Windhoek - The recent currency roller-coaster, expensive travel visas and fears of terrorism across Europe and the East have left African business and holiday travellers searching locally for their travel, meetings and conference options.

Exotic destinations are becoming a stretch on the purse-strings and a major trend of looking local is apparent. One such destination attracting travellers is Namibia, the close relative of South Africa. The country is fast becoming an appealing option for the leisure and conference markets.

But it’s not only South Africans who are realising the value of Namibia. Arrivals from Angola and Zambia account for about 700 000, whilst visitor figures from Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom have reached as many as three hundred thousand per annum.

Dean van Rooyen, general manager at BON Hotel Swakopmund, boasts that Namibia, especially the coastal town of Swakopmund, has much to offer. “Less than an hour’s drive from the Walvis Bay airport, the sand dunes and ocean offer a playground of attractions for corporate and leisure seekers and the historical value draws many tourists from Germany and Europe.

“With such a variety on offer, Swakop is becoming increasingly popular for conference groups, team-building and our leisure market is growing too. Of course, we also enjoy the big -time Hollywood movie shoots. The exchange rate and unusual locations are huge drawcards for production companies.”

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If one has to look at exotic travel options for South Africans on our current exchange rate, we have limited choice for value – perhaps Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia or even Mauritius, but Namibia….now there’s a thought.

Adapted from a press release for IOL