Tourism Hopeful Namibia Reopens Borders to International Flights

Borders are Open in Namibia Ready for takeoff! Aeroplane runways in Namibia, as the Southern African nation reopened its borders on September 1. The country hopes to restore thousands of jobs in the country’s Covid-19 pandemic hard-hit tourism sector — its third-largest source of foreign exchange after the mining and fishing industries. As last year alone, Namibia received 1.6 million foreign visitors to its coastal deserts and renowned animal parks. Carla Feely, Owner of Windhoek Game Camp, had a few words, "The international tourism market is going to take more than a year to recover from that. For the locals, we’ve dropped our prices, and I must say, we’ve had a very good response from our locals, especially the Windhoek people since we are still in lockdown now." Tourism Still Dry The 40 odd passengers on the first international commercial flight that arrived in the country — mainly from Germany, Austria and Kenya, were required to show negative coronavirus test results taken no more than three days to their scheduled flight date in order to board the plane. In spite of the high hopes Namibia has to revive its tourism industry, few of the passengers are tourists. Many are simply finally able to fly back home. The scarcity of foreign visitors in shops has some store owners a bit concerned, "Our average number of visitors are between 2,000 and 4,000 a month, that’s usually. We’ve maybe seen 150 per month. The Craft Centre supports directly about 80 people in the centre with direct employment. But indirectly it supports crafters and traders of up to 600 people from all over the country, so when we don’t sell, we don’t buy and when we don’t buy, people suffer." The Pandemic Still in View A public loudspeaker can be heard around many tourist-visited cities reminding people to respect virus-prevention sanitary guidelines such as handwashing and social distancing. As many store owners, still hopeful, organise merchandise and ready their locales to receive the highly-anticipated tourists, "We've been at home all this time. When I got the call, I jumped for joy," says Salome Ndinoshisho, 37, who waits for the tourists on foot. Paradoxically, Namibia’s reopening of its national borders comes at a time when coronavirus infections have been steadily rising since early August with reports of confirmed cases reaching over 9,200 — 96 of which were fatal.

Tourism Hopeful Namibia Reopens Borders to International Flights

Borders are Open in Namibia

Ready for takeoff! Aeroplane runways in Namibia, as the Southern African nation reopened its borders on September 1.

The country hopes to restore thousands of jobs in the country’s Covid-19 pandemic hard-hit tourism sector — its third-largest source of foreign exchange after the mining and fishing industries. As last year alone, Namibia received 1.6 million foreign visitors to its coastal deserts and renowned animal parks.

Carla Feely, Owner of Windhoek Game Camp, had a few words, "The international tourism market is going to take more than a year to recover from that. For the locals, we’ve dropped our prices, and I must say, we’ve had a very good response from our locals, especially the Windhoek people since we are still in lockdown now."

Tourism Still Dry

The 40 odd passengers on the first international commercial flight that arrived in the country — mainly from Germany, Austria and Kenya, were required to show negative coronavirus test results taken no more than three days to their scheduled flight date in order to board the plane.

In spite of the high hopes Namibia has to revive its tourism industry, few of the passengers are tourists. Many are simply finally able to fly back home.

The scarcity of foreign visitors in shops has some store owners a bit concerned, "Our average number of visitors are between 2,000 and 4,000 a month, that’s usually. We’ve maybe seen 150 per month. The Craft Centre supports directly about 80 people in the centre with direct employment. But indirectly it supports crafters and traders of up to 600 people from all over the country, so when we don’t sell, we don’t buy and when we don’t buy, people suffer."

The Pandemic Still in View

A public loudspeaker can be heard around many tourist-visited cities reminding people to respect virus-prevention sanitary guidelines such as handwashing and social distancing.

As many store owners, still hopeful, organise merchandise and ready their locales to receive the highly-anticipated tourists, "We've been at home all this time. When I got the call, I jumped for joy," says Salome Ndinoshisho, 37, who waits for the tourists on foot.

Paradoxically, Namibia’s reopening of its national borders comes at a time when coronavirus infections have been steadily rising since early August with reports of confirmed cases reaching over 9,200 — 96 of which were fatal.