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TThe prestigious Lilizela Tourism Awards recognises business owners and service providers who uphold services of excellence in their day to day operations. Launched in 2013, the awards have helped to bolster South Africa’s reputation as a destination of excellence and variety across all experiences and accommodation sectors.

“As an organisation tasked with marketing South Africa as a leisure destination, we are exceptionally pleased with the response and the support received from the local tourism industry with regards to the awards. Through these awards we are able to showcase the best of South Africa’s tourism offerings and prove that our services and products are world class, diverse and, when compared to global destinations, affordable to all. We are recognising and rewarding service excellence,” says Mr Thulani Nzima, Chief Executive officer of South African Tourism.

The Lilizela Tourism Awards focus on four categories: Service Excellence, Sustainable Development and the Entrepreneurship. The fourth area of focus, the Minister’s Award, is nominated and awarded at the sole discretion of the National Tourism Minister, Mr Derek Hanekom. Entry is free, with all the criteria for each category being clearly outlined on the Lilizela website.

“We have made the categories as inclusive and as widely representative of our sector as possible. This is in line with our marketing objectives and also, most importantly, the objectives outlined in the National Tourism Sector Strategy to help develop, grow and transform the industry. We are rewarding those organisations, people who work determinedly to help us fulfil this mandate and do so without compromising on standards,” Nzima says.

The consumer voting segment will allow visitors to vote for the accommodation establishment and other tourist offerings and people, they believe offer the best service in South Africa.  There are a number of categories to vote for in this segment including the best tourist attraction, best tour operator, best restaurant, general universal accessibility award, nature guide and lap of luxury, amongst others.

“The consumer voting category is important in authenticating an establishment’s view of itself. It also helps establishments improve their services and enhance facilities because the feedback received, allows them to better understand their guests better,” Nzima says.

Consumers are encouraged to visit the website and rate their experience and indicate when they frequented the establishment.

The Lilizela team will be at the Tourism INDABA from the 9th to 11th May at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban, to assist with any application and enquiries before the award’s closing date on Friday May 15, 2015.

To enter online, please visit

The National Awards Ceremony will be held in Johannesburg on 22 October 2015.  

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