The accommodation establishments of Gondwana Collection Namibia fully comply with the hygiene and safety standards of the World Health Organisation (WHO). The compliancy certificates were issued by Eco Awards Namibia whose independent assessors visited Gondwana’s lodges and The Delight Swakopmund.
Stephanie de Lange, coordinator of Gondwana’s environmental and social engagement, organised the inspection tours and assessments. "We are grateful and proud that all our lodges that have been assessed so far as well as The Delight Swakopmund, were rated 100% compliant in all four Covid-19 related categories. The main assessments involved the compliance with common preventive measures such as spacing rules, the wearing of masks, equipping with disinfectants and thorough cleaning of rooms and public areas using suitable cleaning products, as well as the level of knowledge amongst the team with regards to Covid-19 and the appropriate rules of conduct surrounding it.”
Gondwana reacted swiftly when the pandemic reached Namibia in March 2020 and adapted revised Standard Operating Procedures for all service centres and lodges in line with the Government of Namibia’s instructions to the tourism industry and WHO guidelines. Gondwana’s Hygiene and Safety Measures aim to provide guests and employees with the safest possible environment, yet offering guests an unforgettable Namibian experience.
Eco Awards Namibia usually runs a sustainable tourism certification programme that encourages the selective and careful use of resources, promoting reducing, recycling and reusing. Similar to the grading with stars for accommodation establishments, Eco Awards Namibia awards up to five desert flowers under the eco seal of quality. Approached by several Namibian stakeholders Eco Awards agreed to conduct third party audits of Covid-19 compliancy in the tourism industry.
Hazel Milne, the Programme Coordinator of Eco Awards Namibia explains: “FENATA and the NTB have produced a COVID-19 Protocol for tourism business in Namibia. It includes information to help these businesses make decisions about how to ensure they put the health and safety of people first. Based on these protocols, as well as the WHO protocols, Eco Awards Namibia had drafted a COVID-19 readiness checklist, which assessors can use to do a 3rd party audit, while doing sustainability assessments.”
Audits commenced already in June 2020, the participation is voluntary. To date 30 audits had been completed and reviewed. All 30 establishments had been found 100% compliant against the existing NTB and global protocols, among them the following Gondwana properties: The Delight Swakopmund, Hakusembe River Lodge, Chobe River Camp as well as Zambezi Mubala Lodge & Camp as well as the lodges of the Namib, Canyon and Kalahari Collection. The remaining Gondwana properties will be assessed soon.