“We applaud Namibia for sticking to a difficult concept of sustainable utilisation of their natural resources! It took 10 years for the programme to start to show real results, but now, 20 years later, it is a success”
At the opening of the annual world summit of the Adventure Travel Tourism Association (ATTA), which is taking place in Swakopmund, Shannon Stowell, president of the Adventure Travel Trade Association told delegates that in this sector of tourism is was important to show that responsible tourism can be economically competitive against any other industry, while protecting the land and the people who live on it.
“It takes love and respect for nature, dedication and some sacrifice to make a change.”
As the adventure travel sector is growing, he said, we are raising the bar for tourism. But he also warned, that if you grow too fast, you make mistakes. He quoted a Namibian friend who was in tourism for two decades who said that the challenge ” was to get it right every single time”.
At the 10th Adventure Travel World Summit, the first in Africa, he told delegates that he was hoping that by hosting the summit in “such an incredible destination”, it would inspire the delegates to consider the potential of adventure tourism through a new lens.
“It is easy to promote People, Planet and Profit, but significantly difficult to actually put it to work” With the radical growth in the adventure industry, he said, the balance of needing to make a profit, while still protecting the environment, wildlife and ensuring that those who live within it are the beneficiaries, was complex.
“What we all trying to do is to create businesses that succeed at conservation, community, culture and commerce.
The summit ends on Friday.
PHOTO: Shannon Stowell, president of the Adventure Travel Trade Association