Namibia opens four more borders as Covid-19 cripples tourism
Rustenburg - Namibia on Wednesday opened four more border posts with immediate effect in a bid save its tourism industry from total collapse, local media reported.
Daily newspaper, The Namibian reported that home affair minister Frans Kapofi ordered that the Katima Mulilo, Ariamsvlei and Noordoewer border posts, and Walvis Bay harbour be opened for travellers, subject to applicable health regulations.
Namibia allowed tourists into the country through the Hosea Kutako International Airport in September, six months after the entire nation was locked down in an attempt to curtail the spread of Covid-19.
Radio station Eagle FM Namibia reported that the country had received just over 400 tourists since opening the international airport.
Local newspaper Informante reported that the opening of the four ports of entry followed two days of intense discussion and decisions taken by cabinet to revive normal trade and business practices as well as the tourism industry, which was facing a total collapse.
According to the newspaper, the Namibian tourism sector sought an urgent consultation with the government to prevent the collapse of the industry and the loss of more than 100,000 jobs.
Namibian Sun reported that chaos erupted at the Noordoewer and Ariamsvlei borders where tourists were turned away last week.
In August, daily newspaper New Era reported that over 1.6 million tourists visited Namibia in 2019.
According to the report, foreign tourist arrivals increased by 1.3 percent from 2018 to 2019 and tourist figures increased by 2.5 percent for the same period.
Visitors from Angola, South Africa, Zambia, Germany, France and the United Kingdom dominated the tourist arrivals to Namibia in 2019.
African News Agency (ANA)