The group operations and finance director of the Africa Albida Tourism Group, Nigel Frost, has been named Tourism Personality of the Year by the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism at its annual Tourism Achievers’ Awards ceremony.
In a gala dinner held at Cresta Lodge in Harare, Mr Frost took home the premier trophy of the awards in recognition of his successful spearheading of the campaign by the travel and tourism sector to reverse the potentially damaging application of backdated VAT to hospitality operations in the country.
His citation read: “He was the sector’s lead person in the recent exercise to persuade the authorities to reverse decisions relating to backdating of VAT on hospitality billings. Over a period of four years he undertook engagement on this issue, focusing on two major cases, leading to a ruling in favour of the operators. This enlightened decision brought about significant savings to operators and in a number of instances saved certain operators from becoming insolvent.
“While a number of operators and personalities were involved in this issue at various levels and to varying degrees, it was the leadership and action of Nigel Frost that brought about a satisfactory solution, which resulted from his forthright, unrelenting and determined stance on the issue. While naturally a reserved individual working behind the scenes, his successful spearheading of this hugely important exercise recognised by naming him Zimbabwe’s Tourism Personality of the Year for 2017.”
A total of 19 awards were handed out at the Tourism Achievers’ Awards event, sponsored by Havergal Marketing and attended by the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality, Prisca Mupfumira, and about 200 travel and tour operators, government officials and media personalities. The awards were created to reward and recognise effort and achievement by individuals and organisations in support of the travel and tourism sector, primarily during the preceding 12 months.
Tourism Personality of the Year
Tourism Business of the Year
Far and Wide Zimbabwe, based in Nyanga
Tourism SME of the Year
Manna Resorts, Harare
Achievement in Marketing
Africa’s Living Soul Survey, prepared on behalf of the travel and tourism sector by the Africa Albida Tourism Group and spearheaded by Allan Kennedy
Achievement in environmental awareness and action
Chimanimani Tourist Association, for its campaign to create awareness and action on the illegal and destructive mining activities taking place in the Chimanimani National Park
Achievement in the pursuit of service excellence
Cresta Lodge, Harare, for its high service standards
Achievement in Innovation
Victoria Falls Carnival, Wild Horizons and Far and Wide Zimbabwe
Achievement in Human Resources Development
Joseph Bunga, whose Battle of the Chefs television series have been promoting the culinary arts and the growth and development of chefs’ skills
Achievement in promoting gender equality
Margaret Makadzange, a champion of women’s participation in the travel and tourism sector.
Contribution from the public sector
Department of Immigration, for its new stance on supporting tourism through responsible undertaking of its duties at border posts.
Services to the ZCT
Paul Matamisa, CEO of the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism and a leading campaigner for recognition of the economic potential of travel and tourism to the Zimbabwean economy.
Services to tourism by a secretariat
Association of Zimbabwean Travel Agents Secretariat, represented by Deliwe Makora
Lifetime Achievement Award
Christopher Gonzo, who has worked in the sector for 45 years and retires this year after being executive chef of Meikles Hotel for almost 20 years; Philip James, maître d’hotel of The Livingstone Room at The Victoria Falls Hotel and another 40-year veteran of the industry; Jealous Tsatsa, leading food and beverage manager, now retired, who latterly worked for Rainbow Tourism Group; Daniel Sibanda, 40-year veteran of Cresta Hotels, who retired in 2017 and was latterly a member of the management team of Cresta Oasis Hotel and Apartments in Harare
President’s Special Award
Barbara Murasiranwa, who chairs the ZCT’s Victoria Falls branch is a “tireless representative of ZCT and of operators in the Victoria Falls area.”