Namibia closer to host major tourism summit
Namibia has been short-listed as one of three finalists to host the Adventure Travel World Summit in 2013, an international gathering of over 600 influencers in the adventure travel industry. A final
announcement is expected later this year. If Namibia’s bid is successful it will be the first time this major event is held on African soil.
According to the organisers of Namibia’s campaign to host the summit, the country stands a good chance to win as it is a safe and secure adventure destination with excellent infrastructure, efficient telecommunications, rich cultural heritage and an award winning community based natural resource management programme which uniquely combines tourism, conservation and community development.
When the Minister of Environment and Tourism, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah returned from Chiapas, Mexico after leading Namibia’s public and private sector delegation to the 2011 Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS), she announced that the “time is right to bring this summit to Namibia where we can showcase Africa and adventure travel at its very best.”
Since Nandi-Ndaitwah made the announcement, the public and private sector has been galvanised in their preparations to bid to host the 2013 Adventure Travel World Summit. Bid documents were submitted on 1 March 2012. On 23 March, the Environment Minister was informed that Namibia has been short-listed as one of three potential destinations to host the Adventure Travel World Summit in 2013.
Upon learning that Namibia was a finalist, Nandi-Ndaitwah said: “I am so proud of the way both the public and private sector have rallied to the cause of this bid. Support was received from all sectors and all corners of our country. The importance of public-private sector partnerships is critical to achieve sustainable growth of the tourism industry.
Our engagement with the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) has been a conscious mix of public, private, NGO and conservancy representatives, and I’m sure this has been a critical part of our success in reaching the finalist stage to host the ATWS in 2013.”
Sem Shikongo, director of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism’s directorate of tourism, said that the hard work has just begun and that Namibia must now prove that it can host the summit.
“We are now entering phase three: Phase one – we went to Chiapas and did well; phase two – we prepared the bid and did well; now with phase three coming up, we have a site inspection visit by the ATTA leadership. This is an important visit and we must be well prepared as this will be the decisive moment for our bid. It is our chance to demonstrate that we are ready to bring this summit to the Land of the Brave and to Mother Africa. It is time for the nation to rally behind this cause, to come together and see Namibia through to not only 1 of 3 but to number 1!”