JOHANNESBURG, 10 November 2019 – The national winners of the 2019 Lilizela Tourism Awards received their trophies at a glittering function held at the Sun Arena in Pretoria last night. The event is held annually to honour excellence in South Africa’s tourism and hospitality industry – which drives the industry to levels of greatness through providing the highest standards of service excellence.
The national awards ceremony followed nine provincial award events, which swept across the country throughout September. Of the 96 Provincial Award winners, a cross-section of 66 South African tourism establishments took national awards under eight categories.
A full list of all 2019 Lilizela Tourism Awards provincial and national award winners can be viewed by clicking here (or on the image below).
Tourism Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane paid special tribute to South Africa’s outstanding tourism businesses, some of which have been beneficiaries of the National Department of Tourism’s market access and enterprise development programmes.
“Thank you to the men and women who, in their area of work, go the extra mile to ensure that tourists that travel to our country enjoy a memorable experience. Providing real authentic experiences to tourists is what will sustain and grow our tourism sector. All of us should do this cognisant of the fact that tourists have no obligation to choose South Africa as a tourist destination,” she said.
“Tourism is a very competitive sector and demands from all of us to offer tourists a distinct, authentically South African and memorable experience so that they can return to our country again and again, or even better entice others to come along with them in their subsequent visits. As we cast our eyes into the future, we must continue to ensure that we transform our sector inclusively and to showcase more authentic and uniquely South African experiences,” concluded Kubayi-Ngubane.
This year’s awards coincide with South Africa’s 25 years of democracy commemorations and honoured the tourism excellence born as a result of this phenomenal history. In support of Government’s efforts to promote sustainable tourism and youth employment, a Sustainability Village showcased SA’s arts and craft.
The Minister and other special guests toured the Sustainable Village curated space for selected black-owned businesses to market their products at the venue, all of which are proudly made in South Africa. Many of their products are also inspired by South African culture and heritage and are beautifully handcrafted using sustainable materials which is why we are proud to support this initiative.
While Ashia Cheetah Sanctuary won the Provincial Ministers’ “I Do Tourism” award for the Western Cape, Curiosity Backpackers was awarded the National accolade. Introduced in 2018, this award recognises proudly South African organisations or individuals who, through sheer dedication and passion, have excelled in positioning the country as a tourism destination of choice, contributing to the vibrancy and growth of the sector.
Established in 2013, the Lilizela Tourism Awards are an initiative of the National Department of Tourism and are spearheaded by South African Tourism. The awards recognise and reward exemplary service among businesses in the local tourism sector, ranging from accommodation establishments and tour operators to scenic attractions and cultural heritage sites. The Lilizela Tourism Awards are adjudicated through public votes and by a panel of industry judges and are audited by Nexia SAB&T.
Entry to the Lilizela National Tourism Awards is free and tourism businesses of all sizes are encouraged to enter in a bid to help develop, grow and transform the industry while celebrating its achievements.
For more information visit www.lilizela.co.za.