Belinda Tafadzwa Mutinhiri, the late Zimbabwe Tourism Authority staffer who died in a car crash last month posthumously won the much coveted, Africa Tourism Personality of the Year 2016 award.
The award ceremony will be held on October 30 during the Akwaaba Africa Travel Market in Lagos, Nigeria.
The prestigious accolade is part of the Africa Travel Awards organised and promoted by ATQnews.com which is a member of Travel Media Group.
The website is an online platform for African Travel Quarterly (ATQ), the first Travel magazine in West Africa which solely focuses on travel and tourism issues.
It started publishing offline a decade ago.
“The Africa Travel Awards 2016 is citing and acknowledging the late Belinda as one of the early promoters of Intra Africa Tourism who was chosen by voters from all over Africa.
“Indeed, it’s very sad and unfortunate that she’ll never celebrate the fruits of her hard work,” said organisers of the awards ceremony in a statement.
Recipients of the awards were chosen in a two part survey which includes the public and a committee of experts.
The committee members nominated candidates and the nominees were then voted for by the public via an online platform.
There were votes from all over Africa and beyond the continent including from as far as Russia, Norway, USA, and the Latin America.
The other prominent local winner of the Africa Travel Awards 2016 is the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry Dr Walter Mzembi who is also not a stranger to the world of accolades.
By the time of her untimely death, Mutinhiri, elder sister to television personality Vimbai, was the ZTA marketing manager responsible for Africa.
Before joining ZTA, Belinda worked as a front office executive at the Landmark Hotel in London, Guest Relations Executive at One Aldwych Hotel London and Customer Relations at British Petroleum before returning home where she joined the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority in July 2006.
During her sojourn at the ZTA, Belinda won the worker of the year award three times in consecutive years, which according to the ZTA chief executive, Karikoga Kaseke, was clear testimony of her commitment and dedication to her work.
“If there was anything that distinguished and set Belinda apart from the rest in the organisation, it was her energy, cheerfulness and jovial mood, attributes which are critical for a complete and wholesome destination marketer,” remarked Kaseke.
“Indeed the contribution Belinda made to the tourism and hospitality sector shall always be cherished and we already miss our beloved colleague.
“May her dear soul continue resting in eternal peace.”