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Speed challenge brings adventure to travel summit

Minister of Environment and Tourism, Hon. Uahekua Herunga (middle) recently opened the 7th Lüderitz Speed Challenge. Nineteen countries are participating in Kite-surfing and windsurfing to try and set new water speed records. These activities also form part of the adventure travel activities offered during the Adventure Travel World Summit.

Minister of Environment and Tourism, Hon. Uahekua Herunga (middle) recently opened the 7th Lüderitz Speed Challenge. Nineteen countries are participating in Kite-surfing and windsurfing to try and set new water speed records. These activities also form part of the adventure travel activities offered during the Adventure Travel World Summit.

Atleast 350 of the 650 delegates from over 60 different countries are expected to visit 28 joint venture lodges and 18 conservancies during the two days of adventures that precedes the official programme of the 2013 Adventure Travel World Summit.

During the summit, which takes place in both Windhoek and Swakopmund from 26 to 31 October, a total of 175 pre-summit adventures will be provided to the 350 delegates who have signed up for the two days of adventures, free of charge.
The adventures included in the iteneraries cover various activities such as quad biking, bicycle tours, mountain climbing, hang gliding, hiking, boat rides and also sand skiing. Iteneraries focusing on cultural and conservation elements of “adventure” tourism involves direct engagement with different local cultural groups and getting first-hand information about traditional food, habits and animal tracking.
According to the CEO of the Hospitality Association of Namibia, Gitta Paetzold, the direct exposure to the countryside, wildlife, people and cultures will give the delegates a thorough insight into the “heart” of the country as the tours have been specifically packaged and designed to ensure that all delegates have direct and personal contact with the hosts at the various accommodation places. This is intentional so that the summit delegates can get to know the local people and their way of life.
“It is thus a thorough educational tour for these adventure travel experts, who hopefully will take home with them notebooks full of hints, tips and items that they would like to add to their travel packages and programmes in future, ensuring that more travellers across the globe consider Namibia as a destination of choice when looking for authentic, meaningful and inspiring travel experiences,” Paetzold noted.
She added that the five days of the summit incorporates an extensive programme of interaction at human, cultural, landscape and sporting levels.
Delegates will be taken to various sites across the country and will visit international heritage sites such as the Namib Sandsea in the south, which 10 delegates will cross on sand-skis.
They will also exchange cultural and traditional experiences with local communities and learn about Namibia’s success stories in dealing with human-wildlife co-habitation.
“Remember, the adventure traveler is not part of the mass tourism / consumptive travel group, but rather someone who is keen to learn, engage and contribute to sustainable conservation efforts and cultural exchange programmes,” she explained.
Paetzold, who is also part of Team Destination Namibia, a committee tasked with organising and preparing for the summit, said over 70 individuals from the Ministry of Tourism, Namibia Tourism Board, City of Windhoek and Swakopmund as well as the private sector including the World Wildlife Foundation, have all been had at work designing a programme that will allow lots of interaction and inclusivity with the local people.
She said apart from the pre-summit adventures, Team Destination Namibia has also put together programmes at official functions where various cultural groups wil entertain the delegates.
Namibian musician, Elomotho will sing for the delagates and a choir consisting of 100 people will perfom during the welcoming function where atleast 10 different types of traditional food will be served.
The theme for this year’s summit is “Imagine.Inspire.Invest” and it is the first time the summit is held on African soil.

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