WINDHOEK, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR), a state-owned enterprise mandated to run the tourism facilities within the country, on Tuesday announced the commencement of major renovations to eight of its resorts.
"The biggest challenge for NWR has been its ageing infrastructure. Most of our customer complaints were more on our ageing infrastructure," said Nelson Ashipala, an NWR spokesperson, adding that a 16-million-Namibia-dollar (about 1.1 million U.S. dollars) budget has been set aside for the renovations.
According to Ashipala, NWR needed to craft plans that would allow them to revitalize its assets after the halt on all expenditure as a result of the impact of COVID-19.
"Major work will mostly be carried out at Onkoshi and Sossuss Dune Lodge, where decks and roofing types will completely be changed," he said, adding that some of the resorts still to be refurbished are Onkoshi, Ai-Ais, Waterberg and Hardap Dam Resort.
Ashipala told Xinhua that renovations started this week and are expected to be complete by the end of October this year. Most of the work being done entails roofing, flooring and tiling, he said.
"The resorts will still be 100 percent open to the tourists," he explained, while he asked visitors for patience as most of the resorts will be busy with the renovations.
Ashipala said some of the resorts such as Okaukuejo in the Etosha National Park have already been completed with the renovations.
The renovation announcement from NWR coincides with the recent announcement by the Qatari government to work closely with the NWR to scale up cooperation in the hospitality sector.
Namibia's tourism sector has traditionally been a key employer and contributor to the economy.
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council 2021 country report, Namibia's total travel and tourism sector in 2020 contributed 16.8 billion Namibia dollars or 9.8 percent to the country's economy. ■