DURBAN, 19 November 2018 – The national Lilizela Tourism Awards dubbed the “Oscars” of the industry, catapulted ten KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) tourism businesses to the top as they walked away with prestigious trophies to prove their worth in service excellence and have set the bar high.
Hailed as “the Best-of-the-Best,” they were each presented with a coveted Lilizela Award for excellent service to their guests by the Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom at the awards ceremony this past weekend, after having competed with other
“It is pleasing to see our trade partners count among the best-of-the-best in the sector, particularly as there was some very strong competition. Providing excellent service increases destination confidence among travellers, and prompts service providers to up their game,”
“Our peers have rewarded innovation and best practices in the travel and tourism industry. This opportunity will inspire destinations, companies and professionals to always be on the side of service excellence and to be more competitive.”
“Service excellence plays a pivotal role in building any tourism destination and these are the kind of exemplary tourism players who we want to see more of in KZN. They have truly done us proud and we hope that their success will inspire others and spark some healthy competition in the sector and eventually bring even more such awards to KZN,” concludes Makwakwa.
The awards were largely consumer-based, with 80% of the score given to the contenders being based on consumer reviews. The reviews that were taken into consideration were votes from the @LilizelaAwards website as well as the @TripAdvisor scores.
Service excellence is everything in today’s global tourism. When establishments and services were graded, it increased customer confidence not only on the product offering but on KZN as a destination as a whole, Makwakwa added.
The Lilizela national winners came from around the country and they had all previously won their provincial competitions.
Makwakwa said she hoped that more provincial tourism businesses which provided excellent customer service entered the competition next year.
“This is a high-profile competition that can only boost a winner’s profile. We know there are other worthy contenders out there,” she said.
This year’s national Lilizela winner of the Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year (ETEYA) was Siphokazi Thiam, owner of the La Teranga Accommodation and Conference Group in Kokstad and Margate. La Teranga was also chosen as KZN’s provincial winner in the ETEYA category, and its win, now nationally, is an added accolade.
The TKZN Board chairperson, Sthembiso Madlala, accepted the award for Hawklee Country House which won the three-star country house category.
Board member, Professor Thandi Nzama, also accepted the award on behalf of Beverly Country Cottages which won the three-star self-catering exclusive category.
The other KZN winners were:
The Oyster Box, Umhlanga, which won the five-star hotel category.
Azelea Bed & Breakfast, which won the three-star bed & breakfast category.
The Nselwini Bush Lodge, winner of the two-star self-catering exclusive category.
Tembe Elephant Park & Lodge which took the national title for a three-star lodge.
Tim Brown won a Lilizela for being the best tourist guide.
ATKV Natalia Beach Resort lifted the trophy in the four-star caravan & camping category.
ATKV Drakensville Holiday Resort won the three-star caravan & camping category.