International conferences generated N.dollars 196 million

27 Mar 2014 13:50pm
WINDHOEK, 27 MAR (NAMPA) – Namibia generated about N.dollars 196 million from the hosting of two international conferences which provided thousands of temporary jobs to unemployed people in 2013.
Namibia hosted the 11th Conference of Parties (COP 11) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) from 16 to 27 September 2013 in the capital, while the 10th Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) took place in Swakopmund from 26 to 31 October 2013.
In his budget speech delivered in Parliament on Wednesday, the Minister of Environment and Tourism Uahekua Herunga said international conferencing can be important to Namibia’s tourism product, and can increase the contribution of the tourism sector to the national economy.
“The COP 11 was hailed internationally as an outstanding logistical and technical success. As the president of the UNCCD conference of the parties until 2015, Namibia is now at the forefront of the global agenda on issues of desertification and drought through the implementation of the 41 decisions adopted during the conference,” he boasted.
According to Herunga, an estimated N.dollars 140 million was contributed to the economy during COP 11, while 1 150 temporary jobs were created and 35 local companies provided services during that period.
About 4 000 people from all over the world attended the event.
The ATWS generated around N.dollars 56 million for the economy, and had a range of other benefits such as the exposure, promotion and marketing of Namibia as a tourism destination of choice.
A direct result of hosting the ATWS, according to Herunga, was the 'fantastic' international media and public relations coverage.
The New York Times selected Namibia as the sixth “Must Visit” destination in the world; and Wanderlust magazine in the United Kingdom selected Namibia as the number one country to visit.
In addition, United States of America (USA)–based Afar magazine listed a walking tour in Namibia as the “best in the world”.
Herunga said the MET has made concerted efforts to execute its mandate with high performance in spite of facing all its challenges.
“As we move towards our Vision 2030, industrial development continues to increase and expand in Namibia.
“In line with the provisions of the Environmental Management Act, the ministry provides for a process of assessment and control to ensure that development takes place with the least possible effect on the environment,” he added.