By Confidente Reporter
THE Namibian Wildlife Resort (NWR) has taken a leading role in facilitating cross-border tourism products that are now profitable and branded, while having a direct and positive impact on communities, a recent expert workshop on Cross-Border Tourism Products within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs) revealed.
The products offered by NWR has contributed towards employment and skill-transfer within the surrounding areas of Namibia’s National Parks, of which a good example is the bi-annual Desert Knights Mountain Bike Challenge that happens every April and September within the /Ai-/Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park.
TFCAs held in Johannesburg, South Africa was attended by NWR personnel, officials from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) as well as representatives of the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB).
According to NWR’s Managing Director Zelna Hengari it is upon reflection on the discussions that place, where the role of the parastatal in cross-border tourism was “emphatically” highlighted.
“In addition to that, NWR recently launched a tour of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) countries were late last year,” Hengari said.
“[NWR] took some of the KAZA country Ambassadors stationed in Namibia on tour in order to give them first-hand experience of what NWR will be offering national, regional and international tourists. NWR, therefore, believes that this is a new window of opportunity that can significantly contribute towards Namibia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).” Hengari stressed that the discussions to develop transfrontier links between South Africa and Namibia dates back to 2000 and they bore fruit in 2003 when the two countries environment and tourism ministers signed the international treaty.
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