Kunene Tourism Data and Proposed Developments
IRDNC completed a pilot study to evaluate latent tourism opportunities (attractions/activities) in Kunene Region, which conservancies can possibly pursue as an additional/alternative income activity to wildlife. This is especially important for the conservancies located in the Kunene Highlands who are currently deriving very little benefit from the wildlife they are conserving. A desktop study included past trends in the tourism industry as well as the current tourism supply and demand trends (both National and Kunene Region specifically), and the study identified the gap in the market and the proposed sites for development.
We managed to get data from National Tourism Board (NTB) on existing tourism establishments which we had displayed on a map
. One can see the physical distribution of existing tourism facilities, routes and a few attractions in the Region. One can also locate the proposed sites the map. For orientation, the Legend and Layer List are found on the top-right corner of the map.
A short-term strategy on how these proposed developments will be rolled out was compiled by our Kunene Advisor, Roger Collinson, and we hope to secure funding to make this possible.
Last but not least, we needed to conduct a market survey based on the assumptions we made about the type of facilities to be developed. We assumed that the tourism industry in Kunene is saturated with expensive all-inclusive luxury lodges with guided activities for the upper income market, on one end, and the other end with affordable minimum facility campsites for the low-spend self-contained self-drive tourists; leaving little product offering in between.
We therefore thought there is a clear gap, not just the spatial gap seen on the map above, but specifically the type and level of basic infrastructure for serving self-drive tourists that want to visit the region, but do not have a tent or safari trailer and therefore need basic stop-over sites, basic over-night accommodation and are prepared to cater for themselves. The idea was therefore to interview key car hire and safari tour companies in Kunene, to verify these assumptions and get the feel of trends in self-drive tourists and mobile operators in the mid-level tourism market. This survey is still to be concluded.