US-based Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) has given itself a crucial shot in the arm by appointing Maxi Pia Louis, a Namibian conservation and tourism expert, in its 20-member global advisory board.
ATTA spokesperson Casey Hanisko said this week that Louis’s depth of experience working with communities in Namibia to utilise their natural resources in a sustainable manner directly supports ATTA’s mission to drive the adventure travel industry to grow responsibly.
Louis is the director of Namibia’s Communal Conservancies Tourism Sector (NACSO), and was a finalist in the Community Benefit category of the 2010 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.ATTA is set to hold its Adventure Travel World Summit later this year (26-31 October 2013) in the Namibian cities of Windhoek and Swakopmund.
An elated Shannon Stowell, ATTA President said: “Asking Maxi to join our board was a natural extension of our global approach to responsible adventure tourism development. Stowell said Louis brings deep knowledge of community- based tourism and a unique perspective of Africa to the adventure travel industry.
Experts said community-run tourist lodges in Namibia’s wildlife areas are part of a network of projects across the country that not only support rural communities, but also help to protect fragile habitats and wildlife.
Namibia’s predominant conservancy model allows private enterprises to work with government on community-based tourism; ATTA said. “With this model, wildlife-rich Africa has tremendous potential for sustainable economic growth that benefits the communities living in rural, natural areas all while conserving and coexisting with wildlife.”
*Photo supplied. Maxi Pia Louis