The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) has decided to tar some gravel roads in the Etosha National Park at a cost of over N.dollars 160 million, its Executive Director, Teofilus Nghitila has said.
Speaking at the launch of the annual tourism statistical report for 2022 here on Tuesday, Nghitila said the government took a decision to find a permanent solution to gravel roads at hotspot tourist attractions in the Etosha National Park covering 229 kilometres.
The state of the gravel roads in Etosha has consistently been slammed by key tourism players as rapidly deteriorating.
Nghitila explained that the road construction project includes a low-volume seal road with financial assistance of N.dollars 160 249 317 funded by the Road Fund Administration, noting the partnership aims to make the park safe and ensure quality rides for local and international markets.
“It does not matter how much you grade… The grading only lasts for three months and during peak seasons just a month and you need to bring another grader… So we are working on a permanent solution by tarring the road,” he noted.
Further, MEFT in support of the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) has embarked on strategic spatial tourism planning aimed at identifying urgent infrastructure to accommodate tourists at Namibia’s tourism hotspot attractions.
The report indicated that Namibia received an increase of 461 027 tourist arrivals in 2022, compared to 232 756 tourists received in 2021. The increase of 98.1 per cent indicates a 28.9 per cent recovery level towards the 2019 arrival statistics.