Marking 30 years of partnership with the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN), Standard Bank this week pledged its continued support to the organisation that has over the years made monumental strides towards improving the tourism industry.
Previously known as the Hotel Association of Namibia, the organisation works towards influencing policy making in Namibia, thereby optimise growth for the sector.
“Standard Bank recognises the vital role of tourism on the Namibian economy. This major industry, contributes in excess of 15% of the gross domestic product. Annually, over one million travellers visit Namibia, with large numbers from South Africa, Germany and finally the United Kingdom, Italy and France,” Standard Bank’s Head of Strategic Sector Manus Grobler said at the handover.
He added that tourism is booming in Namibia most especially towards the end of the year and growth in the tourism industry is expected to improve in 2018 and remain stable over the medium term.
“Standard Bank is pleased to be on board in making the annual congress of the HAN a reality with our increased sponsorship of N$80 000 this year. Namibia’s tourism and travel sector has great potential for growth. It is important to ensure that through associations such as HAN we demonstrate our commitment to enhancing this industry,” he stressed.
The HAN Tourism Awards Gala/congress provides a platform were people, paces and products, which are excelling in the sector, can be celebrated and honoured.
HAN’s CEO, Gitta Paetzold, commended the bank and other sponsors such as Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) and Bannerman Resource, for their support, reiterating that tourism is everyone’s business as it benefits everyone.
“We need to look and move forward in the industry. Namibia has had various challenges, such as tourism overload however we can work through them. We want to run a tourism industry worth the work we put in, and we need to rally everyone to work together. Tourism in Namibia will be even bigger next year,” an optimistic Paetzold said.
HAN prides itself with upholding the principles of governance and integrity in all its dealings as it relates to the tourism industry and has dedicated itself to the pro-active promotion and protection of the hospitality sector through value adding collaborations to reach its full potential.
“Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) has had a relationship with HAN for 30 years, we are more than just a sponsor or partner, we are a family. We are committed to the cause and it speaks to our purpose of creating future and enhancing lives. We all need to embrace this and encourage others to get on board,” NBL’s Managing Director Wessie van der Westhuizen said during handover.
Commending HAN for its work, he pointed out that over years the organisation has nurtured diverse partnerships and shows that everyone has role to play and contributions to make towards tourism.
“This is a cause bigger than us… Namibia is a fantastic brand with great offering for locals and tourists… NBL supports initiatives that promote Namibia. We are proud to be sponsor and reaffirm our passion and dedication to the cause with an investment of N$130 000. I challenge everyone to join hands to build the Namibian brand. We want everyone to have privilege of enjoying Namibia and what people have to offer,” Westhuizen concluded.