5 March 2014

2014 Lilizela Tourism Awards: Entries are Open!

Setting the standard for global excellence, rewarding those who strive for perfection and spurring arrivals growth and destination competitiveness, the 2014 edition of the Lilizela Awards is taking place in September.

The Lilizela Tourism Awards logo The Lilizela Tourism Awards logo

The 2014 campaign culminating in the prestigious awards promises to be even more vibrant and even more inclusive.

Entries are now open for the 2014 Lilizela Tourism Awards, the premier tourism award programme for businesses in South Africa that aim to reward and celebrate excellence across the tourism industry. Lilizela is a Nguni word which means to ululate: an act of congratulations when someone has done something well.

“Following on the highly successful 2013 Awards programme, with over 400 people attending the final National Awards Gala Dinner on the 12 September 2013, the 2014 campaign culminating in the prestigious awards promises to be even more vibrant and even more inclusive,” said Mr Thulani Nzima, Chief Executive Officer at South African Tourism.

“Lilizela is a name that truly distinguishes these uniquely African awards from the mainstream. These Awards recognise and reward tourism players and businesses who work passionately and with pride to deliver a world class product and service and whose delivery grows South Africa’s global destination competitiveness.”

The 2014 Lilizela Awards will recognise industry players within 4 Focus Areas reflecting 8 Categories with the 9thCategory being the Minister’s Award.

1. Focus Area and Category – The Minister’s Award

Recognises outstanding, unique, impactful people, events, organisations that have performed in a manner that urges the industry closer to tourism’s 2020 vision (to grow arrivals to 15 million and create 225 000 new jobs by 2020 with atotal direct and indirect GDP contribution targetfrom R189, 4 billion (2009) to R499 billion (2020).

2. Focus Area: Service Excellence

This Focus Area has three Categories, and how well tourism products do this area, will, to a very large degree, be based on guest feedback. Measurements have been put in place to allow the public to cast their vote.

The Accommodation sector was the only one recognised during the first year of the awards. This year, Visitor Experience of the Year as well as the Tourist Guide of the Year have been added and will also be recognised.

Visitor Experiences will include Scenic Beauty, Roots and Culture, Adventure and Activities, Wildlife, Lifestyle, Beach Experience and Lap of Luxury

Tourist Guides will include Nature Guides, Adventure Guides and Culture Guides.

3. Focus Area and Category: Entrepreneurship

The ETEYA Lilizela Award (Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Award) recognises black owned SMME’s who have achieved notable success since starting up.

4. Focus Area: Sustainable Development

This focus area includes three categories – Imvelo, Universal Accessibility as well as BBB-EE. The Imvelo Awards include: Best Social Involvement Programme, Best Practice Economic Impact, Best Overall Environment Management System and Best Single-Resource Programme (Water, Energy and Waste).

To achieve transformation in the tourism sector and to encourage enterprises to view B-BBEE as a business imperative, a part of good corporate citizenship and good governance and as a contribution towards socioeconomic cohesion, BBEE Awards recognising Exempted Micro Enterprises, Qualifying Small Enterprises as well as Large Enterprises will be up for grabs.

“It is important for people to remember that entries for the awards are free but businesses need to comply with certain requirements before their application will be accepted. We encourage everyone to visit the official website to get all the information they need and to watch out for the announcement of critical dates. Entries close on the 30 May 2014 and tourists can vote for their favourite establishment at any time between now and then,” adds Nzima.

The overall winners from each category will be announced at a ceremony in September this year. This will be preceded by Provincial recognition awards to be handed out at various provincial events building towards the main event. People and organisations interested in entering as requested to look out for further communication from the various Provincial Tourism Authorities, who will be driving the entries for these prestigious awards at a provincial level and will be engaging directly with all their key provincial stakeholders.

For more information or to enter, visit www.lilizela.co.za