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The Chronicle

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Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter

ALL is set for the 2023 Twalumba Travel and Tourism Awards this Friday, organised by the industry regulators to appreciate players in the sector for the service excellence despite shocks.

The awards ceremony will be held in Harare.

The Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry launched the Twalumba Travel and Tourism awards in 2020 to rebrand the National Tourism Awards that had been there over years.

The awards are meant to stimulate individual and collective efforts in pursuit of growth and development in the tourism industry and recognise and acknowledge outstanding people and organisations.

The word ‘Twalumba’ comes from the Tonga language and it means ‘thank you’, an appropriate meaning in such an awards context.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) spokesperson Mr Godfrey Chris Koti said there are 22 categories.

“We used to have what were called National Tourism Awards which were put together by the tourism sector and so in 2019, we decided to come together to try and make these awards more authentic and more collaborative.

“Categories are still the same but they have got a new name now and called Twalumba as we seek to award the sector for the hard work that they are doing,” said Mr Koti.

He said the awards will encourage sector players to do well and continue working hard, as well as put some sort of seal of approval to their work, while also helping ZTA and the Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe to appreciate work done by all players and stakeholders.

“For us this is another way of thanking them and appreciating the industry. Everyone agrees that we are coming from a very difficult time, the Covid-19 era and now we have decided to give some happiness and some appreciation to the sector to say we have seen the hard work that the tourism industry has done.

“The Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Tourism Authority would like just to say thank you for the work that you have done. It’s unfortunate we can’t award everybody but we try and use this as a stamp of approval for the service excellence so we are very delighted and we are looking forward to the Twalumba Travel Awards that are coming on the 24th of February,” said Mr Koti.

Categories on offer include: Tour operators of the year, Tourism personality of the year, Facility of the year, tourism entrepreneur, eco-tourism facility, event of the year, corporate responsibility project, media coverage (print/broadcast/online), tour guide of the year, tourism image builder, market achievement to mention a few.

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