Namibia won the highly desired Top Country spot at the recent Wanderlust Readers’ Travel Awards, announced at ‘Destinations: The Holiday and Travel Show at Olympia in West Kensington, London, England on 31 January.
Wanderlust is considered as the must-read magazine for the independently-minded and curious traveller in the United Kingdom.
Namibia took the lead ahead of Japan and New Zealand, who secured the second and third position respectively. The only two African countries that featured in the Top Country category were Namibia and South Africa, with the latter securing the 7 spot.
“Having tracked rhinos there, I can personally testify that Namibia is a success story, with wildlife still flourishing both inside and outside the national parks, really adding to the visitor experience,” said Wanderlust Magazine’s Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief, Lyn Hughes.
The British market remains an important source market for Namibia, where the country has had a presence since 1994. In 2018, a total of 33,450 United Kingdom tourists (out of a total of 1.4 million international visitors) visited Namibia, and thus it is the second largest European market for Namibia.
“This is fantastic achievement for Namibia. Our country has won the highest accolade for adventure travel destinations in the British market. We are even happier since Namibia regained its position as ‘number one’ country, which we previously had secured in 2014,” said Maureen Posthuma, Head of Marketing at the Namibia Tourism Board.
Meanwhile, Bärbel Kirchner, Account Director of Team Namibia stressed that it is extremely difficult to enter the European market, adding that Namibia is one of hundreds of countries and one of thousands of tourist destinations that compete for the attention of holiday makers.
“As Namibians we can be incredibly proud, and indeed also recognise that our country is top class for discerning travelers. As Namibians we can further stimulate and support our own economy by buying local, and this includes travel services and holidaying in our own beautiful country,” Kirchner said.