29 Oct 2013 17:40pm
SWAKOPMUND, 29 OCT (NAMPA) Delegates to the 2013 Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) were treated to dinner in the desert of the Dorob National Park on Monday evening.
The dinner was hosted at the amphitheatre in the Pajero Canyon - a 45-minute drive from this tourist hub.
The ceremony served as a welcoming gesture to the three-day ATWS conference, which commenced on Tuesday at the Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre.
Speaking at the opening, the Minister of Environment and Tourism (MET) Uahekua Herunga said through innovative approaches and embracing communities and conservancies, his ministry together with non-government-organisations (NGOs) successfully put 44 per cent of the countrys landmass under some sort of conservation management.
Tonight, as you absorb this beauty, we ask you to be our partners in conserving these protected areas. Through tourism, we have increased employment and training opportunities for people living in rural areas.
This is in turn has encouraged them to take a more active role in protecting wildlife, as it is these wild animals and these stunning landscapes that draw visitors to Namibia, he said.
The Dorob National Park is one of Namibias most recently proclaimed national parks. The park stretches from the Kunene River in the north to the Orange River in the south.
Describing the park as border-to-border, non-stop conservation in action, Herunga said that for MET, it is a partnership that works for local communities, tourism enterprises and wildlife conservation.
He boasted that Namibia offers authentic experiences with local people and cultures, and wildlife that is flourishing under protection.
The President of the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), Shannon Stowell was amongst five skydivers from Ground Rush Adventures who made a parachute jump just before sunset. On safe landing, he opened a bottle of Champaign to toast the conference.
Close to 700 members of the adventure travel community are attending the tourism indaba, which is taking place for the first time on African soil.
The summit ends on Thursday.