Hospitality industry appoints new committee

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Text released by the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) on April 23, 2013

Growing Concerns and Challenges faced by the Namibian Tourism industry were some of the key issues addressed during the Annual General Meeting of the Hospitality Association of Namibia over the weekend,  resulting in full support of the members present to the plans by HAN to host a Tourism Summit during this year’s Namibia Tourism Expo.

Thursday, 30 May 2013 has been earmarked for  a national Tourism Summit,  during which all stakeholders in tourism,  both from the Private Sector, as well as all key & relevant  authorities, including the Namibia Tourism Board, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, but also the Ministries of Home Affairs, Lands, Finance, Works, and Labour, are invited to join in a national debate to identify key challenges and come up with solutions that will enable growth and development in the tourism sector.

Some of the key challenges facing the industry, as identified by HAN members prior to the AGM and re-confirmed during discussions include:

  • Tendency towards over-regulation of the tourism sector, – with conflicting legislation complicating business flow
  • A growing trend towards active divestment, – with potential investors shying away from Namibia due to a difficult and unclear legislative environment.
  • Home Affairs visa & work permit allocation decisions harming the tourism industry, with no clear explanation/motivation of reasons for many of the decisions taken.
  • Air Namibia – the national carrier and catalyst for tourism, – which, due to recent decisions and changes to business plans has caused loss of credibility and confidence in Namibia as a travel destination of choice.

HAN believes that these issues urgently need to be tabled and debated upon directly with the authorities involved, to ensure that Namibia regains its position as desired travel destination in Southern Africa.

HAN,  together with FENATA Tourism(Federation of Namibian Tourism Associations)  and TASA (Tour & Safari Association of Namibia) have thus decided to organise a convenient platform for direct engagement with all stakeholders and relevant parties involved to pave the way for a business environment that is conducive to growth and prosperity of the Namibian tourism sector.

During the HAN AGM,  Mr Rudie Putter, GM of the Kalahari Sands Hotel & Casino and having served on the Han Executive for the past 2 years, was duly elected as the new National Chairman of HAN,  while Janet Wilson Moore of the Swakopmund Hotel & Entertainment Centre was elected Vice Chairlady.

Four new Executive members joined the HAN Executive for the Period 2013/15, bringing with them a diverse knowledge base and experience, each of whom have direct involvement in some of those fields  that currently pose challenges to the tourism industry.

Here the full list, with portfolios:

Rudie Putter                                    Kalahari Sands Hotel & Casino                        National Chairman

Janet Wilson-Moore            Swakopmund Hotel & Entertainment C            Vice Chairperson

Werner Beddies                        Leading Lodges of Africa                                    Congress & Events

Robert Nienaber                        Arebbusch Travel Lodge                                    Finance & Marketing

Heidi Snyman                        Schweizerhaus Hotel                                    Coast & membership

Mark Mücke                                    Namibia Reservations cc                                    IT & Marketing

Mika Shapwanale                        Guest Farm Ghaub                                                Regions & membership

Louis Nortje                                    Wilderness Safaris                                                Concession & regulation

Rogero Micheletti                        Nkasa Lupala Lodge                                    JV/Community Tourism

Christie Benade                        Lake Oanob Lodge                                                outgoing Chair /co-opted

Andre van Rensburg            Beach Lodge, Swakopmund                        Coastal Chair / co-opted

On the photo:  

Back Row: Louis Nortjie,  Mark Muecke, Mika Shapwanale, Robert Nienaber,  Rudie Putter,     Christie Benade, & Werner Beddies.)

Front row:  Rogero Micheletti, Gitta Paetzold, (CEO) Heidi Snyman, Janet Wilson Moore

For further information,  contact:
Gitta Paetzold, CEO
Hospitality Association of Namibia
tel.: 061-222904, fax2mail: 08861-7807
Shop 18, Old Breweries Craft Market, Windhoek

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