THE late Zimbabwe Tourism Authority staffer Belinda Tafadzwa Mutinhiri, who died in a car crash last month, has posthumously won the much coveted, Africa Tourism Personality of the Year 2016 Award.
According to the event organizers, the award ceremony will be held on 30 October 2016 during the Akwaaba Africa Travel Market in Lagos Nigeria.
The prestigious accolade is part of the Africa Travel Awards organized and promoted by ATQnews.com which is a member of Travel Media Group. The website is an online platform for African Travel Quarterly (ATQ), the first Travel magazine in West Africa which solely focuses on travel and tourism issues. It started publishing offline a decade ago.
The Africa Travel Awards 2016 is citing and acknowledging the late Belinda as one of the early promoters of Intra Africa Tourism who was chosen by voters from all over Africa. Indeed, It is very sad and unfortunate that she will never celebrate the fruits of her hard work.
Belinda, known for her depth of character, charisma, ever joyous mood and energy, was by the time of her untimely death, the ZTA Marketing Manager responsible for Africa.
Recipients of the awards 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 platform. There were votes from all over Africa and beyond the Continent including from as far as Russia, Norway, USA, and the Latin America. The majority of the votes came from Nigeria and Kenya.
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.
Belinda worked as a front office Executive at the Landmark Hotel in London, Guest Relations Executive at One Aldwych Hotel Londonand Customer Relations at British Petroleum before returning home where she joined the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority in July 2006.
The other prominent local winner of the Africa Travel Awards 2016 is the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry Dr Walter Mzembi who is also not a stranger to World of accolades.
During her sojourn at the ZTA,Belinda won the worker of the year Award 3 times in consecutive years, which according to the ZTA Chief Executive Mr. Karikoga Kaseke was clear testimony of her commitment and dedication to her work.“If there was anything that distinguished and set Belinda apart from the rest in the organisation, it was her energy, cheerfulness and jovial mood attributes which are critical for a complete and wholesome destination marketer”, remarked Mr. Kaseke.
Indeed the contribution Belinda made to the Tourism and Hospitality sector shall always be cherished and we already miss our beloved colleague. May her dear soul rest in eternal peace.