Africa Albida Tourism 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 by the Zimbabwe travel sector recognises industry players, including airlines and hotels, for great service. They were hosted by AZTA Chairperson Mercy Mandevhani at a Back to the Future themed lunch at the Cresta Lodge in Harare on September 10.
Africa Albida Tourism’s (AAT) premium property Victoria Falls Safari Club was also named Best Boutique Hotel for the seventh time, while Lokuthula Lodges won the Best SelfCatering category for the eighth time.
AAT executive chairman Dave Glynn won a Special Award in recognition of his creation of Africa’s Eden, a regional tourism association marketing Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and Botswana, home to the most pristine wildlife estate 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 fabulous recognition from industry peers, after more than two years of devastation in tourism, is so rewarding and uplifting for every member of the AAT team.
“Winning the ‘Best of’ 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 of our team recognised for individual special awards, was icing on the cake, and richly deserved,” he added.
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.
AAT operates a portfolio of properties in Victoria Falls, which include Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, as well as Victoria Falls Safari Club, Victoria Falls Safari Suites, Lokuthula Lodges and The Boma – Dinner & Drum Show. The group is set to open the largest and first purposebuilt spa in Victoria Falls in October, placing the city on the map as a wellness destination.