NTB registered logoNamibia Tourism Board (NTB) Public Relations Officer Maggy Mbako said operating unregistered overnight accommodation establishments is a crime which is punishable by law.

During the NTB media lunch held recently at the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair, Mbako warned that people running unregistered accommodation facilities risk being prosecuted and sentenced for up to two years in prison or fined an amount not less than N$20 000.

NTB is encouraging all people running bed and breakfasts, hotels, lodges and self-catering facilities to register with NTB as it is the body established through an Act of Parliament to regulate such facilities in the country.

“We are encouraging anybody that sells a bed to register. It is not difficult. If you don’t meet requirements, we will help you,” said Mbako.

Mbako also urged NTB registered members to commit to accurate filing of levy forms as NTB needs to keep records and statistics of people using local accommodation facilities. Statistics should include the number of local or international visitors to a specific facility.

Fast facts about Namibia:  
Area 824 292 sq. km
Population Approx. 2.2 million
Location Situated on the southwestern coast of Africa, borders Angola, Zambia, South Africa, Botswana

 

“Now you would find one facility recording zero number of visitors for the whole quarter of the year, which is not possible. The two percent levy [paid to NTB] is not charged from your business but it is charged from your guest. Let us just be honest and fill in accurate numbers, we are not going anywhere if members are not providing us with clear and honest statistics,” said Mbako.

Apart from the dialogue with the media, this year NTB brought on board the Oshana and Oshikoto regional councils and three SMEs to exhibit together with them during the trade fair. The discussions were on how to attract more tourism to the regions and increase the usage of accommodation facilities in places such as the north, where some outlets are only booked during events such as Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair, but remain empty for the rest of the year.

“There is no point in having this mushrooming of accommodation facilities if they are only active during a specific time and remain a white elephant during the rest of the year. We need to be creative and come up with initiatives that will attract tourists to our facilities throughout the year,” she said.

 

From: allafrica.com

Date: 2 September 2013