By Confidente Reporter
MINISTER of Environment and Tourism Minister, Pohamba Shifeta, has launched two new tourism bodies, the National Tourism Competitiveness Advisory Council (NTCAC) and the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Tourism Development (ICTD).
Addressing delegates at the launch this week, Shifeta noted that the new tourism bodies have been established to boost the efforts of government, and to be the main game-changers in the tourism sector.
“As government, we are cognisance of the transformative power of tourism, and have therefore put much effort in finalising and launching the National Tourism Investment Profile and Promotion Strategy (NTIPPS) and the National Sustainable Tourism Growth and Development Strategy (NSTGDS). These documents were approved by Cabinet and Parliament in July 2016 and launched in October 2016.
“These strategies were developed in order to address constraints, and to strategically reposition the Namibian tourism sector into the key development catalyst and contributor to the national economy,” Shifeta said.
“As part of the implementation of the NSTGDS, it is recommended that new tourism bodies be established, to boost the efforts of government, and to be the main driver of game-change in the tourism sector.”
Commenting on the establishment of the NTCAC, the minister elaborated that this body is an important support mechanism to the implementation of the NSTGDS.
“The council structure reflects a broad range of representation, at the highest level, across both the public and private sectors, and was precisely selected so as to provide a wide and balanced knowledge and understanding of the industry.
“It brings together all relevant stakeholders that have an influence and/or impact on tourism development. “The main objective of the council is to serve as the think-tank and advise government on tourism business, investment matters and industry challenges, affecting the growth and development the tourism sector,” Shifeta said.
“Moreover, the role of the council will be to transform Namibia into a competitive destination that attracts both tourists and tourism investment. This council will not
be just about talking, but about actual results.” In terms of the ICTD, the minister highlighted that this body is equally vital and critical, as it will serve as the intermediate between public sector organisations, ministries and agencies.
Its role will be to facilitate and harmonise different government policies, which impact tourism, and in particular address factors that hinder tourism growth and development.
“The whole government approach is key to unlocking our full tourism potential. It’s time for all of us as government to understand each other’s needs and aspirations thoroughly, and articulate our respective mandates in a manner that complement one another, and not compete against each other,” Shifeta said.
“Through a holistic government approach, we can unleash our full tourism potential to benefit our sector, our people and our country.
“The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Tourism Development has been established with Cabinet approval, to serve as a platform for public sector organizations, ministries and agencies to discuss the elements that impact the tourism sector and to bring relief to those areas that require attention.
“The Cabinet has approved the committee to look at the concerns and come up with recommendations on how best to proceed, in the interest of all,” explained Shifeta. The minister also appointed members to serve on these committees for a term of two years.
A total of 32 individuals were appointed to both boards.
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