Namibia supports BBEE to ensure the future of Sustainable / Responsible Tourism

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What is Sustainable Tourism? Why Responsible Tourism in Namibia? Pro's & Con's? How does it work? Who is involved & how? How much progress are we making? Your opinion & suggestions?  Meet the Sustainable Network Southern Africa

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One of the most important aspects of ensuring the long-term feasibility of Sustainable Tourism activities in Namibia is to get inhabitants across the entire spectrum of society interested if not directly involved in them. Increasing awareness of the value of conserving and responsibly utilising our natural resources and cultural heritage and providing new business and employment opportunities  are amongst the most pressing issues to address.

 
   


While many organisations have been busy spreading the message and setting up a basic infrastructure at grass-root levels for many years, the Namibian Tourism Industry took the lead in formulating a Transformation Charta for its private business sector.
It covers all areas directly and indirectly affected by tourism activities, - from training of staff to supporting surrounding communities and taking on mentor roles in emerging tourism enterprises -, with the aim of laying the foundations for the economic empowerment of previously disadvantaged population groups.


Countless so-called BBEE (Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment) Projects emerged, since the milestone tourism industry congress took place in 2005. Many small and some larger ones had been in existence for years already, with members of the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) based in rural areas in the forefront of such initiatives. Soon others followed those examples, and today there is hardly any established accommodation, tour operator, car rental, catering, and tourism marketing business anymore that is not involved in BBEE activities in one way or another.

 


Yet, the scale on which transformation has to take place is enormous in vast developing countries like Namibia and much remains to be done. Support in terms of expertise and finances is required in almost any area of the tourism industry.
Although larger BBEE projects may qualify for receiving both through foreign development funds, the majority are small - often localised - ones that depend entirely on the personal input of their initiators:
Privately owned guest farms and game lodges in remote locations providing schooling facilities for their employees' children or assisting nearby ethnic communities in setting up small farming or manufacturing enterprises and purchasing their products; small specialised tour operators jointly contributing to the development of cultural villages by focussing some of their sales and marketing efforts on cultural tours; restaurants in tourist centres supporting previously in-house trained service and kitchen staff in obtaining recognised qualifications through the payment of course fees; some smaller accommodation establishments following the EU initiative "Cleaner Production" for reducing water and electricity consumption as well as waste products;  experienced tour guides training newcomers at their own expense and time ... to name but a few.


Each tourist travelling through Namibia therefore makes a valuable contribution not only to the large and usually well-promoted development drives but also to such private sector BBEE initiatives without which many of those small-scale projects would not survive.

     
   


One of the key aims of BBEE is the transfer of skills and knowledge to those who did not have access to obtaining both, prior to Namibia's Independence.
Some Namibians actively involved in tourism and related fields for many years shared their experiences with Namibia-Unlimited.com .... read more 

 

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Last Update: April 2009