FNB - Press Release 20 March 2013

Press Release

20 March 2013

Windhoek:

Tourism recognized as vital in our country says FNB Namibia


FNB Namibia has reiterated its commitment to tourism in Namibia and has recently supported this industry through a number of initiatives and sponsorships such as the support for the Adventure World Travel Summit (ATWS), tourism brochure and the like. Sophia Snyman, Head of Tourism at the bank said that the creation of the FNB tourism desk in 2009 has not only given the bank the leading edge but has also contributed significantly to the growth of the industry. “We know that tourism in Namibia gives Namibians across the country access to training, sustainable jobs, build infrastructure in communal conservancies and innovatively contributes to the positive image of Namibia abroad.”

Snyman advises that FNB Namibia has, over the years seen some changes within the tourism industry since the establishment of the tourism desk. She adds: “The desk was officially established in May 2009 just after the economic crisis and although we had our doubts about the future of tourism, we are happy to say that the industry proved us wrong. Although there were some players exiting the industry and a change of hands of some establishments, we have not experienced major bad debt in our books. However we noted concern from most of our customers about the inflow of tourist numbers. We also observed that some customers went back to the drawing boards and revisited their business strategies to align the businesses with current market trends. We are, however, very excited about the upcoming ATWS and the benefits that will derive from this event.”

FNB Namibia also added that according to their records, the performance of the sector has stayed mainly flat during the past year and expected single digit growth. Snyman: “The main contributors are the economic slowdown and the uncertainty caused by that in the key source markets. But on the bright side the weakened ZAR resulted in the fact that Namibia as a tourist destination became more affordable and a value-for-money destination.”

With regards to tourism Namibia can proudly look back at a number of positive initiatives including the conservation efforts from government and other key partners such as WWF to promote conservation and especially the establishment and support of CBNRM (Community-based natural resource management Programme). These are attracting worldwide interest and also had a direct impact on the decision made by the ATTA to choose Namibia as the host destination of the Adventure Travel World Summit, ATWS.

Challenges facing the industry include the future and service delivery of Air Namibia, and subsequently the effect thereof on the direct flights to Germany. These remain a major concern for the tourist industry. Snyman: “The latest results obtained from the 2012/2013 Exit survey reported that tourists from Germany and Italy are more likely to travel on Air Namibia, largely due to the direct service to Frankfurt.” Other challenges include the economic uncertainty in key source markets which remains a risk as well as the relative marginal budget allocated to the Namibia Tourism Board which is threating the scope of establishing Namibia as a preferred tourist destination in the global tourism sphere.

ENDS


For more information please contact Vicky Muranda, Manager: Corporate Communications at FNB Holdings on telephone: (+264 61) 299 2944.

About FNB:
FNB Namibia is the largest locally listed company on the Namibian Stock Exchange, representing a total market capitalisation of more than N$ 4.5 billion. The company is 41% locally owned. FNB Namibia provides fully integrated financial services solutions through a wide reaching network. The FNB Group is one of the largest employers in Namibia with a workforce of more than 1,800 people. PF