Gondwana Collection Namibia introduced its ‘Tourism Heroes’ initiative last week in response to the country's recent challenges of tourism safety.
The initiative aims to reward, recognise, and support individuals and entities that play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety, hospitality, kindness, care and preservation of Namibian tourism.
Speaking at the launch, Namibian Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, said the reward system would assist and support the government efforts in ensuring that anyone who targeted tourists and tourist establishments was quickly identified, apprehended, and brought to book to face the full wrath of the law.
Gondwana Collection Namibia has committed to it by contributing NAD1m (€49 890), NAD500 000 (€24 944) in cash, and NAD500 000 in kind, facilitated through the Gondwana Care Trust.
The goal of the Gondwana Care Trust is to create independence and empower organisations to be self-sufficient.
“The objectives of this campaign include reducing incidents involving tourists, nurturing a sense of Namibian pride and responsibility for tourist safety, fostering community unity to create a safe and welcoming environment, and emphasising the economic significance of the tourism industry in Namibia.
“It underscores the importance of collective efforts to support this vital industry, which contributes significantly to the country's GDP, provides income for rural communities, generates employment, and much more. By recognising and rewarding individuals who demonstrate exceptional care and support for tourists, often those who go unnoticed. We aim to make Namibia the preferred destination for tourists to experience true hospitality in Africa,” Gondwana Collection Namibia said in a press release.
Gondwana Collection Namibia told Tourism Update that the ‘Tourism Heroes’ will be selected by an independent panel, and will be evaluated on a case-to-case basis regarding the type of reward to be offered, as it may be in kind or in cash.