WTA Crowns Zara Adventures Africa’s Leading Tour Operator

The firm has been earning a series of prizes in recent years owing to its innovative packages

SATURDAY October 21, 2022


By Adam Ihucha

The Tranquility News Correspondent, Tanzania

The prestigious World Travel Awards ceremony recently held in Nairobi, Kenya, has named Zara Tanzania Adventures Africa’s Leading Tour Operator of the year 2022, barely a month since the firm clinched TANAPA Tourism Award back home.

The female-owned outfit, based on the southern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, has secured a high-profile accolade, signaling the strength of its outstanding innovation of comprehensive travel packages among its peers across the continent.

Prominently known for its tailor-made travel package in the East African region, Zara Tours, with more than three decades of experience, has been offering hassle-free mountain climbing, wildlife safaris, beach holidays, and cultural excursion to individual tourists as well as groups.

In her remarks, the Zara Tanzania Adventures Founder and CEO, Ms Zainab Ansell, said: “No doubt, the customised services, innovation, and experience have brought us at the red-carpet reception to join legends in travel, tourism, and hospitality in receiving the ultimate annual honour of World Travel Awards as winners of Africa’s leading tour operator.”

“We’re deeply grateful for continued support from our clients whose votes enabled us to clinch the victory. The global decoration makes us feel extremely honoured and humbled,” Ms Ansell said in an interview with The Tranquility News, adding:

Zara Tanzania Adventures based in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, emerged Africa’s Leading Tour Operator of the year 2022 at the World Travel Award ceremony held in Nairobi, Kenya, recently. PHOTOS | COURTESY

“Although we’ve previously won a number of awards, this latest prize truly makes us all abashed. It’s incredible to be nominated as Africa’s finest service provider in the travel industry.”

Zara Tanzania Adventures is credited to have innovated an all-round model of transferring tourists’ dollars to hundreds of poor communities through job creation, education, health and fight against climate change effects in the East African natural resource-rich country.

“Putting purpose at the heart of our operations by considering the needs of our esteemed customers, our partners, our host communities and our planet, is what drives us as a company to create genuine and long-term value.” Ms Ansell explained.

Zara Tanzania Adventures, alias Zara Tours, is a local company Ms Ansell founded and established in 1986 in Moshi, Tanzania, providing high quality travel and tour services in East Africa. Zara has over 30-year experience in the region’s travel and tourism industry.

Today, Zara has evolved into Tanzania’s largest Kilimanjaro outfitter and one of the largest safari operators in East Africa. It is a one-stop shop offering experiences and accommodation in Tanzania’s tourism hotspots.

Ms Leilah Ansell (Right) poses for a souvenir picture with a World Travel Award official (Centre) shortly after Zara Tanzania Adventures, an outfit founded by her mother, Ms Zainab Ansell, received the Africa’s Leading Tour Operator Award recently. Left is Ms Ansell’s young sister, Ms Rahma Adam.

It has been widely recognised for its efforts in promoting sustainable tourism development in Africa, with Zainab being a multi-award winner.

She received over 16 local and international awards, including the World Travel Market (WTM) Humanitarian Award and the Business Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2012), the iconic Tourism for The Future Awards (2015), African Travel top 100 Women.

Ms Ansell has been recognised and awarded for being the Most Influential Woman in Business and Government by CEO Global for her achievements in East Africa’s Tourism and Leisure Sector 2018/2019 during the CEO GLOBAL Pan African Awards; Tanzania National Parks has also recognised Zara Tours as the country’s best Tour Operator in 2019, 2020, and leading outfit for Mountain climbing in 2022.

Zara has impacted thousands of lives in Tanzania, directly employing 1,410 people on both permanent and seasonal basis, sustaining thousands of families in a country with a relatively high unemployment rate.

Each year World Travel Awards (WTA) covers the globe with its Grand Tour – a series of regional gala ceremonies to recognise excellence within each continent, culminating into a Grand Final at the end of the year.

Ms Zainab Ansell (Left), the founder and CEO of Zara Tanzania Adventures, hugs the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr Pindi Chana, at the Tanzania National Parks grounds during the 3rd TANAPA Tourism Awards gala held about a month ago.

The WTA gala ceremonies are regarded as milestone events on the travel calendar, attended by the industry’s key decision-makers, figureheads, influencers and media.

A statement from the organisers of the awards reads in part: “Despite the ongoing global challenges, the appetite for travel has reached unprecedented levels. Evidence is reflected in the World Travel Awards annual voting figures. In 2021, a record 2.3 million votes were cast, with more people taking part than in any other year of the WTA 29-year history, representing a huge vote of confidence for the travel and hospitality industry.”

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