Mzembi wins tourism award

The Minister of Tourism and Hospitality, Engineer Walter Mzembi, has won the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism’s principal award, for Tourism Personality of the Year, in recognition of his efforts to successfully host and run the 2013 United Nations World Tourism Organisation conference in Victoria Falls.

Minister of Tourism and Hospitality, Engineer Walter Mzembi
Minister of Tourism and Hospitality, Engineer Walter Mzembi

The presentation of the accolade was made at the annual ZCT awards event, held in Harare, but the Minister was unable to be present and the award was collected on his behalf by the Deputy Minister, Brigadier-General Kanhanga, from ZCT President Francis Ngwenya.

The ZCT Personality of the Year trophy is awarded to individuals who make a significant contribution to the development and enhancement of Zimbabwe’s travel and tourism sector, and recognition was given for his role in steering the UNWTO meeting, which was held in Victoria Falls and Livingstone, Zambia, in August last year. The award was made to the minister for his personal leadership and for steering the many organisations and individuals who also made a contribution to the event’s success.

Other awards presented for 2013:

• ZCT Special Award, to a person advancing the interests of the travel and tourism sector in general and the ZCT in particular: Glenn Stutchbury, past president of the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism.

• Rainbow Tourism Group Award for best entrepreneur: jointly won by Wengai Nhau of Wenhau Safaris and Blessing Munyenyiwa of Love For Africa.

• Victoria Falls Safari Lodge Tourism Group Award for best promotional material in all media: Cresta Sprayview, a new hospitality operation at Victoria Falls, which opened in August last year.

• Green Globe 21 Trophy for environmental action and awareness: Clive Stockil.

• David Chapman Cup for innovation: Africa Albida Tourism, which introduced the Victoria Falls Safari Club during 2013.

• The AZTA Award for best secretariat within the ZCT family: Precious Matsilele-Marimbire of ZCT and Violet Rukande of HAZ.

Speaking at the awards dinner, Deputy Minister Kanhanga and guest speaker Rowan Martin, a long-standing environmentalist and wildlife personality, spoke of the close relationship between wildlife conservation and tourism and both men urged the community at large to unite in the fight against poaching and other environmental threats.

The awards dinner was also an initial fundraising event for both ZCT and for National Parks and Wildlife, marking the start of an ongoing campaign by ZCT to raise money for its own needs, as well as for the wildlife protection programmes of National Parks and Wildlife.

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