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Published on : Saturday, November 16, 2013
The Adventure Travel World Summit reflected well on the tourism industry in general, and on Namibia in particular. The world converged on Namibia with 650 bookings culminating into a total audience of 700 from around the globe to witness this adventure, the first on the African continent. This is the global hub for the adventure industry, and indeed a growing sector of the tourism global industry.
Obviously, Namibians had little understanding of what was destined to hit the country, but given the nation’s capacity to welcome all but keep the best, this one was among the best, to be overrun only by the FIFA World Cup, still to hit the shores of the Land of the Brave.
The organizers for the Namibian summit intended to highlight the country as the world’s favored tourist destination. And banking on a projected number of 600 participants, they anticipated the country to benefit from hotel bookings, an estimated 650 to include those who travelled with families, meals and bar tabs all around, local operators to connect to international partners, media and buyers, increasing connectivity and direct sales. Delegates to the summit covered a number of sectors: international tour operators about 55%; media about 15%. Delegates included outlets such as AFAR, Backpackers, BBC, Comde Nast, National Geographic, and Men’s Journal.
This summit brought collectively decision makers in the adventure travel and tourism industry, who, after all formalities, focused on a single over-arching subject, interrogating how best to make adventure tourism an industry of businesses that is profitable, planet friendly, and supportive of local economies. The challenge remains with Minister Uahekua Herunga, the Namibia Tourism Board, and the broad hospitality movement in Namibia to pick the spirit and maintain the momentum for the advent of adventure tourism in Namibia. Needless to belabour, this exercise was a stage-setter for serious endeavours aimed at national development.