opinionBy Isdore Guvamombe
That time of the year has come when Zimbabwe's illustrious sons and daughters in the tourism and hospitality industry and companies that made the biggest contribution to the sector are honoured.
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, the vanguard of the industry presents the prestigious National Tourism Awards to various segments of travel, tourism and hospitality industry every year, since 2006.
The vision is to recognise high standards, service excellence and development within the tourism and hospitality industry.
ZTA head of corporate affairs Mr Sugar Chagonda confirms that December 13, is D-day. The awards will be held at Cresta Lodge in Harare. More important is the fact that the awards date - December 13, 2012 - coincides with the day the United Nations World Tourism Organisation launches the "One Billion Tourists: One billion Opportunities" Campaign. All member states of the UNWTO family are encouraged to spread the word about the campaign by hosting celebrations on this day.
"These awards are very important to us as they are meant to recognise and honour luminaries of the tourism and hospitality industry for their outstanding contribution, exceptional efforts and achievements in their respective fields during the year 2012.
"We believe the awards also encourage healthy competition among the Zimbabwean tourism stakeholder and players with the aim of promoting tourism.
"We are also taking this opportunity to acknowledge the services and duties carried out by the organisations and individuals in the industry as a whole," says Mr Chagonda.
There is no doubt that over the years, competition stimulated by the awards has strengthened tourism management and upgrading of services in the whole country, as individuals and companies try to outwit each other.