Eyes Of The World On Namibia For Upcoming Business Conventions

Eyes Of The World On Namibia For Upcoming Business Conventions

In the next couple of months Namibia will host two international conventions that speak to the need for world-class conference facilities and infrastructure networks, says Arthur Gillis, CEO of the Protea Hospitality Group.

While the largest percentage of visitors to Namibia – about 40 percent – are leisure travelers, the Southern African country is working to grow its business travel market, according to an opinion piece in AllAfrica.

Protea and African Pride hotels are the largest hotel groups in Africa with 130 hotels in 10 countries including 10 in Namibia.

The U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification Conference of Parties is scheduled in September and the Adventure World Tourism Summit in October. Both are considered large global events attracting hundreds of delegates that will test Namibia as a whole including airlines, hotels, tour operators and conference centers, Gillis said.

Long haul delegates and business travelers to Namibia typically book leisure tours before or after their conferences, according to AllAfrica.

In a country where economic growth is tied to one major industry – mining – Namibia’s hospitality industries must find other ways to attract business revenue. The international MICE market – business meetings, incentives, congresses and events – is a good way to do that, Gillis said.

This market segment is worth billions of U.S. dollars annually and a larger slice of that revenue could flow into Namibia if it begins to more aggressively market itself as an ideal conference destination that is boosted by add-on travel to unique places such as Sossusvlei, where the world’s largest dunes are located, and Koakoland where rare desert elephants and black rhino can be seen.