ATWS "beyond expectations"

03 Nov 2013 12:40pm
SWAKOPMUND, 03 NOV (NAMPA) - The 2013 Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) has been described as “beyond expectation” by many delegates, as well as an opportunity to market a “jewel” to first-time travellers from around the globe.
Senior Vice President and Editor-in-Chief for Travel Weekly in the United States of America (USA) Arnie Weissmann told Nampa in an interview here on Wednesday the event is an opportunity to share tourism challenges and successes - not only that of Namibia, but also from other parts of the world.
“The event is an opportunity to sell Namibia as a jewel to the world and to network with other members in the industry,” he said.
The president of the Adventure Tour Operators' Association of India, Akshay Kumar said he is grabbing the opportunity to network and explore tourism opportunities in Namibia as well as other parts of the world.
An official from the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry in Zimbabwe, who called herself Patsy, said the summit has shaped the minds of many delegates.
“It made us realise how dynamic tourism is. It is beyond our expectations. We learned something and will go back and apply it in our country,” she said.
Travel journalist Elaine Lee from Ugogurl Productions in Berkeley, California in the USA, who has travelled to 54 countries in the world, gave the organisers of the event a thumbs-up.
“When the conference idea was sold to American journalists to visit Namibia, I knew I had to go. The bio-diversity of Namibia is phenomenal - its vastness and variety is a traveller's dream. The ocean, mountains, parks, and incredible hospitality of the people is a story to be told to other Americans,” she said.
Lee noted that Namibia is safe to travel in, and definitely a prerequisite for women first-time travellers.
The gang-rape of a young student earlier this year in India has drawn attention to the dangers facing female travellers in that country.
During a discussion on global trends, presenter Bhaskar Krishnamurthy issued a warning about the lack of safety and security in India, as well as the fact that it is not safe for women to travel alone.
He advised emerging markets in India’s tourism industry to take such factors into consideration.
“Emerging markets need to think about it. India is not a safe country, and not for women,” he warned.
Seven-hundred delegates from 64 countries attended the summit. which commenced on Monday and ended on Thursday.
The delegate exchange programme provided members in the tourism industry with the opportunity to dive into critical adventure topics and trends with their peers, and also served as a market place connecting buyers with suppliers through pre-set appointments.