Leading hospitality group, Africa Albida Tourism (AAT), scooped five awards at the Association of Zimbabwe Travel Agents (AZTA) event, including Best Resort Hotel for its flagship property Victoria Falls Safari Lodge for the 24th time.
The annual awards, voted for by the Zimbabwe travel sector, recognise industry players, including airlines and hotels, for their great service.
They were hosted by AZTA at a back to the future-themed lunch in Harare last week.
AAT’s Victoria Falls Safari Club was also named Best Boutique Hotel for the seventh time, while Lokuthula Lodges won the Best Self-catering Category for the eighth time.
AAT executive chairperson Dave Glynn won a special award in recognition of the creation of Africa’s Eden, a regional tourism association marketing Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and Botswana, home to one of the few pristine wildlife estates left on earth. Glynn said:
“It’s very gratifying for Africa’s Eden to be recognised. With over 400 members, it is becoming a regional voice and the member networking is amazing to watch. We look forward to welcoming AZTA members to our quickly expanding fold.”
AAT sales executive Wendy Bourne won the Most Outstanding Voluntary Service to Travel Agents Award for the tenth time in recognition of her contribution to the industry. AAT chief executive Ross Kennedy said receiving such recognition from industry peers, after more than two years of devastation in tourism, was so rewarding and uplifting for every member of the AAT team.
“Winning awards in three categories was a huge moment of pride and excitement for us all,” Kennedy said. “We are immensely proud and thankful for the massive combined effort, loyalty and innovation that have been the hallmarks of our resilience and journey, through and post-COVID-19.
“To then have two from our team recognised for individual special awards, was icing on the cake, and richly deserved.”
Other winners included Best City Hotel — Meikles Hotel, Best New Establishment — Palm River Lodge, Best Bed & Breakfast — Banff Lodge, Best Safari Camp (Tented) — Antelope Park, Best Safari Camp (Non-Tented) — Amalinda Lodge, Best Mobile Safari Operator — Zambezi Expeditions, Best Regional Airline — Airlink and Best International Airline — Emirates.