Namibia to host the 2013 Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS)

Namibian Heritage Week – Stolen moments
September 26, 2012
Crush meets Sarafina in Katutura, the musical
September 27, 2012
Namibian Heritage Week – Stolen moments
September 26, 2012
Crush meets Sarafina in Katutura, the musical
September 27, 2012

Where Wildlife and Humans Are Free to Roam!

An adventure that began in Chiapas, Mexico, when a delegation from Namibia attended the 2011 Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) has culminated with Namibia being selected to host the 2013 ATWS set for 26-31 October in Swakopmund and Windhoek.

This is the first time the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) has placed its global gathering in Africa.

ATWS has become the industry’s marquee event for networking, discussion and collaboration around industry best practices and global tourism issues affecting adventure travel.

lions at etosha

Etosha lions drinking

For 2013, the ATTA will introduce a new Summit format for its 600 delegates, which will occur over a five-day period, including in-field sessions in real-world situations providing unprecedented learning experiences in a destination whose stark challenges are shared by many other destinations worldwide.

Minister of Environment and Tourism Netumbo Nandi-Ndwitah, said shortly after the announcement: “today I am happy to report that the efforts of our strong public-private partnership have resulted in Namibia being chosen as the first African country to host the Summit.  We are justly proud of our tourism industry and our conservation initiatives that have made this selection possible.”

“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,” said ATTA President Shannon Stowell, who returned from Namibia in June 2012.

“Namibia’s model of conservancies, joint venture partnerships and conservation is a model that we should put on display. It’s a story that should be told. I’d previously heard the discussions, watched the films and I still didn’t understand it fully it until I came and saw it in action. Our delegates are sure to gain immense insights from their experiences in Namibia.”

“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, “ added the Honourable Minister.

kuiseb river

kuiseb river

“Together with the ATTA and the overall Adventure Travel Trade, Namibia is ready to showcase to the world the spirit and essence of a nation committed to conservation, community empowerment and social and economic transformation through partnerships and innovation.”

Some facts and figures for the tribe:

  • As one of the few countries in the world with conservation and environmental management mandated in the Constitution, Namibia’s approach to conservation is holistic and inclusive, both in terms of maintaining ecological integrity and the rights of communities to benefit from our natural resources.
  •  Since Independence in 1990, the percentage of land area under some form of conservation management has expanded from 13% to an outstanding 42%.
  • Namibia’s conservation policies and community based natural resource management have not only changed the conservation landscape, they have changed lives.
  • Through conservancies, previously disadvantaged communities have a voice in the management and benefits of living with wildlife, and have set a global example for environmental stewardship.
  • The first four conservancies were registered in 1998. Today, there are 76 registered communal conservancies in Namibia, covering over 18% of the land area of the country and directly benefitting over 250,000 rural Namibians.
  • Conservancies and community-based natural resource management is enabling the growth of a new rural economy, and the tourism industry has played a significant role in its success.
  • Today there are over 40 joint-venture lodges and campsites emerging or operating in communal conservancies across Namibia, providing jobs, training, income to conservancy members and a stake in the future.
  • Namibia’s approach to sustainable utilization has seen our elephant, black rhino and lion populations increase substantially since Independence.
  • We are known as “the cheetah capital in the world” and have the world’s largest free roaming lion population.
  • Namibia is the only country in Africa that is actively translocation game from national park into communal lands with the full assurance that our policy of sustainable use has unlocked an unparallel awareness and zeal for conservation and biodiversity management that is breaking and pushing new boundaries even beyond our borders.
  • Globally, Namibia is recognized as a leader in community-based conservation and has garnered such prestigious recognition as the 2012 Markhor Award for Outstanding Conservation Performance in recognition of its exceptional wildlife conservation programme.

For more information on becoming involved in Namibia’s national preparations to host the 2013 Adventure Travel World Summit, please contact:

Maggy Mbako & Sem Shikongo

PRO, the Namibia Tourism Board Director of Tourism

0812729177 0811295109


Story compiled from MET and ATTA press releases. 

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