2013 ATWS: ATTA President applauds NamibiaOctober 30, 2013
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“There is an increased awareness in the world that tourism can be applied as a tool to improve livelihoods.” Dr Hannah Messerli, World Bank specialist on tourism development in Africa, said at a presentation at the Adventure Travel Summit in Swakopmund that what was needed were partnerships and synergy between communities and tourism, innovation over time, Government policies to underpin it all and capital to grow the business. “We must all find out how to do it better and smarter- economically, environmentally and culturally sustainable- from all sides.
Dr Messerli, whose specialty is development of culture heritage and nature-based tourism in emerging economies, complemented Namibia’s Government for creating an enabling environment for partnerships between communities and joint-venture partners to thrive. She told the audience that the World Bank had sponsored other countries to come to Namibia to learn how to make conservancies financially viable. “Financial underpinning for conservancies are the same as for any other business.”
However, she also cautioned that it was important to understand the model and the fact that benefits should be spread. The World Bank supported a study to measure not only the financial aspect, but also the social, cultural and other impacts of this form of tourism over time.
In her closing remark she said that the World Bank would continue to work with the adventure tourism sector, governments and communities “to make sure that the model continues to provide, that synergy continues to innovate and to grow.”
The summit ends on Friday.
PHOTO: Dr Hannah Messerli, World Bank specialist on touris