Another first for Namibia on the horizon
Windhoek ‑ Namibia is hosting the Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) in the coastal town of Swakopmund in October 2013 – a first for Africa.
Mexico hosted the last summit in Chiapas in 2011.
Namibia is also hosting the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification Conference of the Parties (UNCCD COP11) Summit on desertification in the capital, Windhoek, later this month and this is a first for Southern Africa.
Sem Shikongo, the director of Tourism in Ministry of Environment and Tourism said during a recent media briefing that more than 700 delegates from 60 countries have confirmed their attendance. Over 190 pre-summit bookings have been made and 380 two days of adventure have been booked.
Shikongo said the country is expected to financially benefit from hosting the ATWS, with the tourism sector expected to generate R51.8 million during the duration of the summit.
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has set aside R10 million in expenses for the conference, said Shikongo, adding that the private sector has made ‘generous donations' towards the hosting of the event. The event is scheduled to run from October 20 to November 1, starting with adventures that will culminate in a conference in Swakopmund on October 29-31. The Summit closes with an adventure in the Erongo region.
“We want the delegates to imagine what it’s like to be in an ancient country, also we want them to invest in what they see in our country, and lastly we want them to be inspired by the diversity they see in our country,” expressed Shikongo.
Among the activities lined up are the women in tourism event to honour the women of Namibia, an indigenous tourism workshop with WINTA, social media campaign and adventure connect.
“Our only appeal to Namibians is that Namibians should just be Namibians, no need to dress all fancy, all we need to do is just be genuine, smile and host the delegates well,” says Gitta Paetzold of the Hospitality Association of Namibia.