Tourism expo promotes business revival in Namibia amid COVID-19


At her premises, artist Elizabeth Ngombe counted proceeds generated from her exhibit at the Namibia Tourism Expo held in capital Windhoek from Nov. 4 to 7.

Ngombe, whose business venture was halted by COVID-19 outbreak, travelled about 700 kilometres to Windhoek from Opuwo town in Kunene region to exhibit handmade crafts at the expo.

“I was able to generate the little I could that I would have not made it wasn’t for the expo. I had not made substantive sales since the lockdown. I was also able to network with others at the expo,” she said on Sunday.

She is one of the local and continental individuals and enterprises across various sectors that sought to achieve restorative growth at the just ended Namibia Tourism Expo 2020.

The COVID-19 outbreak hit hard many sectors as the pandemic forced the closure of many businesses and borders. Since the full opening up of the country, the businesses maximized on available platforms to boost proceeds.

Bernard Mbaeva, an assistant project manager at a local company Protecton Engineering Namibia, said that the expo served as a platform to promote their products and build a more prominent clientele.

It is the first expo the company participated at since full opening of the country following the suspension of the state of emergency due to COVID-19 early this year.

“Our participation was also motivated by the theme of the expo, oriented around renewable energy, which is our core business,” Mbaeva said.

The cosmetics industry also hailed the expo for aiding to business revival efforts.

Matty Nengola runs Marula oil by Taneta, a local cosmetics company. He said that although the expo started at a slow pace, business picked up the last two days.

“The expo did not only boost sales but also accorded us the opportunity to market products and reach new target populace seeking to immerse in natural and organic beauty products,” he said.

Meanwhile, the expo also attracted enterprises from other countries.

South African enterprise, Weskus Tourism also exhibited services at the expo. Their primary aim was to influence people in Namibia to travel the continent given the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism industry.

Melonese Rama, tourism marketing officer at Weskus Tourism, said that participation at an expo in Namibia was strategic in reaching their target clients.

“Namibia is one of our source markets for tourism, and so we needed to link up with clients through the expo. We established a network with local tourism operators and exchanged contacts to foster future collaborations,” Rama said.

According to Rama, due to COVID-19, the tourism industry has become heavily reliant on the domestic, regional and continental travel for business revival.

“African tourism is a growing phenomenon. Our strategy is to promote Africa tourism, in light of the emerging lockdowns of the European countries,” she added.

In the interim, enterprises hope to utilize the contacts established during the expo to foster collaboration and partnerships.

Ngombe said that she would re-invest proceeds generated at the expo into her business.

“I hope it catapults my business to grow as we hope that more clients come and support us,” she said.

The Namibia Tourism Expo 2020 was held under the theme of “Renewable Energy”. Enditem

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