KUWAIT (July 19, 2010) — It was a night of celebration and pride for Kuwait-based IFA Hotels & Resorts when two of their flagship southern African projects walked off with three prestigious accolades at the recent World Travel Awards Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony in Johannesburg. More than 1,200 senior industry leaders, gathered at the glittering affair to acknowledge and show their recognition of the winners. The awards were established 17 years ago and now are regarded as the highest achievement a travel product could ever hope to receive. Votes are cast globally by 183,000 travel professionals in over 160 countries.
Phil de Sylva, Vice President Operations, IFA Hotels & Resorts – Africa & Indian Ocean, was at the Sandton International Convention Centre to receive the hotly contested award. The five-star Fairmont Zimbali Resort walked off with the award for “Africa’s Leading New Resort and Africa’s Leading Tourism Development Project”.
The opening of Fairmont Zimbali Resort on 31 May 2010 by the Honourable Minister of Justice & Constitutional Development, Mr Jeff Radebe, and the Vice Chairman and Managing Director of IFA Hotels & Resorts, Mr Talal Jassim Al-Bahar marks the celebration of one of the largest tourism investments undertaken in KwaZulu-Natal and is a significant investment into South Africa’s tourism economy.
The resort has been handed over to internationally acclaimed Fairmont Hotels & Resorts who will run operations. This exciting new resort comprises the Fairmont Zimbali Hotel, Fairmont Zimbali Hotel Condominiums, Fairmont Heritage Place Private Residence Club, Fairmont Beach Club and access to Zimbali’s world-class leisure facilities as well as the soon to be constructed Gary Player Signature golf course and Gary Player Academy. The injection of over $US86million to date (and eventually over $US185million) foreign capital into the KwaZulu-Natal economy has resulted in increased jobs in the region, the promotion of tourism and the creation of new skill sets amongst the indigent population. As part of their global skills sharing policy, Fairmont deployed senior expatriates to South Africa to train locally recruited personnel, some with no previous experience, and as part of their CSI programme has also adopted the skills of a local community to manufacture authentically local artefacts and cultural gifts.
The celebrations did not stop there. Following on its heels with two superb achievements, was another one of the resorts in the IFA HR stable.
IFA Hotels & Resorts owns a 50% stake in Legend Golf & Safari Resort located in the Waterberg, Limpopo Province, which also picked up two prestigious awards, for “South Africa’s Leading Golf Resort” and “Africa’s Leading Sports Resort”.
Wessel Witthuhn, President, IFA Hotels & Resorts – Africa & Indian Ocean, was thrilled to receive the award. “Our decision to focus on developing mixed-use resorts globally, which provide a balance between unsurpassed lifestyle and sound investment in property, has been vindicated. This recognition by one of the world’s leading travel bodies and echoed by industry peers, is a testament to the successes that are being achieved by IFA Hotels & Resorts in this sector. The World Travel Awards promotes our reputation as global leaders as well as consumer and commercial trust in our brand, so recognition is a benchmark which we will strive to achieve every year with new innovations and product development,” he said.
About IFA Hotels & Resorts
IFA Hotels & Resorts is a leader in real estate development, specialising in premium mixed-use hotel and tourism resort projects throughout the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia, North America and the Indian Ocean region. IFA Hotels & Resorts offers exclusive branded residential, resort and hotel properties in exotic locations, with sound appreciating investment opportunities including hotel condominiums, vacation clubs and private residence clubs. IFA Hotel & Resorts’ current portfolio consists of 46 projects in total, of which 18 are hotels, with over 11,500 keys across 12 countries in four continents. www.ifahotelsresorts.com
About Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
With over 60 distinctive hotels, including the iconic Fairmont San Francisco and Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai, and more in development, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a global hospitality brand known for its warm and engaging service and culturally rich experiences. Located in coveted worldwide destinations, its unrivalled collection of classic hotels imbues a sense of heritage, sophistication, and social importance, and often considered destinations in and of themselves. Fairmont is also committed to responsible tourism and is an industry leader in sustainable hotel management with its award-winning Green Partnership program. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Holdings Limited, a leading global hotel company with 95 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont and Raffles branded residences, estates and luxury private residence club properties. www.fairmont.com
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SOURCE: IFA Hotels & Resorts