ATWS a success despite logistics and transport problems

09 Jul 2014 17:10pm
WINDHOEK, 09 JUL (NAMPA) – The 2013 Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) was a huge success despite some problems experienced with transportation and logistics services, according to the preliminary findings of a cost-benefit analysis survey.
A survey was carried out amongst delegates to the summit between November and December 2013 using the online application, SurveyGizmo, with a total of 109 responses reviewed.
The report was commissioned by Millennium Challenge Account Namibia (MCA-N) for the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, and launched on Tuesday. The ATWS took place from 26 to 31 October 2013 in the capital and Swakopmund in the Erongo Region, with a global audience of about 700 tourism industry decision-makers and stakeholders participating.
Under the ‘disappointments and improvements’ category in the survey, some of the respondents said the disappointments had less to do with Namibia itself and more to do with their own lack of time to do more.
“However, a number of points were made including about the length of the journey to Namibia; transportation and logistics around the country, and the distances. There were also various personal preferences expressed which were not met and which were disappointing, such as insufficient food choices for vegetarians,” the survey stated.
Some of the highlights in the survey included conservation and community-based tourism in Namibia; wildlife; and landscape and nature. Specific sites mentioned included the Etosha National Park, Sossusvlei, Spitzkoppe, Caprivi, Fish River Canyon, and Henties Bay, amongst others; while people also made mention of meeting Namibian people and tribes such as the San as some of the highlights during the summit.
As an overall estimate, delegates spent an average of N.dollars 12 441 per person, with an estimated figure of N.dollars 8 million as total spent by delegates to the ATWS. This excluded costs of hosting and also international fares. The ATWS included two major functions which included a welcoming party at Parliament Gardens in the capital and the Windhoek Lager dinner in the dunes outside Swakopmund.
The author of the survey, David McEwen said at the launch of the report that overall, the ATWS was very well organised and could be described as an event that was nothing short of “amazing”.
As a final question, international respondents indicated a very high likelihood that they would recommend Namibia as an adventure holiday destination, with nearly 90 per cent scoring between eight and 10 with regards to the likelihood of them making such a recommendation.
Suggestions made for improvements revolved around improvement of connectivity and improvement in some guest services.
The findings from the responses of the delegates did not only take into account economic factors such as expenditure in Namibia, but also delegates’ perceptions of Namibia and their views on different aspects related to tourism and conservation. The respondents were from a wide variety of countries, mostly from North America and Europe.
The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Uahekua Herunga at the launch said the report is not yet finalised, but it is in its final stages.
“This was Namibia’s chance to shine and to create a lasting and positive impression that will enhance the tourism industry. It also gave Namibia the opportunity to promote the strong message of linking tourism with conservation and community development to create the best possible experience for our visitors and for our fellow Namibians,” he added.