2013 Adventure Travel World Summit
After bidding with eight other countries and being short listed in the top three, Namibia eventually won the bid to host the 2013 Adventure Travel World Summit. “It is my great pleasure to announce to you that indeed the Land of the Brave will have the opportunity to welcome the delegates of the 2013 Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) here in Namibia, we have brought the Summit home!”a jovial Minister of Environment and Tourism Hon. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah announced on Wednesday.
Initially it was expected that 600 delegates will attend the Summit but Nandi-Ndaitwah emphasised that because of the momentum the Summit has received, over 700 delegates are expected. The cost of the Summit is estimated to be N$10 million and according to Nandi-Ndaitwah, the budget will include preparations as well courtesies for the guests.
The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) is a privately held, for-profit industry trade group that serves to network, educate, professionalise and promote the adventure travel industry. A team of inspectors arrived in Namibia during May and according to the minister, the inspection was a success. She added that the country’s victory to host the Summit did not originate from the 2011 ATWS held in Chiapas, Mexico were the first delegation of Team Namibia attended, but began with the country’s commitment to conservation as represented by the establishment of national private conservation areas and the formation of communal conservancies.
President of ATTA, Shannon Stowell who paid a visit to Namibia in June praised the country’s model of conservation saying that it is a story that should be told. “Namibia offers one of the most compelling success stories in tourism today, one of joint venture tourism and partnerships between communal conservancies and tourism enterprises, there fore the delegates are sure to gain immense insights from their experiences in Namibia,” Stowell said. The minister said the spirit of comradeship was the main factor that played a significant role in Namibia winning the bid. “As Namibians, we are ready for the challenge of hosting the Summit and thrilled to welcome the Adventure Travel Tribe to the land of endless horizons where wildlife and humans are free to roam and still experience true nature,” Nandi-Ndaitwah stressed.
Nandi-Ndaitwah, who left for Switzerland after announcing the results, further said that the benefits to the country will not only include the direct exposure but that the Summit will also make a huge contribution to marketing of the tourism industry through websites and trade magazines. “We want to invest in business tourism and conferencing so we are expecting an increase in the northern American tourism market during the pre and post adventure activities,” the minister added. The ATWS will take place from 26 to 31 October 2013 in Swakopmund and Windhoek and registration will open on 17 September 2012.