Leading tourism group scoops top service awards

14 Sep, 2022 - 09:09 0 Views
Leading tourism group scoops top service awards Victoria Falls Safari Lodge one of the prime destinations at the scenic Victoria Falls

The Chronicle

Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter

VICTORIA Falls Safari Lodge has been named the ‘best resort hotel’ in Zimbabwe for the 24th time.

The hotel is a flagship property of leading hospitality group Africa Albida Tourism (AAT), which has received five awards for its outstanding work in the tourism sector.

Other subsidiaries include Victoria Falls Safari Club, Victoria Falls Suites, Lokuthula Lodges and the Boma-Dinner and Drum Show.

The awards were announced at the Association of Zimbabwe Travel Agents (AZTA) event dubbed ‘Back to the Future’ in Harare.
Voted by the Zimbabwe travel sector, the awards recognise industry players, including airlines and hotels, for great service.

Victoria Falls Safari Club was named ‘best boutique hotel’ for the seventh time, while Lokuthula Lodges won the ‘best self-
catering’ category for the eighth time.

AAT executive chairman Mr 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, which make up the most pristine wildlife estate left on earth.

AAT sales executive Ms Wendy Bourne won the most outstanding voluntary service to travel agents award for the 10th time in recognition of her contribution to the industry. Receiving the award, Mr Glynn said it is gratifying for Africa’s Eden to be recognised.

“With over 400 members it’s becoming a regional voice and the member networking is amazing to watch. We look forward to welcoming AZTA members to our quickly expanding fold,” he said.

In a statement, AAT chief executive Mr Ross Kennedy said receiving such fabulous recognition from industry peers after more than two years of devastation in tourism, is rewarding and uplifting for every member of the AAT team.

AAT was among the first industry players to re-open in July 2020 after closure of business due to Covid-19 lockdowns.
“Winning the best of awards in three categories was a huge moment of pride and excitement for us all. 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,” he said.

“To then have two of our team recognised for individual special awards, was icing on the cake and richly deserved,” said Mr Kennedy.
Newly opened Palm River Lodge of Victoria Falls was named ‘best new’ establishment while Amalinda Lodge was named ‘best safari camp’ (non-tented).

Other winners included best city hotel – Meikles Hotel, best bed and breakfast (Banff Lodge), best safari camp-tented (Antelope Park) and best mobile safari operator (Zambezi Expeditions).

Airlines Airlink and Emirates were named best regional airline and best international airline respectively. AAT has been named the 5th top resort hotel in Africa by United States magazine, Travel + Leisure and best environmentally friendly hospitality group at the 2019 Circular & Plastics Innovation Award.

AAT operates a portfolio of properties in Victoria Falls and is set to open the largest and first purpose-built spa in Victoria Falls next month.

— @ncubeleon

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