Tourism is living proof that small thing matter

28 May 2018 | Tourism

If over the past twenty years there ever was a Namibia Tourism Expo which was held under a most appropriate motto, it must be the one of 2018: “Small things matter.”

In an environment, where the economic realities have hit home so hard in Namibia over the past few years, anything moved, shaped or developed by anybody, who dares to dream and take a risk - however small - is bound to be a small step towards bringing Namibia closer to a better future. While the tourism sector is still riding the crest of a most fortunate wave, which is not entirely the result of our own making, let us be mindful of those, who are daring to take the first small step towards entering a market, which requires the highest degree of professionalism and service-mindedness. If Namibia wants to remain a sustainable holiday destination, it is imperative to not only maintain what we have, but to build on that - especially in the rural areas - and develop our entire country and nurture the hospitality sector and mentality so as to serve the visitors, who come to Namibia in order to experience something unique!

The ultimate recipe for success surely lies in the presupposition that all of us are prepared to assist each other without fear or favour, in order to make each and every spot in Namibia a place, where visitors feel welcome and at home.

The expo offers all members of the Namibian hospitality-sector including tour operators and people or organisations involved with the tourism industry the opportunity, to meet people of like mind and share thoughts and ideas. These are conservationists and visionaries, who share the common goal of developing Namibia into a distinctive visitors’ paradise. But they are also people, who have come to terms with the realities of life and find themselves facing new challenges on a daily basis. In the process they have come to realise that their dream is not a sprint, but a marathon, thus reiterating the point made: Small things matter.

This is the reason, why so much focus is put on the Small Town of the Year competition, which does not only aim at highlighting what these towns have achieved, but also directs our attention to the opportunities waiting for investors, which are the result of so many remaining short-comings. Let us take the bull by the horns and listen to the rural folk of Namibia and do what we can, in order “to help them, to help themselves” thereby creating employment opportunities and thus wealth - something which the tourism sector is ideally poised to do.

In like manner it was the small beginning way back that advanced tour operators and accommodation establishments to become beacons of light as finalists of the Responsible Tourism Awards competition. But you need to take that first small step!

It is against this background that Namibia also has to start looking beyond the conservation of the typical animals such as the big five and instead start looking at its complete eco-system. We therefore follow the example of the “Rare and Endangered Species Trust” (REST) and shine the light on the “forgotten five”, because these small creatures matter too.

But the NTE offers so much more from workshops and public addresses to logistical suppliers and new vehicle sales agents right up to the actual role players in the tourism industry, who present their goods and show off their services. In-between visitors are treated to super shows such like the public Master Chefs’ cooking show and further entertainment.

Let us all take a small step this year and each contribute in our own little way joining all of our singular candles to be bundled into a substantial beacon of light shining on all the small things that matter so much!

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