City boosts BEE in tourism

City boosts BEE in tourism

WITH less than three years to go before the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa and the African Cup of Nations in Angola, Tourism Minister Willem Konjore yesterday stressed the economic importance of Namibia’s position between its two neighbours during that time.

Konjore was speaking at the launch of the City of Windhoek’s new Black Economic Empowerment programme, which focuses on developing the emerging tourism industry in Katutura and Khomasdal. The Minister urged public and private ventures to contribute towards the growth of this industry, which he said had already become the second fastest growing sector in the world.”This is a challenge and a great opportunity to increase tourist spending in Namibia, market our destinations better, increase the length of tourists’ stay, increase the volume of tourists from both local and foreign markets, improve service delivery and customer care for long-term sustainability and transform the industry and make it inclusive of all our people,” he said.Konjore said despite the growth of the sector, tourism in Namibia as still not being marketed to its full potential, thus he applauded the Windhoek municipality for its efforts.The City’s BEE programme focuses on the training of previously disadvantaged Namibians who are engaged in informal tourism businesses.Certificates were awarded to 26 of these business owners yesterday – 10 who gained recognition as City of Windhoek accredited tour guides, 10 involved in traditional cuisine and catering, and six who are operating bed-and-breakfast establishments in Windhoek and Mariental.”Our collective desire must be to fast-track training of our people, so that they may run their tourism-related ventures more effectively and efficiently.Therefore, your contribution in the form of training and intake of young graduates for work experience and employment is most needed,” Konjore said to representatives of the municipality in attendance.The training was offered in partnership with the Namibia Academy of Tourism and Hospitality, the Namibia Tourism Board, the Bed-and- Breakfast Association of Namibia and the Chefs’ Association of Namibia.The Minister urged public and private ventures to contribute towards the growth of this industry, which he said had already become the second fastest growing sector in the world.”This is a challenge and a great opportunity to increase tourist spending in Namibia, market our destinations better, increase the length of tourists’ stay, increase the volume of tourists from both local and foreign markets, improve service delivery and customer care for long-term sustainability and transform the industry and make it inclusive of all our people,” he said.Konjore said despite the growth of the sector, tourism in Namibia as still not being marketed to its full potential, thus he applauded the Windhoek municipality for its efforts.The City’s BEE programme focuses on the training of previously disadvantaged Namibians who are engaged in informal tourism businesses.Certificates were awarded to 26 of these business owners yesterday – 10 who gained recognition as City of Windhoek accredited tour guides, 10 involved in traditional cuisine and catering, and six who are operating bed-and-breakfast establishments in Windhoek and Mariental.”Our collective desire must be to fast-track training of our people, so that they may run their tourism-related ventures more effectively and efficiently.Therefore, your contribution in the form of training and intake of young graduates for work experience and employment is most needed,” Konjore said to representatives of the municipality in attendance.The training was offered in partnership with the Namibia Academy of Tourism and Hospitality, the Namibia Tourism Board, the Bed-and- Breakfast Association of Namibia and the Chefs’ Association of Namibia.

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