I originally heard about these awards from Best of Zambia, rapidly becoming my source of all worthwhile information about the tourism business in this country via Twitter. But this post is from John Chola:
Launching the initiative on Tuesday at Lusaka’s Southern Sun Ridgeway, the hotel’s general manager Adrian Penny said the initiative presented a high profile opportunity to showcase the best tourism operators in Zambia. Mr Penny said the Zambia Tourism Awards would motivate stakeholders to continue upgrading services in order to become globally competitive, inspire stakeholders to contribute to the development of the tourism industry in Zambia and help promote Zambian tourism to domestic and international markets.
He said that the initiative would recognise and ward categories such as best safari accommodation, best hotel, best guesthouse, best lodge and best back packer facilities. Operators offering camping site and Caravan Park, heritage and culture tourism sports, clean and green as well as community tourism would be awarded accordingly. “Other award categories included the best travel and tour operator, the best restaurant or catering service, the best tourism transport award, the best in tourism promotion and the guide of the year Award,” said Penny adding: “we also have awards for the best in adventure tourism, best entrepreneur award, tourism facilitation and the Zambia tourism special”.
The awards would be open to all Zambia-based tourism operators and application had been restricted to online participants. Mr Penny encouraged businesses and the public to take part through a website www.thebestofzambia.com. “Just visit www.thebestofzambia.com and click the Tourism Awards button on the top of the page between 1st July 2009 and 15th August 2009 to participate,” Mr Penny said.
There would be site visits commence in September and October 2009 while winners would be announced at the high profile awards night slated for November 2009 in Livingstone. Mr Penny said that the 2009 Zambia Tourism Awards were a public-private sector partnership initiated by the public sector through the SEED Project under the Ministry of Tourism, Environment & Natural Resources and co-organised with the Tourism Council of Zambia.
He said that the initiative was also supported by private sector agencies such as The Best of Zambia, Capacity Building for Private Sector Development, Southern Sun Ridgeway and Radio Phoenix. The initiators of the Zambia Tourism Awards encouraged more support from the private sector towards sponsorship of different awards, marketing and promotion of the event.
Meanwhile, one of the initiators Joseph Brown said that in order to encourage Zambians to sample the country’s tourism most operators had introduced special rates. Mr Brown said Zambians visiting tourist resorts around the country would be charged a special rate different from those paid by foreign tourists.”
And would I have a strong objection if you went straight from reading this to nominating Chanters Lodge in the best Guest House category? Um, no! No objection at all!
Nice to see my old hotel The Ridgeway in Lusaka right up there as a sponsor too! The picture? Victoria Falls, an automatic winner in every category!