WINDHOEK, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese banking company Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC) and Standard Bank Namibia jointly unveiled the "I Go Namibia" program here Thursday to promote bilateral tourism.
Under the initiative, which is part of ICBC's "I Go Global" rewards scheme, ICBC cardholders traveling to Namibia are able to enjoy benefits, including exclusive discounts. Equally, Standard Bank's cardholders can enjoy similar exclusive benefits while traveling in China.
Namibian Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta said the program marks a new chapter in the history of tourism in Namibia.
"'I Go Namibia' comes at the right time, when Namibia is making concerted efforts to grow the tourism sector and secure more markets including Chinese tourists to Namibia," said Shifeta.
The number of Chinese people visiting Namibia has increased rapidly over the past years. The 2017 tourism statistics report by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism showed that Namibia received about 10,000 Chinese tourists, up 16.6 percent from the previous year.
The collaboration is also set to drive investment in the sectors of infrastructure, education, job creation, cultural exchanges, and innovation.
Chinese Ambassador to Namibia Zhang Yiming said that the "I Go Namibia" program is a breakthrough that will boost Africa's financial and technological development, and provide more convenient and preferential services for both Chinese and Namibian tourists.
Namibia is the fourth country to implement ICBC's "I Go" program on the African continent, following South Africa, Kenya and Ghana.