Understanding Namibia Tourism
Austin Adventures and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) will be hosting a cross-cultural “no borders” exchange between US-based land owners, Native American tribal leaders, government representatives and park conservationists and their counterparts from Namibia. The tour starts this September in Montana to share ideas on how tourism fits into their respective ideologies and onto their lands.
Why Namibia? Namibia’s Competitive Advantage!
1) There is no other destination in the world with as many established tourism joint ventures s as Namibia. Within the Communal Conservancy Tourism Sector, there are now 42 formal joint-venture (JV) lodges and campsites that work in collaboration with their host communities. In addition, there are four JVs operating in principle with a signed agreement pending, and another six ventures with whom the conservancies are negotiating.
2) All the JVs in the communal conservancies combined represent 1,356 bed nights, over 900+ full-time jobs and over 250 seasonal positions. In the process, not only are communities benefiting in ways previously unimaginable, but the national tourism product is being redefined in more equitable and sustainable ways.
3) Of the 76 registered conservancies, 33 are immediately adjacent to national parks or in key corridors between protected areas. Consequently, the wildlife friendly land-uses adjacent to and between parks are enhancing the viability of Namibia’s protected area network. The recovery of prey species, combined with an increased tolerance of community, is facilitating the recovery of high-level predators on a landscape level in north-western Namibia.
4) Namibia is the only country in Africa where black rhinos are being translocated OUT of a national park to communal conservancy land areas. This stands in stark and dramatic contrast to the poaching taking place in neighboring countries.
5) Namibia is the only country in Africa with an expanding, free roaming lion population, and there has been a dramatic decrease in poaching to almost negligible levels today.
6) Namibia undertakes the largest road-based wildlife count in the world.
7) Namibia’s conservation success stories stand out in sharp contrast to most African countries where wildlife populations and habitats are rapidly declining. Namibia very well may be “the greatest African wildlife recovery story ever told!”
8) The Communal Conservancy Tourism Sector was one of only three Finalists in the 2010 World Travel and Tourism Council’s “Tourism for Tomorrow” Awards program in the category of Community Benefit.
9) The Communal Conservancy Tourism Sector website was the Platinum Award Winner in the 2011 National Geographic Traveler Magazine and Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association (HSMAI) co-sponsored Sustainable Travel Award.
10) The Communal Conservancy Programme, through the MET and NACSO, were recently recognized by the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation as the global winner of the Markhor Award.