FNB Business Tourism Division has pledged its support towards the Eco Awards programme with a sponsorship of N$65 000.
Christo Viljoen, head of FNB business tourism division said: “The overall goal of Eco Awards Namibia is to promote, support and facilitate the development of responsible and sustainable tourism in Namibia, making Namibia a destination of choice for environmentally conscious tourists and setting international standards of excellence in the industry.’’
Since a large part of the criteria in the Eco Awards Assessment deals with staff development and social responsibility, it rewards incentives with socio-economic benefits for staff and communities surrounding tourism operations. ‘
’One out of three tourism establishments that have been assessed are connecting with their surrounding communities to source fresh produce, locally made crafts for curio shops or expertise for authentic experiences’’, highlights Hazel Milne, programme coordinator of the Eco Awards.
Benefits to the environment are two-fold: ‘’Firstly, efforts in conservation, responsible wastewater-and-energy management are being rewarded, and secondly awareness of environmental issues is increased in all interaction between the Eco Awards programme and tourism operators,’’ Milne said.