The initiative was spearheaded by the Poly’s Hospitality and Tourism Department and three other tertiary education institutions, the University of Dar es Salam, St Augustine University of Tanzania and Tampere University of Applied Sciences in Finland.
The group set out to review the Tourism and Development Plan of the Dorob National Park and the Swakopmund Municipality, to empower the students from the three countries to explore and implement new business ideas. They also planned to encourage the local communities, specifically the youth and women, to find innovative ways of harnessing rural tourism through entrepreneurship. The training was deemed a resounding success based on the outcomes of the project on which an assortment of recommendations were made.
The students suggested, for example, that a food court be opened in the coastal town to stimulate cultural tourism. They also proposed that more marine tourism activities could be introduced to increase tourist numbers.
The Poly Rector, Tjama Tjivikua, expressed his gratitude to the Finnish Embassy for funding the project and called for the continuation of such programmes in the immediate future.
Dr Erling Kavita, the Head of the Hospitality and Tourism Department, emphasised that tourism is today seen as the only sector that can reach remote and rural areas to help address poverty alleviation. “More than 80% of poverty strategies view tourism as a central driver of economic growth and tourism is a people-oriented business that depends on quality service from welltrained employees,” Kavita said.
The participants in this project, with their diverse backgrounds, learnt a lot about one another’s cultures during the two weeks, and this sharpened their intercultural awareness and communication skills, which was one of the core objectives of the project. All the participants received a certificate in recognition of their hard work.