In a global first for Namibia, ≠Khoadi-//Hôas Conservancy in the Erongo-Kunene region has been recognised as one of the world’s Top 100 sustainable destinations! The 4th annual Sustainable Destinations Global Top 100 award winners were announced by Green Destinations – a destination certification body that is accredited by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). Winners will be celebrated at ITB Berlin in March 2019, where more than 160,000 visitors will gather at the world’s leading travel trade show, hosted in one of Namibia’s most significant source markets.
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.
≠Khoadi-//Hôas was one of the first four such conservancies to be gazetted in Namibia in 1998 and operates the 100% community-owned Grootberg Lodge and Hoada Campsite in partnership with Journey’s 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 destination’s global top 100 recognition.
Ms Maxi Louis, Director of the Namibian Association for Community-based Natural Resource Management Support Organisations (NACSO), was thrilled with the recognition, saying that, “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 and the lessons it may offer to other destinations.”
Journeys Namibia Operations Director, Mr Dominic Du Raan, echoed her excitement at the global recognition: “Our partnership with the community of the ≠Khoadi-//Hôas is a great source of pride for us – the tourism experience on offer could not be achieved alone, but is a result of commitment to working together for the benefit of local people through the successful operation of their tourism businesses. We look forward to many more years of working together to host visitors from around the world.”
The ≠Khoadi-//Hôas submission for the Sustainable Destinations Top 100 award was prepared by Lisa Scriven, of Utopia Consulting. For more information about the process and criteria reviewed by the adjudication panel, contact her as follows:
Ms Lisa Scriven
Utopia Consulting (Ticket2Utopia)
c: +264 81 6466391
For more information about the ≠Khoadi-//Hôas Conservancy and tourism products on offer there:
Namibia’s conservancies, including ≠Khoadi-//Hôas Conservancy
Journeys Namibia tourism experiences, including Grootberg Lodge and Hoada Campsite