There is little doubt about which event took the centre stage last year when it came to prestige! The 2009 Zambia Tourism awards not only made a lot of buzz and headlines but also fulfilled every promise at an all-out fancy dinner event that attracted wide media coverage and enthusiastic industry wide support.
The first of its kind, The Zambia Tourism Awards was a competition designed to promote excellence in tourism operations and to present a high profile opportunity to showcase tourism operations in Zambia.
The key objectives of these first Zambia Tourism Awards were to encourage stakeholders to provide products and services of excellence and motivate them to continue to upgrade these products and services with the ultimate objective of enabling them to become market ready. Another objective was to inspire stakeholders to contribute to the development of tourism industry in Zambia. Finally, the Zambia Tourism Awards aimed to help promote Zambian tourism products to both the domestic and international market.
The awards were open to all Zambia-based tourism operators. Some of the awards that were up for grabs included the best safari accommodation, the best hotel, the best lodge, the best guesthouse, the best back packer facilities, the best camping site and caravan park and many more.
Last year’s competition was pretty stiff with 54 applications shortlisted from the 91 applications received from around Zambia.
With twelve judges let loose to visit the properties, it was hard going for the competitors and only the best would walk away with the ultimate prize. With so many excellent tourist destinations to pick from the judges had a hard time deciding who to pick but in the end the crème de la crème stood out.
Some of the winners were Arabian Nights, who took away the award for best restaurant/catering service. Best safari accommodation went to Chongwe River Camp. Best Guest House award went to Mama Rula’s Guest House and best tourism transport went to Proflight Zambia while best hotel award went to Sun International Hotel.
If you are a Zambian-based tourism operator and didn’t take part last year, don’t lose hope! The next tourism awards are planned for early 2011 and, with the success of the last awards, this promises to be an even bigger and more glittering event!
Posted by Nambeye Katebe