Namibia Tourism Board Lost Its 'face' In Frankfurt

1 Nov 2023

He has introduced Namibia to hundreds of thousands of people in Europe and put it on their hearts. And yet, unbelievable as it may sound, hardly any of these hundreds of thousands know him: Matthias Lemcke, an employee of the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) in Frankfurt since 2004 and head of the office since 2016.

In a detailed portrait in August 2022, the Hamburg-based industry magazine TRVL Counter called the destination marketer, who is as enterprising as he is creative, 'the face of Namibia in Germany'. Namibia has now lost this face. After 19 years at the NTB, Matthias Lemcke officially had his last day of work yesterday.

Namibia Tourism Board Frankfurt Matthias Lemcke
The head of the Namibia Tourism Board's Frankfurt office in Europe, Matthias Lemcke. 
Photo (May 2017): NTB

 

Since 2016, the now 46-year-old has been the lynchpin of marketing for the land of endless horizons in Europe. He organised Namibia's presence at travel fairs such as the ITB in Berlin and road shows through cities in Germany and neighbouring countries. He maintained contacts with tour operators and the MICE industry (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions), airlines and the media. He also regularly provided Namibian.org with information and photos on the NTB's marketing activities in Europe.

Marketing Namibia out of the box

What is special about Matthias Lemcke is his infectious enthusiasm and his out-of-the-box thinking creativity. Time and again he has scored marketing coups by winning over well-known partners such as LandRover or Globetrotter to cross-promotions and brand partnerships. The aim was always to reach as many people as possible who were open for a Namibia holiday - despite a modest marketing budget.

Lemcke also has a feel for moods and longings. During the Corona crisis, he came up with his 'Campfire Namibia' campaign, bringing a touch of the freedom of outdoor holidays to lockdown-traumatised Europe. With numerous successful campaigns and cooperations he earned a reputation as an expert in destination marketing. It is no coincidence, therefore, that he came to the attention of TRVL Counter magazine for its series of 'Weiterdenker' (Forward Thinkers) portraits.

The travel companies in Namibia agree: 'A painful loss', as was repeatedly stated in the personal farewell messages to Lemcke on the various industry forums. Nevertheless, they (and Namibian.org) wish him every success in his future career.

Which now leads him to the Hong Kong Tourism Board. A contrast could hardly be more stark: from one of the most sparsely populated countries to one of the most densely populated states.

The (not entirely) silent hope of his many friends in the Namibian travel industry: once you have been infected by the Namibia virus, it will never let you go. Or to say it with a line from a famous song by the Eagles, whose hotel could well have been located in the Namib: You can check out any time you like, but...

Namibia Tourism Board Frankfurt Matthias Lemcke MICE Trophy Namibia Spreetshoogte Pass Namib Desert
The 'face of Namibia in Germany' in action on the ground: group photo of the MICE Trophy Namibia at Spreetshoogte Pass with a view of the plains of the Namib Desert. Kneeling on the right is the head of the Frankfurt office of the Namibia Tourism Board in Europe, Matthias Lemcke. 
Photo (February 2023): NTB

 

Sven-Eric Stender

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