Windhoek - Namibian is increasing entrance fees to its national parks, conservancies and protected areas so as to raise funds for maintenance and infrastructure maintenance in the facilities on the back of dwindling earnings due to COVID-19.
The Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Forestry said the move would supplement staff salaries at the facilities.
Nine months of new coronavirus-induced lockdown have eroded tourism earnings not just in Namibia, but across the whole world.
Statistics show Namibia’s tourism industry has lost incurred heavy losses amounting to close to N$20 billion (approximately US$1,3 billion), resulting in massive job losses.
Environment, Tourism and Forestry Minister Pohamba Shifeta said the country would charge between N$50 and N$100 (US$3 and US$6) for SADC and overseas tourists to enter the facilities; and N$30 to N$60 (US$2 to US$4) for Namibians.
“We have received approval to introduce an increase in parks and conservancy entry fees from parliament to raise funds to sustain infrastructure in the national parks as well as earn enough to pay those that work within these protected areas,” Minister Shifeta said.
Fees will vary across parks and conservancies.
Among Namibia’s world-renowned facilities are Etosha National Park, Cape Cross Seal Reserve, Skeleton Coast Park, Waterberg Plateau, Bwabwata National Park, Popa Falls Park, Dan Viljoen Park, Von Bach Game Park and Khaudam National Park.