South African Tourism, the official tourism board for the country of South Africa, held its sixth annual Ubuntu Awards at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City on April 13, 2015.
The gala paid tribute to South Africa’s most outstanding trade partners in business and leisure travel, and also celebrated the arrival of South Africa’s minister of tourism, Derek Hanekom.
South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Derek Hanekom, addresses guests at a press event held by South African Tourism to welcome him to the U.S., Monday, April 13, 2015, at Riverpark in New York. // Photo by Andrei Jackamets for South African Tourism
South African comedian Trevor Noah was recognized with the organization’s “Goodwill Ambassador Award,” for his continuous efforts in helping to present the country in a “fresh and positive light.” Wendy Perrin, a well-known travel expert, served as the master of ceremonies.
Honored guests included: Zweli Mntambo, chairman of the board of South African Tourism; Thulani Nzima, CEO; and Mninwa Johannes Mahlangu, ambassador to the U.S.
|From right to left: U.S. Correspondent for South African Broadcasting Corporation, Sherwin Bryce-Pease, interviews South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Derek Hanekom, South Africa’s Ambassador to the U.S., Amb. Mninwa Mahlangu, and CEO for South African Tourism, Thulani Nzima, during a press event held by South African Tourism, April 13, 2015, at Riverpark in New York. // Photo by Andrei Jackamets for South African Tourism|
The underlying theme of the event was the African philosophy of “Ubuntu”, literally translated to “I am because you are”. It is meant to honor the spirit of togetherness and unity among all people.
Throughout the evening, guests were introduced to the board’s new “Point of View” (POV) video series, an extension of its ongoing “What’s Your BIG 5?” promotion. The series offers viewers a chance to choose a South Africa experience that most appeals to them, including trips designed for adventure, culture, entertainment, romance, or safari, and then share it with their travel agent or tour operator.
Chairman of the South African Tourism Board of Directors Zwelibanzi Mntambo addresses guests at a press luncheon held by South African Tourism to welcome South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Derek Hanekom, to the U.S., Monday, April 13, 2015, at Riverpark in New York. // Photo by Andrei Jackamets for South African Tourism
The complete list of Ubuntu Awards and award recipients is as follows:
- Top Producer to South Africa – Grand Circle Travel
- Top Producing Online Tour Operator – Expedia
- Top Producing Airline to South Africa – South African Airways
- Best Value for Money Packages – Grand Circle Travel
- Outstanding Achievement in Strategic Partnerships – Indus Travel
- Outstanding Achievement in Creative Partnerships – Heritage Tours
- Outstanding Achievement in a Group Travel Program – SmarTours
- Outstanding Achievement in Incentive Programs – Madison Performance Group
- Outstanding Achievement in International Programs – African Mining Indaba
- Goodwill Ambassador – Trevor Noah