ASATA CEO Otto de Vries has jointly won the Business Traveller Africa Business Travel Personality of the Year award this week along with the Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) CEO David Frost for the “tireless work they’ve done in challenging the changes to South Africa’s immigration regulations on behalf of their members and the broader industry”.
South African Airways, Emirates, Tsogo Sun, HRG Rennies Travel and Avis also emerged as the big winners at the event, held in association with Absa at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg on 1 September 2015.
Both SAA and Emirates were ‘double’ winners, with SAA picking up the top award in the ‘Best African Regional Short-Haul Airline’ and ‘Best African Long-Haul Airline’ categories, whilst it lost out in the ‘Best Business Class’ category to Middle Eastern airline Emirates, which also picked up the ‘Best International Long-Haul Airline’ prize. Travelport won the prize in the category of best GDS.
In the main hotel category, the ‘Best South African Hotel Group’ award went the way of Tsogo Sun, as it has done in the past three years, ahead of fellow nominees City Lodge, Legacy Hotels & Resorts, and Sun International. Protea Hotels has traditionally been a nominee in this category, but since the Marriott International acquisition of Protea Hotels in 2014, the group has since become a brand of Marriott. As a result, it was Marriott who walked away with the ‘Best International Hotel Group’ award, thanks in large to its significant South African presence through Protea.
Another repeat winner was HRG Rennies Travel, which edged out American Express Travel Services, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, and Travel with Flair in the ‘Best Travel Management Company’ category.
Avis also successfully defended its ‘Best Car Rental Company’ title, holding off the challenge of Bidvest Car Rental, Europcar, First, Hertz and Thrifty.
This year saw one new category being contested – ‘Best African Low-Cost Airline – with Comair’s Kulula the inaugural winner in this category, ahead of Fastjet, FlyAfrica, FlySafair, and Mango.
Launched in 2012 in association with Business Traveller Africa magazine, the awards ceremony is an event for the South African business travel trade, covering all aspects of business travel, including hotels, airlines, car rental and travel management, along with related categories such as travel credit card provider, foreign exchange, visas, private aviation and conferencing.
The full list of nominees and winners is as follows (in alphabetical order):
African Long-Haul Airline
African Low-Cost Airline
African Regional Short-Haul Airline
Airport Business Lounge
Business Hotel in SA
Car Rental Company
Global Distribution System
International Hotel Group
International Long-Haul Airline
Large Conference Venue
Luxury Hotel in SA
Private Aviation Operator
Small Conference Venue
South African Hotel Group
Travel Credit Card Provider
Travel Management Company
Travel Sales Team
Visa Service Provider