Commitment to the economy

12 October 2020 | Tourism

HOW DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED WITH THE ECO-AWARDS?
The Eco-Awards were born about 15 years ago, when there was strong growth in tourism in Namibia, and there was a need to ensure the sustainability of the sector. I became involved as a part-time volunteer on the management committee in 2008. I completely fell in love with the concept of sustainable tourism in Namibia and in 2011 applied for the position- and was appointed as the programme coordinator for Eco-Awards

WHAT DOES RESPONSIBLE TOURISM MEAN TO YOU?
It means involving everyone, starting with the traveler, then the agent, the operator, the accommodation establishment and the tour guides, encouraging them all – by whatever means possible – to make choices, which will ultimately be sustainable by the environment. It is an evolving mind set, starting with the demand for a sustainable destination and following the concept throughout the supply chain, finally resulting in improved sustainability being managed by the destination.

HOW DO YOU SEE TOURISM IN NAMIBIA?
As resilient as the flora of this country, which miraculously sprouts and grows again after the first rains. I see a growth in awareness for sustainable operations amongst tourism businesses, and I see emerging young champions, which are already making a difference.

WHAT SHOULD BE CHANGED?
A lot has already changed in the last six months. I believe people had time to think about how they are operating and about the impact of their choices. I believe more could be done to share best practices amongst different outlets and to focus on inclusiveness rather than exclusiveness. Sustainable tourism is not for an elite few – it is indeed everyone’s business.

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