Namibia's hotel occupancy rate falls to 16 pct amid COVID-19

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, January 22, 2021
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WINDHOEK, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Namibia's hotel occupancy rate fell to an average 16.08 percent in 2020, down from 53 percent a year earlier due to a ban on international travel to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, Gitta Paetzold, CEO of the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN), said on Thursday.

"The low 16 percent clearly shows that despite all good intentions, the Namibian tourism industry is in a very precarious state financially and the continued limitations and restrictions on international and regional travel aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus, are virtually strangling the tourism sector," Paetzold said.

Namibia closed its borders at the end of March until September in 2020 in a bid to curb the further spread of the virus, which has since infected 31,515 people and killed 310 others in the country.

Paetzold said accommodation establishments in Namibia saw an occupancy rate of 5-8 percent when the borders were closed.

The Bank of Namibia expects the local economy, which relies heavily on mining and tourism, to contract by a record 7.3 percent in 2020 after being pounded by business and social restrictions to contain COVID-19. Enditem

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