The honorary award was announced at the Nordic Travel Fair, Matka 2008, in Helsinki on January 17.
“Namibia is a rising tourism country and an excellent instance of an African country developing its tourist industry in an exemplary manner,” the Finnish Guild of Travel Journalists said in a statement issued in Helsinki yesterday.
“The country has a democratic political system, is peaceful, friendly and generally safe.”
Tourism is one of the pillars of Namibia’s development and economic growth.
It is often being developed in co-operation with local village communities, drawing on the resources of poor craftspeople and small enterprises.
Recycling and ecologically friendly travel are especially important to Namibian tourism operators and the results are visible.
Namibians are competent and welcoming hosts, the Guild said.
Namibia offers a great deal for tourists: the famous dunes of the world’s oldest desert, the Namib, varied and plentiful wildlife, wide-open space and openness, culture and history, as well as special activities such as sand boarding on the dunes of Swakopmund.
“For many Finns of earlier generations, Namibia was for decades the only real Africa,” the Guild stated.
The Finnish Guild of Travel Journalists was founded in 1969.
Its 120 members are professional journalists, including writers, reporters, photographers and broadcasters, specialising in travel.