Press Release - SATOA Travel Awards
The SATOA Awards Ceremony – In recognition of outstanding contributions in promoting travel to Africa and the Indian Ocean.
On a warm London evening SATOA in celebration of its 30th birthday and in recognition of the stellar contributions by airlines, tour operators, accommodation providers, held its first ever Awards Ceremony on September 12th at the Zimbabwean Embassy, London. The auspicious event sought to give recognition to those who had risen to the challenging task of promoting Africa and the Indian Ocean in what is currently an extremely competitive market.
1982 heralded the beginning of SATOA, an organisation dedicated to promoting travel to Africa and now too, the Indian Ocean. Membership of the organisation spans airlines, tour operators, retail travel agents and accomodation providers both in the United Kingdom, Africa and the Indian Ocean.
Triumphing on the evening was South African Airways which in the category of Best Regional Airline was adjudged the winner. Gary Kershaw UK & Ireland Country Manager for SAA, in acknowledging their award for ‘Outstanding Airline’ to the region said ‘It is a privilege for South African Airways to win this award. Our mission is to offer our customers the smoothest of travel experiences to Southern Africa and beyond. Our world-class product offering combined with warm hospitality ensures that our customers’ African experience starts from the moment they step on board. Thank you to everyone who voted for us.’
The eagerly awaited prize of Best Tour operator was awarded to Travel Butlers, while Different Planet was awarded the trophy for Best Retail Agent. In recognition of the award for Best Tour Operator Paul Campbell Managing Director of Travel Butlers stated ‘This award is truly an honour to receive. We have been operating for 10 years in a very competitive marketplace, and it is fantastic to know that our customers and suppliers value our services so highly.”
Also winning prizes for their outstanding work and contributions were SA Tourism which was awarded the prize for Outstanding Tourist Board and Kapani Lodge, Best Accomodation.
SATOA looks forward to a strong field of candidates for next year’s Awards, sentiments underscored by current Chairperson Tesna Simonsen who said ‘We are extremely pleased at the brilliant response we received this year and must thank all those who took the opportunity to vote. SATOA is extremely proud of its contribution to promoting travel to the region and looks forward to recognising outstanding contributions next year.’
- Juanita Collins