We have an acclaimed Wonder of the World destination, a plethora of captivating adventure activities, the legendary Zambezi River…but it’s the inherent warmth and friendliness of Zimbabweans that will be the key to transforming the country’s tourism industry.
That’s the view of globally-experienced international tourism executive Brian Gardiner – who Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) has been delighted to welcome as new group operations manager, resident at Victoria Falls with his family since January 2013.
After just one month in the role his passion, sublime optimism and enthusiasm shine through and one can already sense that there’s a revolutionary transformation under way that will skyrocket the AAT group lodges and restaurants to international-class levels never attained before.
“I can already see the massive potential,” he says. “AAT’s products are all geographically perfectly lined up and it’s the dawning of a new era. We’re about to see the renaissance of Zimbabwe tourism…there’s already a definite transition underway.”
For his 22 years in the tourism industry Zimbabwe-born Brian has worked around the world, most recently as general manager of the exquisite six-star Niyama Resort in the Maldives. That’s an $85 million premium island resort with 137 luxury pavilions and four restaurants – one is 500m offshore. And one bar is underwater! Take a look here: http://niyama.peraquum.com/
It’s this global sense of style, quality and service that Brian now brings to AAT. “It’s great to be home,” he says, “and I already know that the warmth and friendliness of our people is a wonderful and uniquely key attribute.
“We at AAT have superb established facilities, now with training and energetic focus we are tapping into this genuine warmth and translating it into world-class service that makes our guests happy and feel important. Our DNA is good…we’re heading for success.”
In a wide-ranging interview Brian revealed some fascinating views, experiences and plans that our agents and guests alike will relish. Here we provide an introductory “taster” – we shall follow with several more stories from the interview in the near future. We hope you will follow this series with interest as it will reveal some very meaningful and interesting information on the growth and plans of our AAT group setting out on a highly-enhanced path of excellence.
About Africa Albida Tourism (AAT)
AAT is a hospitality group offering the cream of Southern African tourism products, with the award-winning Victoria Falls Safari Lodge as its flagship property. It operates three divisions, namely Hospitality, Restaurants and Parks.
The Hospitality division, under which properties owned and/or managed by the group fall, includes the AZTA award winner for the 17th consecutive year, Victoria Falls Safari Lodge and the RCI Gold Crown Resort Lokuthula Lodges. A recent addition in the region to Africa Albida Tourism operates Ngoma Safari Lodge located in the Chobe Forest Reserve in northern Botswana, bordering the Chobe National Park. The property is committed to making a sustainable difference to the local communities and their environment. The Lodge, which is a joint community and privately funded project in association with the Chobe Enclave Conservation Trust (CECT), opened to the public in May 2011.
The newest addition to the group’s quality portfolio is The Victoria Falls Safari Club, an exclusive 20-room block located adjacent to the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge opened its doors on 15 August 2012.
Founded on the runaway success formula of the fabulous Boma – Place of Eating at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge resort, this division also includes the deluxe MaKuwa-Kuwa Restaurant. The Boma – Place of Eating received the “Award of Excellence” from 2006 to 2011 whilst MaKuwa-Kuwa received the “Most Imaginative Menu” award in the same years and the “Best Deluxe Restaurant” award for 4 consecutive years.
This division’s pioneering project is Santonga, at Victoria Falls. A mind-blowing fusion of an interactive multi-faceted wildlife park, history, education and entertainment all in one, Santonga aims to bring to life the history of Victoria Falls since the beginning of time.