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This was a blow to the Gorilla Highlands team that tried everything possible (see the video below) to make Tom get the award, and a disappointment for all of you who had voted for him. But the information provided at the ceremony and our subsequent conversation with one of the judges makes it all much easier to understand.
It turned out that public voting contributed only 20% to every candidate’s score… The remaining 80% were determined based on the forms each competing establishment had to submit. Tinka’s Homestead, the eventual winner, did better than Tom’s Homestay in that regard. Two other submissions were not deemed good enough and two homestays out of the six nominated didn’t manage to respond on time. (If you clicked on some other award categories and found only one candidate, that was simply because nobody else returned the papers.)
Lacking information and tight deadlines were not the only problem. There was another concurrent, private-sector competition named Ekkula Pearl of Africa Tourism Awards that led to confusion.
The silver lining is that we have undoubtedly managed to spread the news about Tom’s Homestay much wider than before (see the image above for some Facebook statistics). More business for Tom should follow.
Thank you all for voting, sharing and liking!