THE annual Tourism Networking Platform will kick off on November 17 in Windhoek. The two-day event comprises of the Tourism Congress and Trade Forum and awards gala organised by the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN).
This was confirmed by the HAN Chief Executive Officer Gitta Paetzold during a press conference last week.
Paetzold said the Tourism Networking Platform brings together all the stakeholders in the tourism industry to take stock of the performance in this sector in terms of what was achieved, and what can be improved to meet the international demands.
Paetzold added that tourism industry is currently one of the few economic sectors in Namibia that shows growth and success, attributed to years of hard work and active marketing by stakeholders and the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) abroad.
“This achievement is also due to the strong and valuable partnership the Namibian tourism industry has managed to build, staying true to HAN’s motto, ‘Tourism is everyone’s business’. As such, strong bonds have been developed between HAN as well as key corporate partners, including NBL, as a company adding taste, ambience and great experiences to the tourism adventure in Namibia; professional and efficient services and advice from Standard Bank Namibia, and a strong commitment from Bannerman Resources”.
Paetzold further confirmed that HAN was working with its strategic partners such as; Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL), Standard Bank Namibia, Bannerman Resources, Marsh Namibia and Air Namibia to ensure the success of this event.
Standard Bank Namibia acting head of marketing, Sigrid Tjijorokisa emphasised the importance of the tourism industry to the national economy.
“Especially at times such as currently experienced, when due to drought and other negative influences, sectors such as agriculture, mining and manufacturing are facing dire times. Tourism is an important sector that helps promote a country’s image and opportunities, and thus worthy of continued support.”
NBL Managing Director, Wesssie van der Westhuizen echoed the importance of the tourism industry, “In marketing, promoting the brand is a key element for success, and in promoting Namibia as a brand, everyone’s goal should be to strive for equity, where input and output are well balanced and result in optimal results.
“What we can give to tourists to experience in Namibia is endless. Namibia is a brand, and it is important to make sure that tourists experience the best we can offer. We thus need to invest in marketing the Namibia brand.”
HAN congress chairlady Janet Wilson-Moore stated, that given the success the tourism industry is currently experiencing, HAN had thought it prudent to focus on the modalities, operations and partnerships that make this industry strong.
“The HAN congress this year will thus be held in form of a round-table discussion among all the key tourism stakeholders to ensure that the Namibian product ultimately exported to the global market is attractive, professional and unique. The round table debate and subsequent HAN Tourism Trade Forum are aimed at ensuring that all key stakeholders of Namibia’s tourism industry, from accommodation and activity suppliers, to tour operators and destination marketing companies align themselves and unite their efforts to best respond to the global interest in Namibia as a desirable and growing tourism destination, “she added.
HAN national chairman, Rudie Putter, emphasised the importance and strength of the partnership that exists among the key stakeholders in the sector, adding that it is only through such powerful partnerships that HAN is able to stage annual events of a huge magnitude, and ultimately aim for even bigger growth in tourism.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015