Africa Albida Tourism Proud to Win Two Top National Accolades

Hospitality group Africa Albida Tourism has won two prestigious Zimbabwe Council for Tourism awards, including operations and finance director Nigel Frost being named Tourism Personality of the Year.

Mr Frost was presented with the Tourism Personality of the Year award at the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism’s (ZCT) Harvegal Marketing Tourism Achievers’ Awards ceremony by the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry Prisca Mupfumira in Harare on February 22.

The awards recognise effort and achievement by individuals and organisations in support of the travel and tourism sector, primarily during the preceding 12 months.

Mr Frost was recognised for successfully spearheading a campaign by the travel and tourism sector to reverse the potentially damaging application of backdated VAT to hospitality billings in the country.

Rainbow Tourism Group chief executive Tendai Madziwanyika said: “This was indeed a victory for the industry as ably led by Nigel.

“The victory extends to the entire economy as it helps in building confidence in the local tourism industry,” Mr Madziwanyika said.

“This will go a long way to attracting foreign direct investment which the country needs to enhance foreign currency flows to the economy and generate employment.”

Former Cresta Hotels chief executive Glenn Stutchbury said: “Often there is a misinterpretation by tax authorities of how an industry works especially where it’s of a global nature like tourism.

“Had industry with Nigel’s persistence, not explained this fully to all concerned authorities the viability of our tourism industry would come into question not only for the past but for the future,” Mr Stutchbury said.

“As recognized by the new dispensation, tourism is a key growth pillar of the economy and its recovery plans! This cannot happen if we stop operating the way the rest of the world tourism does.”

In addition to the premier award, AAT also won the Achievement in Marketing Award for the Africa’s Living Soul tourism survey, which provides tourism data of the Victoria Falls region.

AAT chief executive Ross Kennedy said the hospitality group was extremely proud to have won the two awards.

“Being recognised by your industry peers and colleagues is always special, particularly in a very competitive and innovative industry,” Mr Kennedy said.

“Mr Frost’s award recognises the fact that much dedicated hard work goes on in the background of the so-called glamour of tourism, and this was a seriously important victory for the sector.

“This was a four-year “engagement ” that consumed time, energy, resources, patience and serious negotiating skills.

“The Achievement in Marketing Award acknowledges innovative thinking that was led by Dave Glynn, Chairman of AAT, who together with other colleagues created the survey that has been so widely and well received.

Originally carried out to provide international airlines with the data they required in deciding whether to fly into the new Victoria Falls International Airport, the survey has evolved into a destination marketing tool.

“The data and statistics were gathered and compiled by AAT local sales and marketing consultant Allan Kennedy through hard yards on the ground in all the survey destinations, and then turned into an attractive user-friendly document by designer, Keara O’Toole.”

Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe marketing manager Sarudzai Muza said the Africa’s Living Soul survey had appealed to many airlines due to its in-depth information on the destination of Victoria Falls and its surroundings.

AAT is a hospitality group which operates a portfolio of properties in Victoria Falls, including Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Victoria Falls Safari Club, Victoria Falls Safari Suites, Lokuthula Lodges, and Ngoma Safari Lodge in Chobe, Botswana.

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