Stage Set for National Lilizela Tourism Awards

JOHANNESBURG, 17 November 2018 – The much anticipated National Lilizela Tourism Awards ceremony kicks off tonight at the Sandton Convention Centre from 4 pm.

The sixth edition of the national Lilizela Tourism Awards ceremony will be hosted by renowned media personalities, Leanne Manas and Xolani Gwala.

Strong contenders for this year’s National award accolades are Forever Resorts (multiple provincial award winner in several provinces & categories), Timbavati Safari Lodge (Limpopo), Royal St Andrews Hotel (Eastern Cape), AfriCanyon (Eastern Cape), Johannesburg Skydiving Club (Gauteng), and Jackalberry Ridge (Mpumalanga), Petit & Grande Plaisir (Western Cape), and Rhino Manor (Northern Cape), to name but a few.

To view a list of all 2018 Lilizela Tourism Awards winners at a glance click here.

“Tourism is about people. South Africans are not only warm and welcoming but they are also passionate business people who put a considerable amount of effort into making sure that South Africa remains a competitive tourism destination for any traveller. The Lilizela Tourism awards are about acknowledging and recognising these individuals for the sterling job they do every day in contributing to our economy through the high levels of service excellence their business offer to travellers,” says Chief Executive Officer of South African Tourism, Mr Sisa Ntshona.

The provincial series of the 2018 Lilizela Tourism Awards wrapped up at the end of September with the crowning 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. They will now vie for the country’s top tourism honour at the National Lilizela Awards ceremony which promises honour and glamour.

Over 500 finalists were selected nationwide from more than 1 365 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.

One of the most exciting categories of Lilizela Tourism Awards is the Emerging Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (ETEYA), which seeks to recognise and motivate black entrepreneurs who operate small, micro and medium tourism- or hospitality-related businesses.

“The ETEYA category is one of the special categories because Small and Medium Enterprises are often drivers of innovation, with entrepreneurs identifying a need or a gap, and then developing new products and services,” explains Ntshona.

“This certainly adds to the uniqueness of our tourism offering. 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. EYETA helps motivate and incentivise outstanding tourism start-ups to continue on their path of achievement and excellence,” concludes Ntshona.

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About: 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. For more information, please visit or, or like the Lilizela Tourism Awards Facebook page or follow @Lilizela_Awards on Twitter for regular updates.

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