By Hilary Mare
SHORTAGE and or unavailability of adequate human resources in the tourism sector has been highlighted by the latest FNB/ FENATA Travel Index as the biggest challenge to the sector contributing up to 38 percent as a risk factor.
Apart from this, the index also noted that the tourism sector continues to face deep seated challenges based on lack of readily available capital for investment, and the high costs of operations.
“According to The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report of 2015, Namibia ranked 70th based on the 14 pillars that are used to build the Competitiveness Index. A few changes were made to the index but overall a positive image is painted for Namibia as it advanced to 70/141 countries, up 20 places from 90/141 in 2013. The areas of risk based on our survey that could impact our future ranking are pillars of safety and security, human resources and labour market and international openness. Concerted efforts need to be made within the industry to ensure Namibia does not drop in rankings based on these segments,” the report further stated.
According to the index, the third quarter of the year recorded real growth of 3.4 percent compared to the third quarter in 2015. In nominal terms, however, growth rate edged to 11.5 percent over the same period indicating the strong inflationary impacts that can skew the index. The growth in the index was supported mainly by a weaker domestic currency, which made travel to Namibia cheaper for both European and American tourists after the domestic currency continued to depreciate. Bed occupancy edged higher to 10.4 percent q-o-q while increases in the load factor by 26.7 percent q-o-q as more passengers travelled into Namibia supported the overall positive growth.
In the index survey, 58.9 percent of the respondents recorded an improvement in business as attested by their perception of tourist arrivals which moved up to 3.9 from 1.2 Index points. With tourist arrivals on the increase, and a weaker domestic currency, 61.2 percent of the respondents noted good revenue flows.
“The positive increase in market activity is further corroborated by additional hires with 33.0 percent of respondents stating they had to increase their labour force – implicitly to cater for more business. This was the experience of the owners of lodges and with the tour operator facilitators.
“In terms of capital expenditure, 51.5 percent of respondents stated that they increased Capex during the third quarter to cater for repairs/replacements and new investments. This is often common during the third quarter as the winter season calls for additional business reinvestments based on previous third quarter surveys,” Daniel Kavishe, market research manager at FNB Namibia said.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015