Marthina K Mutanga
In a global first for Namibia the Khoadi-//Hôas Conservancy, in the Kunene Region has been recognized as one of the world’s Top 100 sustainable tourism destination.
Gitta Paetzold, CEO of Hospitality Association of Namibia, said that Journeys Namibia is very proud to announce that Namibia, for the first time, has been recognized in the Top 100 Sustainable Destinations awards.
The Khoadi-//Hôas Conservancy, Grootberg Lodge and Hoada Campsite, NACSO and Journeys Namibia are extremely proud of this achievement.
Paetzold noted that the award ceremony will take place at ITB Berlin during March 2019, where the winners will be announced.
“This event could also serve a fantastic opportunity to boost our Namibian Tourism.”
The theme of this year’s Top 100 awards was “Tourism to benefit local communities”, a theme that is well-suited to the Namibian context where community-managed conservancies often pursue tourism development as a way of generating benefits through sustainable utilisation of natural resources.
This innovative, community based approach is based on the principle that local people are the best custodians of indigenous natural resources and their sustainable management, resulting in over 45% of Namibia being under some form of conservation management.
The Khoadi-//Hôas was one of the first four such conservancies to be gazetted in Namibia during 1998 and operates the 100% community-owned Grootberg Lodge and Hoada Campsite in partnership with Journeys Namibia.
Low-impact, guided activities on offer from these off-grid operations include opportunities to experience the unique, locally-adapted wildlife, engage with local people to learn about their ways of life, and to take in the expansive, iconic landscapes for which Namibia is famed.
Both Grootberg Lodge and Hoada Campsite have received the highest accolade 5 Desert Flowers from Namibia’s sustainable tourism certification body, Eco Awards Namibia, adding further merit to the tourist destination’s global Top 100 recognition.
Maxi Louis, Director of the Namibian Association for Community-based Natural Resource Management Support Organisations (NACSO), was thrilled with the recognition.
“The successful achievements of Namibia’s conservancies in wildlife conservation and community beneficiation are deserving of global recognition. We offer an innovative approach where people are the focal point of finding and implementing solutions for sustainable development. We are proud of the Khoadi-//Hôas Conservancy and the lessons it may offer to other destinations.”