Adventures, learning and networking sessions during ATWS

16 Oct 2013 10:20am
WINDHOEK, 16 OCT (NAMPA) – A series of adventures as well as learning and networking sessions are planned for the approximately 650 delegates set to attend the 10th Annual Travel World Summit (ATWS) here.
The event is staged for the first time on African soil, and is taking place from 26 to 31 October 2013 in Namibia.
According to a programme issued by the organisers - the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) - and published on its website, Pre-Summit Adventures (PSAs) will take place as from 20 to 26 October 2013, and provide delegates with a more in-depth experience of the host country.
As from Sunday 27 October 2013, delegates may participate in one of two options for the ‘Two Days of Adventure’, departing from the city to the coastal town Swakopmund.
The main event will only take place at the Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre as from 29 to 31 October.
“The summit will be held in a remarkable setting, an environment rich for learning, engagement, and where imaginations can roam free. An abundance of pre-summit adventures will be offered, allowing delegates ample time to explore Namibia and take advantage of their time at these destinations,” it stated.
Three to six days of PSA’s are also planned with the objective to showcase adventure destinations in the country, and to provide networking opportunities between delegates prior to the summit.
Two categories were identified for PSAs: conservancies and culture, as well as special interests, which include itineraries focusing on specific niche activities like birding, biking, hiking and archaeology.
The Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) organized more than 30 PSA’s with set destinations, which include a two-day Desert Dune Delux (Chameleon Safaris); five-day Bike Tour in the south of Namibia (African Bikers); and a six-day Bushmen and Delta Panhandle (Mabaruli Safaris).
Ninety-nine per cent of all these destinations are fully-booked already.
Meanwhile, a welcoming event for the visitors is slated for Parliament Gardens and organized by the City of Windhoek for Saturday, 26 October, which will provide a taste of Namibian hospitality.
Delegates will then have the opportunity to experience the 'street energy' of Independence Avenue (the city’s main street in the Central Business District), where local small-craft producers, cultural groups and artists will gather to extend a warm welcome to the visitors.
The City of Windhoek is the official ‘Welcome to Namibia’ sponsor, and has planned a barbeque in Namibian style.
After the event, delegates will attend the Windhoek Jazz Festival sponsored by NTB for a taste of local and foreign music, culture and fun.
Over the course of these two days, depending on the delegates’ choice of days of adventure, visitors can enjoy hiking and climbing at Namibia’s highest peak, the warmth of communal conservancy members, listening to the magic of traditional storytellers, or mountain-biking canyon trails offered at various destinations.
All adventures will end in Swakopmund on Monday night, 28 October 2013, before the three-day conference kicks off.
According to the organisers, the summit will strike a balance between high-impact, inspirational presentations for the entire delegation, with facilitated peer-to-peer collaborations; business-to-business marketplaces; delegate-media exchanges; and interactive learning workshops on real-world case studies – plus ample time for open social engagement, mixers and networking.
Guest speakers include Pico Iyer (author), Anna Pollack (Founder of Conscious Travel), Hannah Messerli (World Bank Group) and Chief Ian Campbell (Hereditary Chief, Squamish First Nation, Canada), amongst others.
A Namibian synergy session on conservation, community development and tourism will also take place, with presenters which include Minister of Foreign Affairs Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah; John Kasaona (Community-Based Natural Resources’ Management); and Doctor Phillip Stander (Founder of Desert Lion Conservation).
“The ATTA will provide a framework and venues for the exchange. It will also provide moderators to guide and facilitate conversations, connect people and capture themes.
Individual delegates may opt to create their own subjects and/or groups, and each delegate will participate in up to three groups during the course of the day. The ATTA will poll all registered delegates to ensure this year’s Peer-to-Peer Exchanges reflect their dynamic and diverse interests,” it added.