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SSOUTH AFRICA, JOHANNESBURG, Saturday, 17 November 2018:

The National Lilizela Tourism Awards are the biggest and only country-wide celebration of tourism excellence in South Africa, championing the importance of the growing visitor economy, which attracts over 4 million visitors to our beautiful country each year and supports over 700 000 jobs.

The sixth edition of the National Lilizela Tourism Awards ceremony took place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on Saturday, the 17th November 2018. Hosted by broadcast veterans, Xolani Gwala and Leanne Manas, over 800 esteemed guests across government, industry and media were in attendance at this year’s star-studded ceremony.

This annual event organised by South African Tourism, recognises and rewards those who work passionately and with pride to deliver a world-class product and service and whose delivery grows South African's global destination competitiveness. 

Opening the awards dinner, Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom, applauded all the finalists for showing true grit to achieve the pinnacle of success that was being celebrated. 

It is a real privilege to be here with you to celebrate your successes and achievements. That’s what tonight is all about: recognizing and rewarding tourism players, businesses and the people on the ground who collectively make South Africa the great global destination that it is,” said Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom.

A prestigious accolade, 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. The National Lilizela Tourism Awards 2018 shining stars in eight categories have been announced:

  • Service Excellence Awards Winner:
  • MESE Category Winner:
  • Tourist Guide Category Winner:
  • Visitor Experience Category Winner:
  • Tour Operator Category Winner:
  • Sustainable Development - Universal Accessibility Winner:
  • ETEYA Award
  • I Do Tourism Award

Recipients of the National Lilizela Tourism Awards 2018 received art piece by various local artists represented by Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) and Artist Proof Studios and Artist Proof Studios namely Lebohang Motaung, Musa Justice Mathonsi, Jan Maanda Tshikhuthula, Mario Pedro Soares, Ezequiel Mabote, Sandile Goje, Ramarutha Makoba, Dayile Luzuko and Lebohang Sithole. 

“A thriving South African tourism sector contributes to the economy, to employment, to the culture, the quality of life and the prosperity of our beautiful country. Tonight we were reminded of the diversity South Africa has and how privileged we are to have such amazing experiences to offer global visitors,” says South African Tourism CEO, Sisa Ntshona.

2018 was also the centenary year of struggle icon, Albertina Sisulu who was acknowledged and celebrated during the proceedings.

Glasses were raised through the sponsorship by Imvula Wines and Bongani Mbambo popularly known as DJ Phobia, or “Stevie Wonder” because of his blindness led the evening’s entertainment, taking the celebrations into the early hours of dawn.

For the full list of Lilizela award winners can be found on the Lilizela website here. Follow all the latest news on social media using #LilizelaAwards18.

Issued by South African Tourism on behalf of the of the National Lilizela Tourism Awards.

For further information contact:

Altaaf Kazi at South African Tourism              

Tel: +27 11 895-3046                                 

Email:  OR




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