Trading and the accumulation of wealth have been central to the development of civilizations over thousands of years and are likely to remain so. Uncontrolled, however, commerce can have negative impacts. Although when conducted in a more holistic and sustainable way, it can be a positive contributor to The Long Run’s principles of business in balance. Within this dimension we address issues that affect the sustainability of our business and its capacity to provide a source of income for those people that depend on it, as well as our ability to reinvest back into initiatives in the other 3Cs (Conservation, Community and Culture)
Wolwedans endeavors to achieve the following long term Commercial impact:
Economic viability is the key to sustainability and enables us to achieve our purpose. To create genuine, long lasting wealth for the company, our employees, our shareholders and Namibia as a whole, we have to be a resilient and financially sound business, secured for the long run. We require visionary drive; financial prudence and we need to strike the right balance between innovative growth and core product focus. In short, we want to be a leader in the Namibian tourism and hospitality industry!
The Award is one of the highest accolades in the Namibian eco-tourism Travel industry. This achievement speaks volumes about the sustainability efforts the Wolwedans operation has been pursuing since its inception. We believe in a holistic approach, balancing people, planet and profit. We are in it for the long run and feel that although the implementation of responsible tourism comes at a price, the rewards far outweighs the costs and efforts. Being selected for the Green Five Flowers award, in the category of immeasurably high performance in the categories of environmental awareness, proved yet again, that the strategies adopted by our Collection, aim to inspire a new, more sustainable way.
The nature reserve covers an area of over 200 000 hectares while providing merely 44 beds for guests. It would be easy to triple the amount of beds, while reducing our rates and as a result increase profits. This, however, would be contradictory to the philosophy Wolwedans adopted and has subscribed to since 1996. Foremost – the tourism operations on NamibRand were designed to serve conservation and to date Wolwedans has invested over N$ 10 000 000 into conservation and management programmes. NamibRand has since recovered its sensitive ecosystems and we hope to preserve this paradise and maintain its healthy balance for future generations. In 16 years we have not paid out a single cents in dividends.
Wolwedans is a– Global Ecosphere Retreat® certified Long Run Destination. Long Run Destinations embrace the philosophy of acting today for a better tomorrow. As such Wolwedans operates within the prescribed 4Cs: conservation, community, culture and commerce. At the time of the adoption, nearly a decade ago, Jochen Zeitz, then, Chairman of Puma and Founder of the Long Run Initiative, was a special guest at the that officially opening of the solar hybrid installation that initiated the efforts that have come to represent award winning standards today. Wolwedans practices responsible tourism, which is designed to provide the financial means to support and uphold the vision of conserving this ecologically unique corner of Namibia and the NamibRand Nature Reserve within it. Wolwedans seeks to inspire a new way, through the very means in which it chooses to exist.
Over the last 20 years our interdependent model of conservation and commerce has proven to be a very successful approach to large landscape conservation.
The Reserve is financially self-sustaining mainly through high quality, low- impact tourism. Wolwedans, as the main stakeholder of the tourism operations granted on the Reserve, has been designed to support and uphold this vision and participate in the reestablishment of the ecosystem for nearly two decades. The core objective of Wolwedans is to support the NamibRand Nature Reserve in its mission, not only to safeguard and restore the Pro-Namib ecosystem but also to maintain its standards in creating a sustainable model for land preservation, on this scale.
Service Excellence, achieved, through standard operating procedures
By developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) we have fine-tuned our service levels. This enables the team to set progressive goals for continued improvement.
To maintain the Wolwedans team’s service excellence, certain areas within the business (i.e. housekeeping) are standardized and for information-sharing platforms designed for easy access. These standard operating procedures, or SOPs, will not only allow the team to deliver top quality service but they’ll also shorten the training period required for new team members. The SOPs also serve a secondary purpose. They form the basis of the hospitality training manuals that are used for our Desert Academy trainees.
Wolwedans nominated for prestigious Tourism for Tomorrow Award
Wolwedans has recently been nominated under the conservation banner for the 2012 Tourism for Tomorrow awards, the winner being announced in Tokyo, Japan during April this year. Every year the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) recognizes the very best in sustainable tourism.
This Award is one of the highest accolades in the global Travel & Tourism industry. This achievement speaks volumes about the sustainability efforts the Wolwedans operation has been pursuing since its inception. We believe in a holistic approach balancing the four C’s: Conservation, Commerce, Community and Culture. We are in it for the long run. We feel that although the implementation of responsible tourism comes at a price, the rewards far outweigh the input costs and the recognition of our efforts by means of the Tourism for Tomorrow awards is of immeasurable value.