WINDHOEK, April 14 (Xinhua) -- The Namibian tourism industry which employs 120,000 people has almost come to a grinding halt because of the severe effects of COVID-19, a senior government official said Tuesday.
Namibian Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta said the sector which contributes about 26 billion Namibian dollars (1.4 billion U.S. dollars) to GDP is struggling to survive under lockdown.
Shifeta said while Namibia is taking drastic decisions to contain movement and spread of COVID-19, the decisions are worth it in protecting the health of Namibians.
"As a country we derive our tourism earnings from the between 500,000 to 600,000 visitors that will visit our country annually. However international tourism is not going to improve this year," he said.
Shifeta said there is a need to find ways of assisting workers who have lost jobs and those who have been sent home without pay.
He added that major hotels and lodges have already started sending their employees home without payments.