Gitta Paetzold, Hospitality Association Namibia

CEO of the Hospitality Association of Namibia
he Hospitality Association of Namibia is a private sector, voluntary organization representing the interests of the tourism accommodation sector in Namibia. We have just under 400 members ranging from hotels, lodges, guest houses, guest farms, B&Bs, campsite, and other, as well as associate members in the fields of tourism publishing, catering, and supplies.
As an association we help guide our members on the latest trends and developments in tourism, both locally and internationally.
A the same time, we liaise with the regulators, be it our Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, as well as the Namibia Tourism Board, on generic marketing and promotion campaigns.

Tourism is probably the hardest hit sector of all by Covid-19, with all countries having imposed travel bans, and as yet, no clear signs when and if such will be lifted.
All we know is that life will not be the same after the “lock-down”, but the sooner we can adapt to the new norm, the better. And because tourism is so interdependent and reliant on development in source markets, we are keen to keep close contact with, learn from what other countries are doing, so as to adapt our ways and prepare our market for the new norms to be put in place worldwide.
Our motto since mid-March has been: “When you’re ready, we’ll be waiting!” And while waiting, we are keen to put systems in place that will provide confidence and reduce fear among travelers and showcase Namibia as a safe destination, with wide-open spaces, sunshine in abundance and social distancing as a norm.