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2008 Awards Take on Special Significance as U.S. Becomes #1 Market for Tanzania

2008 Awards Take on Special Significance as U.S. Becomes #1 Market for Tanzania (Forimmediaterelease.net) THE EIGHTH ANNUAL TANZANIA TOURISM AWARDS HONORS DIANA WILLIAMS, WABC-TV, G.A.P. ADVENTURES, AFRICAN DREAM SAFARIS, COX AND KINGS, FOXES SAFARI CAMPS, SUNNY SAFARIS, BREEZES BEACH CLUB & SPA, AND NOBEL PEACE PRIZE AWARD-WINNER PROFESSOR PIUS ZEBBE YANDA, PH.D

(Arusha, Tanzania - June 6, 2008) – Now in its eighth year, the prestigious Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB)’s Annual Tourism Awards were presented by the Hon. Shamsa S. Mwangunga, M.P Tanzania’s Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism as part of the 33rd Africa Travel Association (ATA) Congress held in Arusha, Tanzania. The 2008 Honorees are: Diana Williams, WABC-TV New York, Media Award; G.A.P. Adventures, Tour Operator Humanitarian Award; African Dream Safaris, Tour Operator Conservation Award; Cox and Kings, Tour Operator Southern Circuit Award; Foxes Safari Camps, Tour Operator Southern and Western Circuits Award; Sunny Safaris, Tanzanian Tour Operator Award; and Breezes Beach Club & Spa, Hotel Award. Tanzania also presented its first ever World Climate Change Award to Prof. Pius Zebbe Yanda, Ph.D., of University of Dar es Salaam, for his Nobel Peace Prize as part of Al Gore’s team. As part of the Award Ceremony, Tanzania also recognized ATA’s Premier Partner, Dubai World Africa. The Gala Tanzania Tourism Awards Dinner, which took place on May 21, has become a celebrated tradition of the annual ATA Congress.

Present at the Awards Dinner and Ceremony was ATA Executive Director, Eddie Bergman and the Ministers of Tourism and heads of delegations from more than 20 African countries, the ATA International Board of Directors and ATA Chapter representatives as well as more than 300 ATA delegates, mostly American Travel professionals. In addition to the Hon. Mwangunga, the Tanzania delegation included representatives of the Tanzania Ministry for Natural Resources & Tourism, the Tanzania Tourist Board, Tanzania National Parks, Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority and Zanzibar Commission for Tourism.

“These awards were created in 2000 with the aim to generate more tourism from the American market,” said Hon. Shamsa S. Mwangunga, M.P. “Their success is reflected in the fact that North America has just now taken its place as the Number One source of visitors to Tanzania worldwide,” she notes. “For the first time,” Hon. Mwangunga continued, “visitors from the U.S. reached a record high of 68, 379, visiting Mainland Tanzania and the Spice Islands of Zanzibar. Previously, the largest single tourist generating market to Tanzania was the United Kingdom. This growth is unprecedented – and, we are confident that our 2007/2008 CNN-US Campaign and sweepstakes will boost these numbers even more in the year ahead. ”

Peter Mwenguo, Managing Director TTB said “Since we launched our campaign in the US 10 years ago, Brand Tanzania has raised its profile to such a great extent, that not only is the country attracting more visitors, but clients prefer a Tanzania only tour program. In the past, Tanzania may have been part of an East African safari itinerary. Now tour operators and their clients have discovered that Tanzania has it all – 15 National Parks, 32 game reserves, seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Serengeti National Park, Selous Game Reserve, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Kilimanjaro National Park, the Stone Town of Zanzibar, the Kondoa Rock Art Site and the Ruins of Kilwaskisiwani and of Songo Mnara. It is home of the tallest mountain in Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro; the Olduvai Gorge, often called the Cradle of Mankind; the world acclaimed Ngorongoro Crater, among many other sites.”

Amant Macha, TTB Marketing Director, added, “this year, tourists will see growth and improvement everywhere, as our infrastructure and hospitality choices, as well as air access, continue to expand to meet the diverse interests and budgets of our visitors.”

TANZANIA TOURISM AWARDS 2008 HONOREES

TANZANIA TOURISM 2008 MEDIA AWARD:
DIANA WILLIAMS, WABC-TV NEWS ANCHOR
Ms. Williams a New York based, WABC-TV news anchor is being honored for her outstanding coverage of the Mt. Kilimanjaro climb she made in 2007 with her son. She gave great coverage to Tanzania and the once-in-a-lifetime climb with her viewers on TV and by sharing the experience with the WABC-TV network online viewers.

TANZANIA TOURISM 2008 TOUR OPERATOR HUMANITARIAN AWARD: G.A.P. Adventures
The Humanitarian Award is being given to Canada-based G.A.P. Adventures because from its onset, the company has demonstrated its commitment to remain environmentally, socially and culturally responsible. Their tours use small scale lodging, local transportation, support locally owned businesses, and incorporates community-based ecotourism projects into its tours. In Tanzania, the company also donates funds and runs workshops to bettering life in Tanzania.

G.A.P Adventures was founded by CEO Bruce Poon Tip in 1990, and has grown to become one of the world's largest adventure travel companies offering small group adventures around the world with a focus on sustainable travel to over 70,000 passengers a year. Their expanded Africa program includes 23 trips that visit Tanzania – 12 of which are new. Out of the 23, 9 are Tanzania-only and out of the expanded 12, 5 are Tanzania-only. From 2006-07, G.A.P Adventures experienced a 42% increase in passengers travelling to Tanzania-only.

TANZANIA TOURISM 2008 TOUR OPERATOR CONSERVATION AWARD:
AFRICAN DREAM SAFARIS
California – based Africa Dream Safaris specializes in private safaris exclusively to Northern Tanzania with an emphasis on maximizing wildlife encounters through strategically designed itineraries, personalized programs and expert Tanzanian guides.

African Dream Safaris is being honored for their sponsorship of the Serengeti Lion Project and other wildlife-conservation efforts. They help fund field biologists studying lions in Seronera, and write and distribute reports on the lions to their clients. They also raise funds to help protect lions against diseases such as canine distemper, and to vaccinate domestic dogs on the periphery of the Serengeti. African Dream Safaris add their Lion Reports to material on each safari they arrange, helping to educate tourists about the lions of the Serengeti, hopefully motivating them to make their own donations.

TANZANIA TOURISM 2008 TOUR OPERATOR SOUTHERN CIRCUIT AWARD: COX & KINGS
The Florida-based Cox & Kings is being honored for its foresight in providing stand-alone safaris to the Southern Circuit of Tanzania, the only U.S. company to do so. This area features the largest National Park in Africa, Ruaha, recently combined with Usangu Game Reserve, and the Selous, the world’s largest game reserve. Since 2005, Cox & Kings has doubled its number of both Tanzania alone and Tanzania combined programs. 11% of their clients traveling to Tanzania visit the Southern Circuit, a significant increase, they report, from previous years.

The world’s oldest travel company, Cox & Kings is entering its 250th year of operations to select destinations around the world. Cox & Kings Exquisite Cultural and Wildlife Journeys are designed for small groups and individuals who are seeking to experience the grandeur of Africa and other parts of the world.

TANZANIA TOURISM AWARD 2008 TOUR OPERATOR SOUTHERN and WESTERN CIRCUITS: FOXES SAFARI CAMPS
Foxes Safari Camps is being recognized for its continuous development of tourist establishments in Mikumi National Park, Ruaha National Park, Katavi National Park and Mufindi. for expansion of their charter flights now flying Dar es Salaam, Selous, Mikumi, Ruaha, Katavi and Mahale National Parks improving accessibility in the Southern and Western tourist circuits, for having given support to Destination Tanzania through its Fox Safari Camps promotional efforts overseas with its United Kingdom office for both tours and charter flights.

This 40-year-old, family run safari company operates “off the beaten track” expeditions in Southern and Western Tanzania. Their safari camps and itineraries are devoted to respecting and preserving the wildlife and natural beauty of Tanzania. They have also donated clinics, schools and other help to areas surrounding their camps. In 2009, Foxes Safari Camps will launch their Selous Safari Train, a private train running from Dar es Salaam to Selous.

TANZANIA TOURISM AWARD 2008 TANZANIAN TOUR OPERATOR AWARD: SUNNY SAFARIS
Sunny Safaris is being recognized for expanding its vehicle fleet, becoming a tour operator for the Malev charter flights from Hungary to KIA and Zanzibar starting in 2007 and for frequent participation in Team Tanzania international tourism fairs.

Sunny Safaris has operated since 1984. They offer a diverse range of unique itineraries at a wide price range. Each trip is led by a professional driver/guide fluent in English and Swahili, and with in depth experience in spotting and informing travelers about Tanzania wildlife and natural beauty. Their trips range from hiking to scuba diving to visiting Maasai camps, and more.

TANZANIA TOURISM AWARD 2008 HOTEL AWARD: BREEZES BEACH CLUB & SPA, ZANZIBAR
Breezes Beach Club & Spa is being recognized for the recent improvements carried out on their site; the ongoing construction of two hotels, and establishment of marketing offices in Stockholm and Zanzibar.
Owned by the Raguz family, which has been in the hospitality industry in East Africa for 30 years, the family built Breezes in Zanzibar in 1992. This two generation family runs five star hotel won “Best Resort in Tanzania at last year’s World Travel Awards.
TANZANIA TOURISM WORLD CLIMATE CHANGE AWARD 2008:
PROFESSOR PIUS ZEBBE YANDA, PH.D
In recognition that climate change plays a major role in tourism and the natural attractions in Tanzania, TTB created the first ever World Climate Change, Tourism Award. This award was presented to Professor Pius Zebbe Yanda, Ph.D, of the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, who received the Nobel Peace Prize as part of Al Gore’s Team.


About the Tanzania Tourism Awards
The Tanzania Tourist Board announced the establishment of the Tanzania Tourism Awards at the ATA Congress in May, 2000 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the First Annual Tanzania Tourism Awards were presented at a Gala Dinner at the ATA Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, May 2001.

The Awards were created to support, and show appreciation to, the travel professionals and media who have worked hard promoting and selling Tanzania in the US market as well as to provide an incentive to increase the numbers even more in the coming years. One of TTB’s specific objectives was to promote the Southern Circuit, which until recently was the travel connoisseur’s “best kept secret.”

TTB selected the Annual Africa Travel Association Congress as the venue for the Gala Awards Dinner to show support for ATA’s ever expanding global reach in promoting tourism to the Continent of Africa. The prestigious Awards are presented each year by Tanzania’s Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism. The 2008 Award will be presented by the Hon. Shamsa S. Mwangunga, M.P.

In 2004, TTB created the first ever Tour Operator Humanitarian Award. This was a direct result of the Second IIPT African Conference on Peace through Tourism (IIPT) hosted by Tanzania’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, December 2003. TTB wanted to encourage more tour operators to make a direct contribution to the betterment of the local communities, thereby making them ‘stakeholders’ in the tourism industry.

In the same year, 2004, TTB also expanded its Awards Program to honor Tanzania’s partners at home who have helped to improve the quality and infrastructure of its tourism product recognizing that tourism could not experience the fast-paced growth without this private sector investment and support.

About Tanzania
Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa, is focused on wildlife conservation and sustainable tourism, with approximately 25 % of the land protected by the Government. It boasts 15 National Parks and 32 game reserves. It is the home of the tallest mountain in Africa, the legendary Mt. Kilimanjaro; The Serengeti, named in October, 2006, the New 7th Wonder of the World by USA Today and Good Morning America; the world acclaimed Ngorongoro Crater, often called the 8th Wonder of the World; Olduvai Gorge, the cradle of mankind: the Selous, the world’s largest game reserve; Ruaha, now the largest National Park in Africa; the spice islands of Zanzibar; and seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Most important for tourism, the Tanzanian people are warm and friendly, speak English, although Kiswahili is the national language, and the country is an oasis of peace and stability with a democratic and stable government.

For more information about Tanzania visit www.tanzaniatouristboard.com .

Photo Caption
Tanzania's Minister of Natural Resources & Tourism, the Hon. Shamsa S. Mwangunga, M.P. presented the Eighth Annual Tanzania Tourism Awards at a Gala Dinner during the 33rd Africa Travel Association Congress held in Arusha, Tanzania. The Hon. Mwangunga (back row, 2nd from left) is joined by Team Tanzania; ATA Executive Director, Eddie Bergman and all the 2008 Honorees.

Karen Hoffman/Fran Levine
The Bradford Group,
Tel: (212) 447-0027; Fax: (212) 725 8253
Email: Tanzania@bradfordglobalmarketing.com / bradfordmktg@aol.com

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