By Gitta Paetzold
THE Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) launched its new Strategic Plan for 2017 to 2022, at its annual gathering of members on 26 April.
The plan focuses on service delivery and will guide the association through its 30th anniversary year, the next five years and beyond.
HAN’s newly elected National Chairman, Shepherd Chinhoi, who is the Operations Manager of OL Leisure, has been an active HAN member for 11 years and has served on the executive since 2015.
With 22 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Chinhoi has spent the past 11 years in Namibia, and is committed to the development of service excellence in the tourism industry.
Chinhoi is a valuable asset, making him an ideal person to lead the association for the next two years and beyond.
As another milestone for the association, the HAN executive for the first time ever includes a high-ranking active member of Namibia’s cabinet, with Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Chief Samuel Ankama, in his capacity as owner of Namibia Lodge 2000 & Safaris, situated just outside Oshakati, joining the HAN leadership.
Ankama said that it is indeed a milestone for HAN to have taken this positive step towards inclusivity, and that he was looking forward to contributing to the hospitality industry.
HAN’s vision is “to be recognised as the flagship representative body of the Namibian hospitality industry and to promote and protect the collective interest of its members”.
The manner in which this should be achieved is through HAN’s mission, which sees the organisation remaining “committed to optimising the full potential of the Namibian hospitality industry and to serve its members’ needs and build partnerships”.
HAN acknowledges that it would need to achieve its mission by working within an acceptable behaviour framework, which is expressed though HAN’s five foundational values of Service, Excellence, Respect, Value and Ethics (SERVE).
S – HAN commits to serving its members and promoting their interests, to ensure the long-term growth and sustainability of the Namibian tourism industry;
E – HAN commits to the upholding of the highest possible standards and quality in service delivery;
R – HAN respects people from all walks of life and values their contribution to the diverse tourism industry;
V – HAN commits to the proactive promotion of the hospitality sector, through value-adding collaboration and partnerships with other sectors and stakeholders; and
E – HAN commits to ethics, upholding principles of governance and integrity.
The Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5) states the following about the tourism sector: “Namibia is a remarkable and competitive destination, because of its comparative and competitive advantage. The tourism industry is an important contributor to the generation of foreign exchange earnings, investments, revenue, employment, rural development, poverty reduction and to the growth of the country’s economy.
“Tourism also creates strong direct and peripheral benefits because of its multiplier effect, based on its reliance on a widespread of supplies and services. Hotels and restaurant, a proxy for the tourism sector, grew by an average of 8 percent during the NDP4 period.
“Moreover, it is estimated that during the NDP4 period foreign exchange earnings from the tourism sector have increased to about N$2.746 billion, N$500 million more than earnings during NDP3 period.
“Going forward, Namibia needs to focus its efforts on priority tourist markets, in order to propel growth in this sector, whilst still retaining and safeguarding its competitive advantages. Namibia currently benefits from its reputation as a boutique destination, and tourism development needs to take place in a controlled manner, to ensure that Namibia, as a destination, retains its uniqueness. It is anticipated that tourism in Namibia will continue to grow, albeit at a slow pace, due to the current economic recession.
“This will bring about a corresponding increase in capacity requirements and demand for new products, facilities and services, thus paving the way for local and foreign investment opportunities.” HAN shall collaborate with all relevant national decision-making bodies to leverage the strengths of the tourism sector and ensure that the hospitality industry is aligned to the national development mandate. In view of the year going forward, HAN, in partnership with Venture Media, will use the next 30 weeks to focus on 30 and more reasons about why we love Namibia and the tourism industry, with some of the best stories to be captured in the special anniversary publication Venture Media is planning for HAN’s anniversary gala at the end of November.
HAN and its members further remain committed to tell the story about the uniqueness of Namibia and promote the growth of sustainable tourism development for in the country for the next few decades, going forward.
*Gitta Paetzold is the CEO of the Hospitality Association of Namibia
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