HARARE, Zimbabwe, September 2018 – Hospitality group Africa Albida Tourism won the Environmental Award at the 25th Annual Association of Zimbabwe Travel Agents (AZTA) Awards ceremony on Saturday 1st September 2018, after launching a major recycling project in Victoria Falls.
In addition, Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) scooped four other accolades at the event – its flagship property Victoria Falls Safari Lodge won Best Resort Hotel for the 22nd year in a row; Victoria Falls Safari Club was named Best Boutique Hotel, and Lokuthula Lodges won the Best Self-Catering category, while Wendy Bourne, AAT Sales Executive, was honoured with the award for Most Outstanding Voluntary Service to travel agents.
The awards, which reward airlines, lodges, agents and companies with a certificate for their great service, as voted by the Zimbabwe travel industry, were presented by AZTA Chairperson Ignatius Matungamire at The Jam Tree in Harare and ran under the theme “Tastefully Beachy”.
In March, AAT launched Victoria Falls Recycling, an initiative, coordinated by well-known conservationist Charlene Hewat, that is expected to have a major impact on protecting the environment around one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
Both local businesses and individuals are participating in Victoria Falls Recycling, which strives to increase the volume of recycling, whilst reducing the amount of litter on the streets and the levels of waste going to the dumpsite unnecessarily. So far plastics and papers are being recycled, and in the coming months, glass and beverage cans will be included.
AAT chief executive Ross Kennedy said: “We are so proud to be recognized by our peers and colleagues for our latest conservation and recycling initiative launched just 6 months ago in Victoria Falls. Working with Charlie Hewat and PetrecoZim, Greenline Africa Trust and Victoria Falls Municipality, and led by Andy Conn, our Group Operations Manager, VFR has gained traction, support and interest across the Victoria Falls economy and community. This very special award together with the other 4 awards we won at the AZTA awards, recognizes our commitment to our industry, our customers and the communities in which we operate. We are very proud of these achievements in a year in which we have reinvested a further US$1.2 million into our properties to enhance, upgrade and build quality and service delivery.”
Kennedy added that the group aims to build capacity in VFR by using a piece of land allocated by the council to build bigger and better warehousing for the process plant, as well as to create space and facilities for creative artisans to turn the recycled materials into saleable and functional arts, crafts and even building materials.
Andy Conn added, “It certainly is a wonderful feeling to witness first-hand this recycling initiative gaining more and more traction! Sincere thanks to all who have contributed so far, and we look forward to the whole town getting involved in due course.”
AAT operates a portfolio of properties in Victoria Falls, including Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Victoria Falls Safari Club, Victoria Falls Safari Suites, Lokuthula Lodges, as well as Ngoma Safari Lodge in Chobe, Botswana.