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Meet the Judges that will decide on the “best of the best” in South Africa’s tourism industry.

Entries for the Lilizela Tourism Awards have now closed ushering in the gruelling judging process that will ultimately determine who the best of the best is in the South African tourism industry is. Organiser and host of the awards, South African Tourism, has now announced the judges who will have this daunting task! 

The top-highly qualified 29-member panel comes from the vast landscape of the local travel and tourism industry. Each with no less than three years of working experience and an extensive understanding of the South African tourism industry, the judges will get to decide which businesses are ultimately crowned the best of the best come November at the seventh annual national Lilizela Tourism Awards.

“The business that enter the Lilizela Tourism Awards, whether big or small, are committed to growing our industry as they work hard and consistently set the bar high. They play an integral part in making South Africa an attractive and appealing, must-visit destination, for local and international tourists alike. The selected judges have a huge responsibility and have their work cut out for them as they select provincial and national winners from an outstanding selection of entrants from  all  our nine provinces” commented Darryl Erasmus, Chief Quality Assurance Officer at South African Tourism.

With 80% of the scores coming from consumers, the experienced adjudicators will use these together with their extensive knowledge to evaluate accommodation establishments, tourist guides and tour operators, as well as venues catering for meetings, exhibitions and events. Exceptional visitor experiences in an array of categories will also be tested and toasted.

As part of the Lilizela Awards, the Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award (ETEYA)   - was launched in 2001 -   is designed primarily to encourage and sustain the development of Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMME’s) within the tourism industry. This award is given to black entrepreneurs, as defined in the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, who operate small, micro and medium tourism or hospitality-related businesses. They must have been in operation for more than a year and less than 10 years, employ no more than 50 people and have a turnover of not more than R10 million a year.

“Earlier this year, President Ramaphosa during his State of the  Nation address,  made it clear that he is looking to Tourism to play its part in driving economic growth and employment in our country.  Inclusive economic growth, sustainable job creation and transformation are critical for our industry and we need to continue with our collective efforts in driving this. We thank our provincial partners for ensuring that a cross-section of South Africa’s business and service providers enter the awards ensuring that a diversity of experiences are represented,” adds Erasmus.

The judges’ assessments will be augmented by data from various online review platforms. The adjudication process and results will be audited by Nexia SAB & T, a Level 1 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Contributor accounting and auditing consulting firm.

Following the nine provincial Lilizela awards ceremonies around the country during Tourism Month in September, the national winners will be announced at a gala event in November in Gauteng.

Meet the Judges:

Judges in the Universal Accessibility category

The adjudication for the categories under this area focus largely on the motivation provided by the entrant as well the quality of the presentation of their respective businesses as per the rules of each category.

  • Ari Seirtis, CEO of QuadPara Association of South Africa
  • Dr Lisebo Tseane-Gumbi, Senior Tourism Lecturer, Northwest University
  • Amanda Latimore, CEO of Universal Access Solutions

Judges in the Tour Operators category

These awards are adjudicated using a scoring mechanism that takes into consideration consumer reviews and judges’ scores. The consumer reviews account for 80% of the score, with the judges’ votes only accounting for 20% of the total score.

 

  • Chanel du Plessis, Specialist in Tourism Research and Economics at Urban-Econ
  • Nico Fourie, Owner of 75 on Milner Lodge, Kimberley
  • Robert Max Reichel, Accommodation Manager, Tourist Guide and Tour Operator, Still Waters Guest Farm, Kapele Tourism Services.
  • Otshebile Joseph Tshamboko, N12 Treasure Route Association

Judges in the Visitor Experience category:

These awards are adjudicated using a scoring mechanism that takes into consideration consumer reviews and judges’ scores. The consumer reviews account for 80% of the score, with the judges’ votes only accounting for 20% of the total score.

  • Jonker Fourie, CEO at Emfuleni Corridor Tourism (ECTOUR).
  • Chwatiya Rixana, Cockpit Property Investments
  • Nompumelelo Mqwebu, Author & Chef at Mpumes African Cuisine PTY (Ltd)
  • Judiet Barnes, Thebe Tourism: Kruger Shalati Train on a Bridge
  • Siphokazi Ndamase, Mnquma Tourism

Judges in the ETEYA category:

This area focuses on the entrepreneur and all the initiatives undertaken to grow their businesses. While consumer reviews are collected in this area, they are used mainly as a guide and not a determinant of the winners of the awards. The focus of this adjudication is mainly on the entrepreneur and how they have grown their business since inception.

  • Dr Johannes Hattingh, Lecturer: Department of Tourism and Event Management Central University of Technology, Free State
  • Rebecca Kambule, Owner Rempo Consulting
  • Clarissa Carsten, Umfana Namakwaland
  • Weziwe Busakwe, University of Stellenbosch
  • Ntokozo Luvuno, Business Development Consultant (TEP)

Judges in the Accommodation and Venues categories

These awards are adjudicated using a scoring mechanism that takes into consideration consumer reviews and judges’ scores. The consumer reviews account for 80% of the score, with the judges’ votes only accounting for 20% of the total score.

  • Scolastica Nawegulo, Cathseta – Hospitality
  • Linda Ncgipe, Lwamika Business Events Services
  • Samantha Claire Bouwerm, Tshwane University of Technology
  • Makgaje Julia Senoelo, Orbit TVET College Mankwe Campus Tourism Lecturer
  • Phelokazi Stuma, Walter Sisulu University
  • Vusumzi Mlanjana, Lecturer, Walter Sisulu University
  • Dr Portia Pearl Sifolo, Academic: Department of Tourism Management, Tshwane University of Technology
  • Kananelo Makhetha; Chief Executive Officer, Travelex
  • Neo Mohlatloe, Director, Seven Colors Communication
  • Prof Rene Haarhoff; Central University of Technology, Free State

Judges in the Tourist Guide category

These awards are adjudicated using a scoring mechanism that takes into consideration consumer reviews and judges’ scores. The consumer reviews account for 80% of the score, with the judges’ votes only accounting for 20% of the total score.
 

  • Ms Uveshnee Pillay, National Department of Tourism
  • Dr Julie Reddy, SAQA

Find out more about the Lilizela Tourism Awards here:  https://www.southafrica.net/gl/en/trade/lilizela/page/about-the-lilizela-tourism-awards

Ends.

 

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: altaaf@southafrica.net  OR mediaq@southafrica.net

Website www.southafrica.net                  

Note to editors:

About the Lilizela Awards

An initiative of the National Department of Tourism (NDT) and spearheaded by South African Tourism (SAT), the Lilizela Awards have been taking place since 2012 with an annual, star-studded ceremony. The local travel industry's best products, experiences, and people - across a range of categories - will be judged by a panel of experts from all over the tourism industry.

 

 

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