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By Jana-Mari Smith
Terra Nova Namibia, a top Destination Management Company (DMC) based in Swakopmund has been awarded a prestigious Site Crystal Award for their inspired inter-weaving of the Ombili Foundation into an incentive tour. Terra Nova Namibia has made visits to local people, for the purposes of cultural exchanges and social upliftment, an integral part of their incentive tours.
The Society of Incentive Travel Executives (Site) Crystal Awards are generally recognised as the global incentive industry’s highest honour.
The award was given in recognition for the “Most Impactful Effort toward Corporate Social Responsibility as Part of an Incentive Program” at the Site International Conference in Florida in December 2013.
This particular category acknowledges outstanding DMC’s for their efforts in incorporating practices and principles of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) within a motivational travel programme.
The Site Crystal awards is a recognition programme which honors “the top tier of world-class organisations that excel in designing unique, memorable experiences that deliver measurable results for their clients”.
“Always striving, never settling in the creation of exceptional motivational experiences that deliver business results – that is the hallmark of Site Crystal Award recipients,” shared Site President David Sand.
The winning incentive programme which proved worthy of a Crystal award was designed by Terra Nova Namibia for 100 sales agents from InmediaONE Germany.
The programme, which included visits to Mokuti Lodge and Etosha National Park, safaris and spa treatements, quad biking in the dunes and a sea cruise, was also designed to afford the participants the opportunity to interact with locals.
“Terra Nova is well-known for placing special emphasis on the inclusion of social projects in their programmes, not only to create a sustainable income for the local communities, but also as a platform for participants to interact with local people and to promote cultural exchange”, the company stated.
For this particular incentive trip, Terra Nova selected the Ombili Foundation as part of their CSR efforts. The foundation is located near Tsumeb in northern Namibia and is dedicated to providing education and training to the previously nomadic San people of the region.
The project provides schooling to about 300 children and provides agriculture training, supports health care and helps the San to “hone and market their native crafts as a business”. The project also supports different healthcare initiatives.
InmediaONE decided to fund the Ombili project, after an introduction from Terra Nova. The funding helped towards the renovation of a community hall. In addition, the participants collected stationary, books and educational toys which were donated to the pre-school.
The visit to the Ombili project included festivities such as local dancers, marimba bands and a local celebrity female vocalist. The visit also included a gala dinner in the bush. “In using local artists, crafters and materials, Terra Nova designed a set that was not only fitting to the environment but also created income for the local entrepreneurs”.
Their visit concluded, the group left Namibia “having talked, laughed and learnt from the local people, thus closing the cultural barriers”.