It was not a surprise that the former head of Marketing for Zimbabwe Tourism Authority late Belinda Muthinhiri who died last month was chosen as the Africa Tourism personality of the year by voters from all over Africa. She was credited as one of the early promoters of Intra Africa Tourism.
She is not the only winner for the only Travel Awards in Africa done exclusively by Africans for Africa. There are 21 other winners including the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality for Zimbabwe Walther Mzembi.
Ethiopian Airlines and Emirates are winners for best Airlines in Africa and Cape Town as the most Passenger friendly Airport in Africa. The CEO of Rwandair Mr. John Mirenge won the Award for the African Aviation Personality of the year while his Airline Rwandair won the Award for the best Short Haul Airline in Africa.
Kenya including their Tourism Board KTB won 4 Awards, Rwanda 4 awards ,Ethiopia 5 and South Africa 6 awards. The only winner from West Africa is Radisson Blu, Dakar Senegal that was chosen as the best Business hotel in Africa.
The 4th Edition of Africa Travel Awards organised by atqnews.com will hold on the first day of the 3 day Akwaaba African Travel Market on the 30th of October 2016 at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos Nigeria. Dinner tickets are available on www.africantravelmarkets.com
Winners were chosen in a 2 part survey which includes the public and a committee of experts.
The committee members nominated candidates and these nominees were then voted for by the public via an online questionnaire. There were votes from All over Africa and as far away as Russia, Norway, most of Europe, USA, and the Latin America but majority of the votes came from Nigeria, Kenya and Zimbabwe.
The nominees with the highest scores were then ratified by the committee which is a pan African committee of Travel Professionals from different countries in Africa. They Drew up a Shortlist of nominees to be voted for by the public. The criteria for the choices were listed alongside the Nominees.
The committee members were drawn from East , West, South and central Africa and it is not surprising that most of the winners are from Sub Saharan Africa.
The committee members include…Denis Gathanju, a passionate journalist and photographer based in East Africa.
Sandra IDOSSOU is an Afropolitan hotelier, trainer, mystery shopper, consultant, writer, author, traveler, publisher who has been expatriate in 8 African countries since 2000.
Chiquita Afuluenu Johnson is the former National Tourism Consultant for the Republic of Liberia and CEO of West Tourism Management.
Monique Swart who is the Founder of the African Business Travel Association (ABTA). She has worked within the association environment for the corporate travel industry for 17 years.
Other members Include Ali Diouf an Experienced Journalist from Senegal, Sheikh Tejan an Experienced Tourism Administrator from The Gambia.
Charity Githinju a travel expert based in Tanzania. Siphelele Luthuli is a travel consultant and communication expert from South Africa. Khomotso Kelsall also a South African Based Travel Consultant.
From Uganda is Barbra Adoso a leading Tour Operator, Nancy Sam Quartey from Ghana. Other Tour Operators include Benin Republic based Olanma Ojukwu, Ms. Josephine FiFi Rurangwa Rwandan national, born in Uganda, she is the Head of Africa Expansion of Wakanow.com. Rwanda based Catherine Mutuale, Nigeria based Atinuke Nwakohu. Kenyan Annet Nashipae are all Travel consultants.
The Ghanaian Journalist Samuel Doe is joined by Nigerian Blogger Olori Supergal and Yunus Silas from The Gambia.