If you did not know that music and tourism go hand in hand, think again. South African music group Mafikizolo got top executives in the tourism fraternity on their feet and into a groovy affair at the Tourism Excellence Awards last Friday. This also marked the climax of the week-long Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo.
Many of them had been awarded for a job well-done in the sector and with a little wine or whisky, smiling was effortless.
Hotelier Rashid Kiyimba walked slowly from his seat and held hands of two winners, Amos Wekesa of Great Lakes Safaris who won ‘Best Tourism Personality – Male’ accolade, and Uganda Wildlife Authority’s Andrew Sseguya.
He got them onto their feet and they followed his lead as he shook to the kwaito sound of the South African music gems.
Victoria Hall at Kampala Serena Hotel was organised into sections, the VIP and ordinary, however the sounds reached all corners and more guests got on their feet to celebrate the biggest event on the tourism calender this year.
Fenon Events put up a good stage and great lighting that added pomp and dazzle to the event. The awards were competitive, for example, for the Best Luxury Accommodation, the crowd went into a frenzy as Wildwaters Lodge was matched with Chobe Safari Lodge.
Besides Mafikizolo, Anne Kansiime tickled guests with jokes while Maurice Kirya also pulled the emotional code with his sultry, soulful rhythm and blues.
TOURISM EXCELLENCE AWARDS winners
Best Luxury Accommodation
Chobe Safari Lodge
Best Mid-range Accommodation
Bunyonyi Overland Resort
Best Budget Accommodation
Red Chilli Rest Camp
Best Camp Site – Ntoroko Game Lodge
Best Homestay – Tinka’s Homestead
Best Tour Operator
Great Lakes Safaris
Best Cultural Centre
Igongo Cultural Centre
Best Community Tourism Initiative
Ishasha community Uplift Group
Best Tourism Personality – Male
Best Tourism Personality – Female
Barbara V. Adoso
Best Tourism Destination
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Best Tourism Program – TV
Uganda Ekkula – Bukedde TV
Best Tourism Print Media -Magazine
The Eye Magazine
Best Tourism Journalist
Best Tourism Digital Media
Diary of Muzungu by Charlotte
Best Conservation Institution
Uganda Wildlife Education Centre
Best Conservation Personality
Best General Safari Guide