ZTA awards to honour tourism industry

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority has beefed up its Annual National Tourism Awards with categories considered this year, The Zimbabwean on Sunday can exclusively reveal.

Sugar Chagonda: awards are to thank the tourism and hospitality sector for its resilience.
Sugar Chagonda: awards are to thank the tourism and hospitality sector for its resilience.

The awards will be presented to the media, business, public service and tourism industry at a lavish ceremony at Great Zimbabwe Hotel in Masvingo Province on September 27.

The event coincides with the Annual World Tourism Day.

ZTA’s public relations, events and protocols head Sugar Chagonda said the nomination process would end on August 31.

"This year the ZTA is honouring Zimbabwe's leading organisations and personalities in the tourism industry," Changonda said.

"The awards are to thank the tourism and hospitality sector for its resilience over the years, which has seen it contributing significantly to Zimbabwe even under very unfavourable economic conditions," Changonda said.

The tourism industry, which used to be among the top foreign currency earners, took a deep plunge after the introduction of the controversial Land Resettlement Programme in 2000.

Foreigners, especially from Europe and America, were deterred after government travel warnings were issued advising caution when travelling in Zimbabwe.

There are nine categories in the new awards, including: accommodation, restaurants, best airline, best car hire, best travel agent, best tour operator, best training institution, best conference facility, and best environmentally conscious facility.

Other awards will include Tourism Image Builder of the Year, Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year, Tourism Woman of the Year and Tourism Personality of the Year.

Changona said local media would be acknowledged with awards for Reporter of the Year (Print), Reporter of the Year (Electronic) and Reporter of the Year (Online) to deserving journalists for their tourism and hospitality coverage in 2011.

He said other awards included the Minister's Award, Social Responsibility Award, and the Patron's Award.

"The objective of the awards is to strengthen tourism management and upgrade service standards," Changoda said.

"They are also meant to help conserve the industry's rich heritage sites while strongly supporting the prospective and able ones, provide a platform for Zimbabweans to appreciate tourism facilities and services in their country, as well as to recognise the efforts of the tourism and hospitality industry."- Ngoni Chanakira

Post published in: Travel

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