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Tourism is becoming an increasingly important foreign exchange earner and job provider for Namibia. Border crossing data obtained from the Ministry of Home Affairs shows that the total foreign arrivals (including permanent residents and day visitors) to Namibia rose from 693 777 in 1999 to 758 989 in the year 2000.

Namibia has a total of 26 parks and reserves, covering approximately 15% of the total land area. In addition to the 12 government-owned rest camps in these parks, managed by Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR), the tourism infrastructure throughout the rest of the country is well developed. Hotels, pensions, guest farms and rest camps are generally of a high standard and are managed on a similar basis as tourist accommodation establishments in Europe. The Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) controls the grading and standards of accommodation establishments, safari companies and products offered by tour operators.

Tourism Structures

In accordance with Government's White Paper on Tourism, rigid standards of protection, conservation and control are practised to ensure sustainable utilisation of Namibia's natural assets by the tourism industry. Future tourism developments will be closely monitored with the emphasis on high-quality tourism and carrying capacity. New resorts or expanded resorts will require registration and endorsement by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the Namibia Tourism Board..

The Federation of Namibian Tourism Associations (FENATA) acts as an umbrella organisation for tourism associations in the private sector. As such it is the voice of the tourism industry in Namibia, serving as a communication vehicle between Government and its members. Tourism associations belonging to FENATA are the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN), the Namibia Professional Hunters' Association (NAPHA), the Association of Tour and Safari Operators (TASA), Air Namibia, the official airline, the Car Rental Association of Namibia (CARAN), the Namibia Community Based Tourism Association (NACOBTA), and the Tourist Related Namibian Business Association (TRENBA). The Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality (NATH) offers training courses in tourism-related subjects according to international standards.