Namibia launches initiative to reward individuals and entities in move to boost tourism
Published: Sep 21, 2023 10:08 AM
A lion is pictured at the Hoanib River drainage in northern Namibia, Feb. 8, 2023. (Xinhua/Chen Cheng)

A lion is pictured at the Hoanib River drainage in northern Namibia, Feb. 8, 2023. (Xinhua/Chen Cheng)

Namibia on Tuesday launched an initiative aimed at rewarding, recognizing and supporting individuals and entities that play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety, hospitality, kindness, care and preservation of the country's tourism.

The campaign, dubbed "Tourism Heroes," was launched by the Gondwana Collection, a hub for travel and safaris in Namibia, in response to a concerning surge in criminal activities targeting international tourists.

Speaking at the launch, Namibian Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta said this reward system will assist and support the government efforts in ensuring that culprits and criminals that target tourists and tourist establishments are quickly identified, apprehended, and brought to book to face the full wrath of the law.

Gondwana Collection Namibia showed its commitment to this cause by contributing 1 million Namibian dollars (about 67,000 US dollars) through the Gondwana Care Trust.

"This great initiative is forward-looking, and we hope that it will be used to bring crime incidents against tourists to zero in Namibia," Shifeta said, welcoming the establishment of the Tourism Protection Unit by the Namibian Police.

Meanwhile, Peter Katjavivi, speaker of the National Assembly who also attended the launch, highlighted the importance of the hospitality industry as well as tourists visiting the country, noting that there is a need to make the southern African country welcoming to all tourists and make it the preferred destination for tourists to experience true hospitality in Africa.

Last week, Namibia experienced a spate of violent attacks on international tourists, which Shifeta condemned as a serious concern for the industry which contributes significantly to the country's gross domestic product.