ASATA CEO wins Business Traveller Africa award

ASATA CEO Otto de Vries has won the Business Traveller Africa Business Travel Personality of the Year award for the third year in a row.

“Winning the award for the third time is a humbling experience both for myself and for the ASATA team, and I’m very honoured to accept this Award on behalf of the entire team,” says Otto de Vries, CEO.

Otto explains ASATA operates with a small team of five staff but is involved in all areas that directly or indirectly affect the trade and the ability of travel agents to do their work.

“Our team has been active on all issues that have affected the trade, from SAA to the Unabridged Birth Certificate, government procurement and dealings with Treasury. “However, we’ve also been proactive in ensuring that the trade continues to remain relevant. Our 21st Century Travel Agent Study is a prime example of that.

“In addition, consider our work with IATA on the ADM work group and our work with the APJC and many other projects, and you’ll get a sense of the profound impact on the industry and the sheer scale of work a small team can achieve.”

This Award will inspire ASATA to continue with its work and give its best for the industry. “Despite the challenges we face, this recognition from our peers clearly means we do something right,” he says.

South African Airways, Emirates, AHA, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Tourvest Travel Services and Europcar also emerged as the big winners at the event, held in association with Absa at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg on 1 September 2016.

Both SAA and Emirates were ‘double’ winners, with SAA picking up the top award in the ‘Best African Regional Short-Haul Airline’ and ‘Best African Long-Haul Airline’ categories for the second year in a row. Also for the second year in a row, Emirates scooped the ‘Best Business Class’ Award, as well as the prize for the ‘Best International Long-Haul Airline’. Amadeus won the prize in the category of best GDS.

The ‘Best African Low-Cost Airline’ Award went to Comair’s Kulula for the second year, ahead of FlySafair, and Mango.

In the main hotel category, the ‘Best South African Hotel Group’ award went the way of AHA, taking over the torch from Tsogo Sun who received the award during the previous three years. Marriott walked away with the ‘Best International Hotel Group’ award, thanks in large to its significant South African presence through Protea. The Maslow Hotel was awarded with the award for the Best Business Hotel in South Africa.

This year, Carslon Wagonlit Travel was awarded ‘Best Travel Management Company’, edging out last year winner HRG Rennies Travel, as well as American Express Travel Services, BCD Travel and Travel with Flair.

Europcar scooped the ‘Best Car Rental Company’ title, holding off the challenge of Bidvest Car Rental, Avis, First and Hertz.

Launched in 2012 in association with Business Traveller Africa magazine, the awards ceremony is an event for the South African business travel trade, covering all aspects of business travel, including hotels, airlines, car rental and travel management, along with related categories such as travel credit card provider, foreign exchange, visas, private aviation and conferencing.

The full list of nominees and winners is as follows (in alphabetical order):

African Long-Haul Airline

  • Air Mauritius
  • Air Namibia
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Kenya Airways
  • SAA (winner)

African Low-Cost Airline

  • FlySafair
  • Kulula (winner)
  • Mango

African Regional Short-Haul Airline

  • Airlink
  • Comair (BA & Kulula)
  • Mango
  • SAA (winner)
  • SA Express

Airport Business Lounge

  • Emirates (ORTIA – International)
  • SAA Baobab (ORTIA – International)
  • SLOW Lounge (ORTIA – Domestic)
  • SLOW Lounge (ORTIA – International) (winner)
  • Virgin Atlantic (ORTIA – International)

Business Class

  • British Airways
  • Emirates (winner)
  • Etihad
  • Qatar Airways
  • Virgin Atlantic

Business Hotel in SA

  • African Pride Crystal Towers
  • African Pride Melrose Arch
  • The Maslow Hotel (winner)
  • The Westin Cape Town

Car Rental Company

  • Avis
  • Bidvest Car Rental
  • Europcar (winner)
  • First Car Rental
  • Hertz

Forex Supplier

  • American Express Foreign Exchange (winner)
  • American Express Global Card
  • Bidvest Bank

Global Distribution System

  • Amadeus (winner)
  • Sabre
  • Travelport

International Hotel Group

  • Four Seasons
  • Hilton
  • Hyatt
  • Marriott (winner)
  • Starwood

International Long-Haul Airline

  • British Airways
  • Emirates (winner)
  • Lufthansa
  • Qatar Airways
  • Virgin Atlantic

Large Conference Venue

  • Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre
  • Cape Town International Convention Centre (winner)
  • Century City Conference Centre
  • International Convention Centre Durban
  • Sandton Convention Centre

Large Hotel Conference Venue

  • Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre
  • Century City Conference Centre
  • Indaba Hotel and Conference Centre
  • The Westin Cape Town (winner)

Luxury Hotel in SA

  • Michelangelo Hotel
  • One&Only Cape Town
  • Oyster Box (winner)
  • The Palazzo Hotel
  • Twelve Apostles

Private Aviation Operator

  • Comair Flight Services (winner)
  • ExecuJet
  • Federal Air
  • NAC

Small Conference Venue

  • FNB Conference Centre
  • The Forum Campus (winner)
  • The Forum Turbine Hall

Small Hotel Conference Venue

  • African Pride Melrose Arch
  • Sandton Lodge Rivonia
  • Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa (winner)

South African Hotel Group

  • AHA (winner)
  • City Lodge Hotels
  • Legacy Hotels & Resorts
  • Sun International
  • Tsogo Sun

Travel Credit Card Provider

  • American Express (winner)
  • Diners Club
  • MasterCard
  • Visa

Travel Management Company

  • American Express Travel Services
  • BCD Travel
  • Carlson Wagonlit Travel (winner)
  • HRG Rennies Travel
  • Travel with Flair

Travel Sales Team

  • Europcar
  • Thompsons Travel
  • Tourvest Travel Services (winner)

Visa Service Provider

  • MDS VisaPak
  • Visas & Passports Unlimited
  • Visas Direct
  • Visa Express
  • Visas International (winner)