The Mercury article

1 June 2007

KZN game lodge honoured

Suren Naidoo
THERE were mixed fortunes for KwaZulu-Natal at the World Travel Awards’ Middle East and Africa chapter gala ceremony in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday night. While the exclusive five-star Thanda Private Game Reserve in Zululand scooped the award for Africa’s leading luxury lodge, Durban’s International Convention Centre lost the coveted title of Africa’s leading conference centre this year. The ICC has won the award for six consecutive years since 2001, but lost out to the Cape Town International Convention Centre in this year’s awards.

The awards have been described by the Wall Street Journal as the “Oscars of the travel industry” – and South Africa again dominated, notching up 20 out of the 28 awards for the Africa region. The Middle East and Africa winners will go into the main invitation-only award ceremony in the Caribbean in December.

Thanda’s win has put Kwa-Zulu-Natal in the global spotlight. Zimbali Lodge & Country Club near Ballito also came to the party, winning the title of South Africa’s leading golf resort, won last year by the Cape’s Fancourt Hotel & Country Club. Tourism KwaZulu-Natal spokeswoman Phindile Makwakwa said Thanda’s and Zimbali’s wins, as well as the other KZN nominations, showed that the province was being recognised worldwide.

”At the end of the day this is an awards campaign and we must not be disillusioned with the fact that the ICC (Durban) did not get the 2007 award. The ICC has always been and will continue to be a leading convention centre globally.”

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The Mercury article 01-06-2007

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