A tourist exit survey for Namibia was launched today at the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET).
The survey, the first in a decade, was commissioned to form part of an overall look at tourist behaviour, likes and dislikes, in Namibia. Sem Shikongo, Director of tourism and Gaming at MET, noted that the survey would play a critical role in planing and informed decision making processes within the country’s private and public sector in tourism.
He said that the survey would be able to shed light on the perspective tourists have as they exit the country. “Is our game mediocre, good, or do we have to up our game?”.
Kandi Shejavali, Director of Monitoring and Evaluation at the Millennium Challenge Account of Namibia, which sponsored the survey, said at the event that the survey data offers a “significant milestone for fresh information”, that can be mined by Namibia’s tourist sector for the purpose of a good base of knowledge from where to direct activities.
“It is our great hope that the data elicited form this survey, which are up to date, reliable and comprehensive data on tourist behaviour, expenditures and visitor satisfaction and other perceptions – … will be used in decision making not only by government but also by the private sector for the sustainable and competitive growth of the Namibian tourism sector”
She added that if done right, the “evidence based decision making an planning can help improve the livelihoods of Namibians across the country by engaging them in the tourism industry and allowing them to benefit from its opportunities”.
As the keynote speaker, Minister Uahekua Herunga reminded attendants that the tourism sector in Namibia is a key economic driver, and that for every 12 tourists visiting, one Namibian job is created.
“This means that we need more tourists to create more jobs. Tourism is everyone’s business and it is therefore essential for all Namibians to have a welcoming attitude and to foster a culture of effective and efficient customer service to all our visitors”.
According to the MCA staff involved in the survey, the overall impressions, as indicated by the survey results, are positive. This does not mean that issues such as immigration, service delivery and safety do not affect some visitors negatively during their stay in Namibia.
However, with most people noting that customer service is rated as satisfactory, means that tourists on their first visit, are more than likely to visit again.