Tonight, the adventure travel community will look on as the Adventure Travel World summit flame is passed on to Namibia.
Namibia is hosting the closing dinner of the Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS), which kicked of four days ago, and the evening will conclude with Namibia officially beginnning the countdown to ATWS 2013, hosted for the first time on the African continent.
The 2012 adventure travel summit is being hosted in the stunning city of Lucerne, Switzerland, where a Namibian delegation has made sure that summit delegates get ready to pack their hats, sunscreen and brave hearts, for their visit to destination Namibia.
Namibia’s delegation will have been in the spotlight at the summit, following the recent announcement that Namibia will host the next ATWS in October 2012.
It is for this reason that the 600 delegates, representing 55 countries, will get their first taste of the land of the brave at the dinner tonight, with specially imported food treats and even Tafel Lager beer.
The ATWS acts as a central meeting point for members of the Adventure Tourism Trade Association (ATTA) and Namibia made such a impression at the previous summit in Mexico in 2011, that it was scarcely a surprise that the country won the bid to host the 2013 summit.
Minister of Environment and Tourism, Netumbo Nandi–Ndaitwah, also gave a hint of why Namibia was chosen, when she told the story of the ATTA inspectors finding themselves in the middle of the desert at an empty talbe, just before sun-down.
Suddenly, looking up, they beheld five parachuters slowly circling their way down to the amazed inspectors, each with an ice-cold bottle of bubbly in their hands. What a sundowner.
The Minister rightly pointed out however, that Namibia did not win the bid because of tricks such as that and others, but for the simple reason of Namibia being one of the most committed countries in the world towards conservation.
Namibia’s core message at the Lucerne summit this week was a number – 42 percent. Why? Because Namibia can proudly boast that 42 percent of the land area of Namibia is under some form of conservation management, and the people, wildlife and nature benefit directly from this.
“We are a world leader in conservation and a world leader in our ongoing conservation commitments. We are a world leader in the number of tourism joint ventures which we have in our communal conservancies”, was one of the messages the Namibian delegation brought to Switzerland this week.