The Namibia Tourism Board is depleting its cash reserves as the industry continues to suffer blows with the ever changing travel restrictions, said chief executive officer Digu //Naobeb.

//Naobeb, who was speaking at a press briefing on Saturday, said they have been self-sustainable since 2016 with tourism booming, however, these glory days have ended as they have requested for funds from the government.

“We had cash reserves but last year we started using them and we are about to deplete them. Come around October this year, we may be out of money and not be able to pay salaries,” he said.

Before the world closed down last year as a result of the Covid-19 virus, NTB had a healthy cash reserve of N$30,2 million but this has come down to N$8 million.

Annually, NTB’s levies income would range between N$45 million and N$55 million.

This drastically dropped as more businesses in the sector closed and NTB only collected less than N$15 million.

NTB and stakeholders from other African countries will be hosting a branding conference in Namibia from 14 to 16 June with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to establish a branding strategy for the continent’s tourism industry in an effort to attract more visitors.

The aim is to revive the sector amid the pandemic and find new ways to attract investment.

//Naobeb said the event will be iconic because the NTB and delegates will be looking at conceptualising branding Africa as a tourism destination, rather than a continent riddled with corruption, poverty and civil wars.