Winners Announced at 2015 Business Traveller Africa Awards

Johannesburg, 1 September 2015: South African Airways, Emirates, Tsogo Sun, HRG Rennies Travel and Avis were the big winners at the fourth annual Business Traveller Africa Conference & Awards, held in association with Absa at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg on 1 September 2015.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, whilst it lost out in the ‘Best Business Class’ category to Middle Eastern airline Emirates, which also picked up the ‘Best International Long-Haul Airline’ prize.In the main hotel category, the ‘Best South African Hotel Group’ award went the way of Tsogo Sun, as it has done in the past three years, ahead of fellow nominees City Lodge, Legacy Hotels & Resorts, and Sun International. Protea Hotels has traditionally been a nominee in this category, but since the Marriott International acquisition of Protea Hotels in 2014, the group has since become a brand of Marriott. As a result, it was Marriott who walked away with the ‘Best International Hotel Group’ award, thanks in large to its significant South African presence through Protea.Another repeat winner was HRG Rennies Travel, which edged out American Express Travel Services, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, and Travel with Flair in the ‘Best Travel Management Company’ category.

Avis also successfully defended its ‘Best Car Rental Company’ title, holding off the challenge of Bidvest Car Rental, Europcar, First, Hertz and Thrifty.

This year saw one new category being contested – ‘Best African Low-Cost Airline – with Comair’s Kulula the inaugural winner in this category, ahead of Fastjet, FlyAfrica, FlySafair, and Mango.

As in previous years, the Business Traveller Africa Conference & Awards handed out the ‘Business Travel Personality of the Year’. The 2015 recipients – in a joint award – are the Association of Southern African Travel Agents (ASATA) CEO Otto de Vries and the Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) CEO David Frost, for the tireless work they’ve done in challenging the changes to South Africa’s immigration regulations on behalf of their members and the broader industry.

Frost took part in one of two business travel-related panel discussions at the event, with his discussion looking specifically at the industry implications of the changes to this immigration legislation. The other took the form of the event’s first ever ‘corporate travel buyer roundtable’, and the audience was able to gain some useful insight into this element of South African business travel.

The 2015 Business Traveller Africa Conference & Awards also featured an opening address from South Africa’s Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom, and a keynote speech from Mavuso Msimang, the Chairman of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa.

The Business Traveller Africa Conference & Awards was hosted by Times Media Events and Business Traveller Africa magazine – in association with headline sponsor Absa and corporate partners ABTA (African Business Travel Association), Air France-KLM, ASATA, British Airways, ExecuJet Africa, Kerzner International, Thebe Reed Exhibitions, and Travelport.

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

  • Fastjet
  • FlyAfrica
  • FlySafair
  • Kulula (winner)
  • Mango

African Regional Short-Haul Airline

  • Airlink
  • Air Mauritius
  • Comair (BA & Kulula)
  • Mango
  • SAA (winner)

Airport Business Lounge

  • Bidvest Premier (ORTIA – International)
  • Emirates (ORTIA – International)
  • SLOW Lounge (ORTIA – Domestic)
  • SLOW Lounge (ORTIA – International)
  • Virgin Atlantic (ORTIA – International) (winner)

Business Class

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

Business Hotel in SA

  • Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre
  • Fairway Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort
  • Michelangelo Hotel
  • Radisson Blu Gautrain
  • The Maslow Hotel (winner)
  • The Westin Cape Town

Car Rental Company

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

Forex Supplier

  • American Express Foreign Exchange (winner)
  • Bidvest Bank
  • Travelex

Global Distribution System

  • Amadeus
  • Sabre
  • Travelport (winner)

International Hotel Group

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

International Long-Haul Airline

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

Large Conference Venue

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

Luxury Hotel in SA

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

Private Aviation Operator

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

Small Conference Venue

  • African Pride Mount Grace Country House & Spa
  • Blue Lagoon Hotel & Conference Centre
  • Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa
  • Fairway Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort (winner)
  • Focus Rooms
  • Indaba Hotel, Spa & Conference Centre
  • Lagoon Beach Hotel
  • Misty Hills Country Hotel, Conference Centre & Spa
  • RoomFive
  • The Blades
  • Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani
  • The Maslow Hotel

South African Hotel Group

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

Travel Credit Card Provider

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

Travel Management Company

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

Travel Sales Team

  • Beachcomber Tours
  • Bidvest Car Rental
  • Corporate Traveller (winner)
  • Flight Centre Business Travel
  • Protea Hotels
  • Thompsons Travel

Visa Service Provider

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

For more information, please contact: Dylan Rogers +27 11 280 5968 / dylan@thefuture.co.za