New Journey for Gondwana
In November this year, the leading hospitality company in Namibia will turn 21. It began humbly with a single lodge, a handful of staff and a dream, and has grown over the last two decades to become what is today the well-loved Gondwana Collection.
Over the years, Gondwana has created one of the largest privately protected areas in Africa, the 127 000 hectare Gondwana Canyon Park; established 14 lodges countrywide and The Delight Hotel in Swakopmund; grown its staff complement to over 600 people; and welcomed 2 million guests who have walked through its doors. Land that was previously owned by just 11 people is now jointly owned by 64 shareholders representing all sectors of Namibian society. Gondwana has also been the forerunner in making tourism available to Namibians with its popular Gondwana Card. More than that though, with lodges dotted throughout the country, it has enabled people to experience the new Namibia, the positive Namibia, the “yes we can” Namibia as they travel from place to place.
The company has received many accolades over the years including the Equity Empowerment, Investor of the Year and the Most Innovative Tourist Company in Africa awards, as well as a number of environmental honours.
From the beginning, the founding member and managing director, Mannfred Goldbeck, has been in the driver’s seat, steering the company in innovative new directions with his energy, warmth and vision. He has taken the company on an incredible journey and seen many of its dreams materialise. As Gondwana moves into the next decade – and the next part of its journey, he has decided to hand over the reins to new blood. Mr Goldbeck will remain with the company as a senior executive and focus his energy on Gondwana Branding and Marketing, as well as on further improving its Environmental practices with the aim of achieving truly sustainable tourism.
He will also be focusing on building a Gondwana Hospitality Academy at Stampriet, to ensure that Gondwana’s well-renowned service quality continues to improve through providing young Namibians with new opportunities and skills. These areas of brand profile underpinned by meeting and exceeding guest expectations, sustainable environmental management and investing in the people of Namibia are at the heart of Gondwana’s values and are the soul of the company. Mannfred Goldbeck has built and nurtured these values. He will now have more time to redefine and grow the core elements of these values, strengthen the synergy between them and help lift the company to greater heights.
“In Brand and Marketing lie opportunities for new growth to unlock potential, attracting even more guests eager to discover and explore Namibia,” says Mr Goldbeck, describing how his love for Namibia will be of benefit to all.