AN ANNUAL awards ceremony designed to showcase champions in Zimbabwe’s tourism and hospitality industry sector was launched at Harare Hotel on Thursday night.
Dubbed the Twalumba National Travel and Tourism Awards, the awards will celebrate service in tourism and hospitality.
The awards will be held on the last weekend of November on the back of a positive outlook for destination Zimbabwe.
The country’s tourism and hospitality industry sector has received positive acknowledgement by a number of reputable travel magazines, corporates and institutions.
Speaking during the launch on Wednesday night, Minister of Enviroment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Mangaliso Ndlovu described the awards as a ground-breaking.
He added that the initiative will become symbolic of Zimbabwe’s common desire to work together for the common good, now and tomorrow.
“First and foremost, this Awards Competition is a coming together of the key stakeholders in Zimbabwe’s travel and tourism sector, these being my own Ministry, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) and the Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe,” he said.
“These organisations are the main partners in this important sector, a sector that we are hopeful will become the key economic powerhouse of this country and indeed this region by the middle of this decade,” he said
The Twalumba National Travel and Tourism Awards are aimed at rewarding and recognising individual and corporate effort and achievement in pursuit of the growth and development of Zimbabwe’s travel and tourism sector.
This will be done by an exhaustive search for deserving candidates in the various categories of the awards, followed by a selection of winners by a panel of adjudicators.
“Travel and tourism is a diverse and dynamic economic sector that has grown substantially across the world over the past years,” Ndlovu continued.
“As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, it is acknowledged that this sector is the fastest-growing economic contributor to wealth creation on the planet. It is also projected that by mid-century, one in eight people will be involved directly or indirectly with this sector,” he added.
In many emerging national economies, the tourism sector anchors transformation.
“This mirrors our own stated national thrust to pursue the achievement of such transformation as stated in our National Vision where we are thriving for Zimbabwe to be an upper middle class economy by 2030,” the 39-year-old minister added.
ZTA Chief Executive Givemore Chidzidzi said ZTA was equally delighted with the joint initiative that will ensure will ensure consistent and exceptional customer service within the sector is showcased and rewarded.
TBCZ president Winnie Muchanyuka concurred that while there is general consensus that Zimbabwe’s tourism product is excellent, recognising industry service will go a long way in extracting value from the sector.
“As the representative body of all travel and tourism operators in Zimbabwe, the TBCZ commits itself to future cooperation in pursuit of excellence, which is wha the awards will symbolize,” she said.
The Full list of categories are as follows:
Tourism Business of the Year
Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year
Tourism Personality of the Year
Eco-Tourism Facility of Initiative of the Year
Event of the Year
Corporate Responsibility Project of the Year
Coverage of travel and tourism in print media
Coverage of travel and tourism in broadcast media
Coverage of travel and tourism in the online media
Tour guide of the Year
Tourism Image Builder of the Year
Achievement in Marketing
Achievement in Digital Marketing
Achievement in Pursuit of Service Excellence
Achievement in Cultural Tourism
Achievement in promoting gender equality
Achievement in human resources development
Contribution from public sector
Achievement in innovation