Celebrating the 2017 Lilizela Provincial Award Winners
Setting the Stage for National Glory
The provincial legs of the 2017 Lilizela Tourism Awards wrapped up at the end of September with the crowning of dozens of esteemed tourism products and services in the country's nine provinces in categories such as visitor experience, tour operators and tour guides, accommodation and entrepreneurship.
It is now all systems go for the fifth edition of the national Lilizela Tourism Awards ceremony which will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on 29 October 2017, organised by South African Tourism. The National Minister of Tourism, Tokozile Xasa, will lead the toast to service excellence while honouring the ‘best of the best' among business owners, contractors and professionals working in the tourism and hospitality industry.
“Not only do all these incredible industry leaders do a sterling job in contributing towards making South Africa a competitive tourism destination, they also contribute to the We Do Tourism initiative, which is an inspiring movement that encourages all South Africans to actively play a role in tourism,” says Minister Xasa.
Over 500 finalists were selected nationwide from more than 1,600 entries, after which provincial winners in the various categories were named to compete in the national finals. Of the total vote, 80% came from members of the public as well as travel platforms such as TripAdvisor and TGCSA's Tourism Analytics Programme. The remaining 20% was a score from a panel of high-level judges, whose voting was conducted under the strict supervision of Grant Thornton to ensure compliance. “Based upon the work performed and the results obtained, we can conclude that the judging process of the 2017 Lilizela Tourism Awards was fair and transparent,” confirmed Oupa Mbokodo, Director at Grant Thornton.
One of the most exciting categories of Lilizela Tourism Awards is the Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur Awards (ETEYA), which seeks to recognise and motivate black entrepreneurs who operate small, micro and medium tourism- or hospitality-related businesses.
Minister of Tourism, Tokozile Xasa, explains the significance of this category tailored specifically for SMMEs: “South African Tourism is committed to partnering with established players in the industry to help achieve inclusive growth while aiding new players to grow.
“The significance of transforming the tourism industry cannot be understated, as it has huge potential to become a meaningful job creator for our people and a revenue generator for our economy. It is also vital for South Africa to keep innovating and refreshing our tourism offering, to remain globally competitive. ETEYA helps motivate and incentivise outstanding tourism start-ups to continue on their path of achievement and excellence.”
About the awards: The Lilizela Tourism Awards is an initiative of the National Department of Tourism and is spearheaded by South African Tourism aimed at recognising and rewarding the highest levels of excellence in the tourism value chain.
See pages 10-14 for all the winners or visit www.lilizela.co.za