The hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) says it is excited that Namibia will be hosting the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (Ahif), considered the premier tourism and hotel investment conference in Africa.
The conference is scheduled to take place in Windhoek from 25 to 27 June next year.
HAN chief executive Gitta Paetzold says the event will be a big marketing display for Namibia, as it would have a spillover effect on tourism establishments just before the country’s peak tourism season kicks in.
According to a statement from Ahif, the event would attract prominent international hotel owners, investors, financiers, management companies and their advisers to the Mövenpick and Mercure hotels in Windhoek where the two-day event will be held.
Both properties, acquired in 2021 by a fund managed by Kasada Capital Management, are receiving a makeover, and the conference will showcase the relaunch of both properties.
“This is a huge international tourism coup for Namibia, resulting from a double pitch by the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB), and the aviation sector,” Paetzold says, adding that this augurs well for Namibia’s status as a fly-safari country.
For many delegates attending the forum, the conference would involve a ‘safari’ in more ways than one.
According to the Ahif statement, the weekend before the forum would feature various excursions to some of Namibia’s best hospitality investment projects and tourism attractions.
“The trips would not only be educational, but would also provide valuable networking, as participants would include delegates from AviaDev, Africa’s premier airline route development conference, scheduled at the same venue during the preceding week.”
According to the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Namibia’s tourism sector had been growing consistently during the seven-year period prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Visitor numbers grew by around 5% per annum, from just under 1,2 million in 2012, to 1,6 million in 2019, but the pandemic pummelled the sector, with visitor arrivals in 2020 falling below 200 000.
“Since then, they have recovered by 40% in 2021, and jumped by 98,1% to 461 027 in 2022,” the statement says.
Nangula Uaandja, the chairperson and chief executive of the NIPDB, says: “Securing the bid to host Ahif 2024 was not just a win for Namibia, but also an affirmation of our national potential.
“We are delighted to welcome the international hospitality investment community to explore the untapped investment potential of our tourism industry.
“Namibia is a strikingly beautiful country, with picturesque landscapes that are guaranteed to charm at first sight.
“More than that, we are a country that is committed to developing our people by attracting foreign investments that catalyse economic activity and employment creation.”
Uaandja says the government is deliberate about sustaining a conducive investment climate, supported by progressive regulatory and policy frameworks, a strong legal system, seamless repatriation of profits and an independent judiciary that protects the rights of all investors, and that allows disputes, if they arise, to be settled through the courts or international arbitration.
Olivier Granet, the managing partner and chief executive of Kasada Capital Management, says: “We are proud to be partnering with the Bench on Ahif 2024, and are looking forward to welcoming guests to Kasada’s newly refurbished and relaunched Mövenpick and Mercure hotels.”
Source : Namibian