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PICS: New Durban Tourism Business Awards a huge hit

Vivian Reddy was one of the winners during the Tourism Awards at the ICC in Durban. Pictures: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency(ANA)

Vivian Reddy was one of the winners during the Tourism Awards at the ICC in Durban. Pictures: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency(ANA)

Published Jun 17, 2022

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Durban — EThekwini Municipality hosted the inaugural Durban Tourism Business Awards at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC) on Wednesday.

The awards, which were aimed at praising and honouring the innovation and excellence within the tourism sector, had 51 finalists ranging from hotels and tour operators to rickshaw pullers.

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Nomcebo Langa Dlamini, Koo Dlamini and Cebile Langa during the Tourism Awards at the ICC in Durban. Pictures: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency(ANA)

Each winner took home R50 000, with business development prizes to help take their businesses and establishments to greater heights.

The ICC’s chief executive officer, Lindiwe Rakharebe, who was also one of the judges, opened the event.

Lindiwe Rakharebe during the Tourism Awards at the ICC in Durban. Pictures: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency(ANA)

Rakharebe said each nominee was a top performer and, in her eyes, they would always be winners; it was unfortunate that they could only pick one winner per category.

“Every nominee has made Durban immensely proud – the city is standing because of you. May you continue being worthy Durban Tourism ambassadors and make Durban proud that your knowledge and expertise are what the city needs,” she said.

Randhir Kissoon and councillor Alicia Kissoon during the Tourism Awards at the ICC in Durban. Pictures: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency(ANA)

One of South Africa’s most renowned luxury hotels, The Oyster Box in uMhlanga, received two awards – and R100 000 – in the sustainable development award (green tourism) category and the hotel accommodation award category. The Oyster Box’s general manager, Roberto Rosa, said they were thrilled with both the awards and the recognition they bring for the establishment and for Durban as a whole.

“We are proud of our contribution to the success of Durban as an attractive tourist destination. The broad spectrum of products recognised at the Durban Tourism Business Awards are a clear indication that the better each and every operator does through tourism, the better we all do,” he said.

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He said the sustainable development award was extra special to them as they took their responsibility to protect for the environment seriously.

The Pencil Club was one of the winners during the Tourism Awards at the ICC in Durban. Pictures: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency(ANA)

The winner of the mayor’s special achievement award was Max’s Lifestyle Village, known for offering a top-class township tourism experience.

Max Lifestyle was one of the winners during the Tourism Awards at the ICC in Durban. Pictures: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency(ANA)

Based in Umlazi, the renowned township restaurant offers authentic cuisine and caters to both local and international visitors.

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Owner Max Mqadi said the restaurant had won many accolades in the past, including being voted as one of the best restaurants in the world; however, it was heartening to be honoured at home.

Max lifestyle was one of the winners during the Tourism Awards at the ICC in Durban. Pictures: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency(ANA)

“Throughout our journey as a world-class restaurant and a tourism trendsetter, God has always been our guiding light. We also wish to thank the mayor of eThekwini Municipality, His Worship Mxolisi Kaunda, and the entire Durban Tourism family, for having the vision to start these awards.

“This award is dedicated to all the entrepreneurs and hustlers who are working hard to chase their dreams.

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“We want to say to you, it’s possible. No matter what happens, do not give up. If we can do it as a world-class hospitality product that started from humble beginnings as a normal butchery and scaled the heights of global tourism excellence, you can also do it,” Mqadi said.

Businessman Vivian Reddy, Lindiwe Ragaribe, Haroon Hansrot and Sorisha Naidoo during the Tourism Awards at the ICC in Durban. Pictures: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency(ANA)

Businessman Vivian Reddy received the mayoral award for Oceans Umhlanga, one of South Africa’s largest mixed-development areas featuring the Radisson Blu Hotel and offering a world-class shopping mall – Oceans Mall Umhlanga – and luxury apartments.

Zulumoon Gondozolas was one of the winners during the Tourism Awards at the ICC in Durban. Pictures: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency (ANA)

Other winners of the mayoral awards were the Wushwini Pan African Art Centre, for best township economic development, The Octavia Boutique Hotel in Inanda for best rural development investment, and Uzalo, the SABC 1 telenovela, for the best creative industry.

Mfanafuthi Nxumalo, a rickshaw puller was one of the winners during the Tourism Awards at the ICC in Durban. Pictures: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency(ANA)

The winner in the rickshaw pullers category was Mfanafuthi Nxumalo, whose happiness was written all over his face. Speaking to the Daily News, Nxumalo said he was rooting for the other nominees. He said he was not sure that he had it in him to win the award.

Duduzane Zuma and Max Mqadi during the Tourism Awards at the ICC in Durban. Pictures: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency(ANA)

“The fact that they have this as a category means so much; one may overlook our work but we are being recognised and honoured – this award is encouraging me to love what I do even more,” he said.

Uzalo was one of the winners during the Tourism Awards at the ICC in Durban. Pictures: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency(ANA)

The event was filled with familiar faces in Durban, including Shauwn Mkhize, The Real Housewives of Durban and Duduzane Zuma.

Daily News

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