It is official – Namibia will host the 2013 Adventure Travel World Summit after outbidding a host of other countries.
When news came out in April this year of Namibia being one of the countries, especially on the African continent that had been shortlisted to host, for the first time on African soil, the Adventure Travel World Summit, I called on all to rally behind our bid.
Because if there was one thing that the Land of the Brave is deserving, it is to host this flagship of world tourism, as in many respects the country has distinguished herself, and has since independence been busy establishing self on the world tourism platform. But this is something that has not come on a silver platter. As much as we could not take the winning of the bid for granted, the strides that we have achieved as a country in tourism notwithstanding.
Thus the call for the country to rally behind the bid not only in words but in action, so much the industry itself and all the players.
Now that the hosting of the bid is a done deal, still the work is only beginning. cognisant of the massive work that the ministry has been doing since independence, and by extension the broader tourism sector.
That means the gains we have already obtained must be sustained and at best consolidated especially now that preparations for the Summit should start in all earnest. Therefore, a concerted approach, needless to mention, is called for as one assumes is already the case.
As I already pointed out in this column in April, this cannot be the business of the Government and the tourism sector alone but each and every one of us somehow must somehow play her/his role, and bring her/his due, if only to ensure absolute success for this Summit – and Namibia having been not only the right choice as a venue for the Summit but also by extension and vicariously a safe destination of choice for other similar summits, and a tourist haven of choice.
In this regard, citizens in their various abilities, capabilities and inclinations can invariably bring their due to have this Summit make a world impression.
In particular, Namibian captains of tourism, who together with their international fellows would be engaged in making the necessary preparations for the Summit, needless to say have already proven themselves competent in winning the hosting bid. As much as one cannot but express the necessary confidence in them in contributing enormously towards the success of the Summit thereby leaving yet another mark on the world tourism in particular, and on the global map generally.
One cannot but be concerned about negligent and uncaring motorists and other public road users, and the impact this may have on public road safety in Namibia, and ultimately on tourism, tourists and their safety on our public roads.
Because it is not only crime in general that has a negative bearing on tourism and the influx of tourists in the country, but also how safe our roads are.
It is only instructive to note that one the ten pillars of Adventure Tourism Competitiveness, is Safety and Security.
Save for a few unsafe pockets here and there, our public roads are generally safe to drive on. But the biggest problem is the don’t care, discourteous and negligent attitude of road users.
With the hosting bid now won, it is not only necessary that we re-focus our compass but also re-energise our push towards the hosting of this Summit because, needless to say, prior, and during the Summit the world shall be focusing on Namibia.
We cannot but ensure that such a focus is not only correctly angled but well focused as well. We cannot leave this to the Honourable Netumbo Nandi-Ndwaitah and her team and the industry alone but this is a function and duty each one of us must proudly as a Namibian embrace and make a success of.
This is the time that each of us under the able guidance and stewardship of the Minister and the captains of the tourism industry, as may be expected and called upon, must bring his her due. Given the prospects of the world tourism industry, this is something all of us shall in a few years’ time look back on with national pride!