Strategic Approach to Tourism Development in Namibia

Strategic Approach to Tourism Development in Namibia

Neeta Baporikar (Namibia University of Science and Technology, Windhoek, Namibia & University of Pune, Pune, India)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/IJSEM.2016070101
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Abstract

Tourism is a powerful vehicle for economic growth and job creation is now a recognized phenomenon worldwide. International tourist arrivals to SSA have been on increase. This makes SSA the second fastest growing region in the world after the Asia Pacific (UNWTO 2010). The importance of the tourism system for economic development in Namibia has also been clearly acknowledged in the development policies and plans. Despite this, there are few comprehensive studies and research whatever has been sprinkled with narrow focus. This creates difficulty in holistic understanding apart from the need for strategic approach for tourism development in Namibia. In the context of such precincts and lack of comprehensive research, strategic management of tourism and thereby its development to the fullest potential is challenging. This paper through in depth literature review and grounded theory with contextual analysis aims to fill that gap.
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Introduction

The importance of the tourism system for economic development in Namibia has been clearly acknowledged in the development strategies and plans. Despite the recognition of the potential significance of the tourism system for economic development there have been few detailed and comprehensive studies of the structure, dynamics and potential opportunities of tourism development. Moreover, the research that has appeared tends to be extremely narrow in sectored and/or spatial focus. This in turn renders it unhelpful in terms of a better understanding of the need in strategic approach for tourism management in Namibia. With such precincts in context and in particular the lack of detailed research covering the tourism sector as a whole, strategic management of tourism is difficult to undertake.

In 2002, WTTC organized the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa to identify the important factors and constraints that are facing the world travel and tourism industry. Tremendous amounts of resources and investments are made by both the government and the private sector in the travel and tourism industry (Baporikar, 2011). Long term planning and resource development is also essential. It does not make financial sense for anyone to build a multibillion dollar resort only to have to abandon it ten years down the road because it has not been able to maintain the integrity and environment in which the resort operates (Sokhalingam & Baporikar, 2011). Hence, effective strategic management of tourism is crucial and need of the hour. Tourism is a powerful vehicle for economic growth and job creation all over the world. The tourism sector is directly and indirectly responsible for 8.8 percent of the world’s jobs (258 million); 9.1 percent of the world’s GDP ($6 trillion US); 5.8 percent of the world’s exports ($1.1 trillion US); and 4.5 percent of the world’s investment ($652 billion US) (WTTC 2011).

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) estimates that 3.8 million jobs (including 2.4 million indirect jobs) could be created by the tourism industry in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) over the next 10 years. The potential for growth in tourism in the region is significant and compelling. Global hotel chains are poised to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in Africa over the next few years to meet increased demand from both international tourists and the continent’s own fast-growing middle class. Global international tourist arrivals have been growing steadily at 4-5 percent per year since the 1950s. Between 2009 and 2010, despite the global financial crisis, international tourist arrivals to SSA increased by 8 percent, making SSA the second fastest growing region in the world after the Asia Pacific (UNWTO 2010). The dramatic growth has been attributed to legislative reform, the development of a tourism strategic plan, and the elimination of visas for Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.

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