Compiled Jana-Mari Smith
Pack Safaris, a Namibian inbound tour operator specialising in tailor-made tours throughout Namibia and several Southern African countries, recently scored top marks in one of Namibia’s toughest sustainable certification assessments – an Eco Awards Namibia assessment in which the company came out on top with an 81% score.
According to Hazel Milne, the Eco Awards coordinator, the awards are a certification programme that rewards responsible tourism in accordance with international sustainable tourism standards. Hazel noted that Pack Safaris already had a number of sustainable practices in place, which contributed to their 81 per cent score.
Carsten von Lüttwitz, Marketing Manager at Pack Safaris, explained that when the company was approached by Eco Awards Namibia to participate in the pilot programme for tour operator assessments, “We were 100% ready.” He noted that the company had already ensured that sustainable practices were a major part of their business strategy and that the eco-awards assessment would reflect this.
A member of the Pack Safaris team said that since the company’s inception in 1995, being eco-friendly was of the ‘utmost importance’. Reflecting on the strict criteria on which an Eco-Award assessment is based, he added: “The criteria are an essential and natural requirement for all inhabitants of this planet. We have to take responsibility for our planet now.” The other team members confirmed that the assessment gave them a chance to ‘learn a great deal’ and that they were looking forward to ‘improving wherever necessary and possible’.