13 May 2013

Lilizela Tourism Awards: a New Way to Reward Tourism Excellence

Setting the standard for global excellence. Rewarding those who strive for perfection. Spurring arrivals growth and destination competitiveness.

The Lilizela Tourism Awards logo The Lilizela Tourism Awards logo

“It is for this reason that we are delighted to introduce the Lilizela Tourism Awards. The Awards will acknowledge and applaud the efforts of people whose work sets global benchmarks in excellence. And this excellence will be rewarded across a number of broad categories: Service Excellence, Emerging Entrepreneur, Tourism Responsibility and Sustainability, Universal Accessibility and, lastly, the Minister’s Award.” Minister of Tourism, Marthinus Van Schalkwyk.

Now tourism businesses in South Africa have something to strive for in addition to thriving, profitable businesses and a healthy, robust bottom line: the new Lilizela Tourism Awards that will reward and celebrate excellence across the tourism industry.

Lilizela is an Nguni word which means to ululate: an act of congratulations when someone has done something well. The Awards will 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.

“Our tourism sector is one of the best performing in the world. In 2012 we recorded unprecedented growth of 10.2 percent in international arrivals. This growth was more than double the rate of average global tourist growth of about four percent estimated by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation. It  firmly cements our assertion that South Africa is a sought after travel destination,” Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk told the South African travel trade at the Lilizela Tourism Awards launch event at INDABA 2013 today.

“Ours is a destination of which we can all rightly be proud and every single one of you here today, through your professionalism, dedication and to excellent delivery of your product and service, has played a valuable part in ensuring that we grow in global competitiveness,” he said.

“It is for this reason that we are delighted to introduce the Lilizela Tourism Awards. The Awards will acknowledge and applaud the efforts of people whose work sets global benchmarks in excellence. And this excellence will be rewarded across a number of broad categories: Service Excellence, Emerging Entrepreneur, Tourism Responsibility and Sustainability, Universal Accessibility and, lastly, the Minister’s Award said Minister Van Schalkwyk.

At the launch the Minister unveiled the five initial Lilizela Tourism Award categories out of the seven envisaged. In time, he said, up to eighteen sub-categories would be recognised.

"No industry can be measured on one single thing, but achievements in different areas should be recognised. This is why the awards will be expanded in time to include the range of products and services across the tourism value chain”, he said.

Entries for the awards are free but businesses need to comply with certain requirements before their application will be accepted. The overall winners from each category will be announced at a ceremony in September 2013, which will be preceded by Provincial recognition awards to be handed out at provincial events.

“We are excited about these awards and the value and pride they will add to the industry. We believe they will enable others to learn from outstanding work that is being delivered and motivate them to work together in order to give recognition to entrepreneurs and businesses doing a sterling job, grow our economy and to put South African on the global map,” Minister Van Schalkwyk concluded.

The 2013 award categories are:

1.  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. Total direct and indirect GDP contribution targetfrom R189,4 billion (2009) to R499 billion (2020)).

2.  Service Excellence

How well tourism products are doing in this area. A large portion of the decisions for this award will be made based on guest feedback. Measurements have been put in place to allow the public to cast their vote.  The Accommodation sector will be recognised during this first year, with the other service providers and operators to follow next year.

3.  Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Award (ETEYA)

This award recognises black owned SMME’s who have achieved notable success since starting up.

5.  Universal Accessibility

Facilities and services at accommodation establishments and MESE venues that are accessible for people with disabilities, using the TGCSA grading criteria which were introduced with the normal quality grading criteria back in 2010.

 5.  Sustainability Award

This award will recognise the business that best incorporated the three development and sustainability pillars into their business operating models and the IMVELO brand will be incorporated accordingly.

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