Andy ConnAndy Conn has been appointed Africa Albida Tourism’s new group operations manager, and will oversee the running of the company’s portfolio of properties, which  includes its flagship Victoria Falls Safari Lodge.

Mr Conn took up his new position, which is based in Victoria Falls, this month, after returning to Zimbabwe, from South Africa, where he had been working as general manager at Mount Grace Country House and Spa, near Johannesburg.

Previously Mr Conn spent five years as general manager at Indigo Bay Resort, Bazaruto Island, Mozambique, but he has now come full circle, as he was employed as general manager at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge in 1998, remaining with the company until 2006.

“There’s been a real sense of coming home, working in an environment where I spent many, many happy years previously. I have a bond with Zimbabwe, and what I consider to be my people,” Mr Conn said.

With more than 30 years experience in the hospitality industry, much of it outside of Zimbabwe, Mr Conn, hopes to use his skills to further develop both service and delivery across Africa Albida Tourism’s (AAT) properties.

Mr Conn said his new role had provided a bit of a soft landing because he did have  some background knowledge, but  it was not as familiar as he had expected it to be because there had been so much progress at AAT during his nine year absence.

AAT chief executive Ross Kennedy said: “We are lucky to have recruited Andy for the second time in his career.

“He brings another nine years wide ranging experience, exposure and knowledge from some wonderful properties that he has managed,” Mr Kennedy said.

“We look forward to seeing the benefits of Andy’s great people skills, hospitality ethic and new energy through the group,” he said.

Mr Conn, a keen sportsman, who loves a game of golf or tennis, and has two adult children, has replaced Brian Gardiner, who was group operations manager for two years before taking up a position back in South Africa to be closer to his family.

Zimbabwe-owned company AAT’s properties also include Victoria Falls Safari Suites, Victoria Falls Safari Club, Lokuthula Lodges and The Boma – Place of Eating in Victoria Falls, as well as Ngoma Safari Lodge, in Chobe, Botswana.