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Lilizela Tourism Awards 2014

The National Department of Tourism, in partnership with South African Tourism, created the Lilizela Awards last year, to create one premier award that gives recognition to the top tourism players in the sector. The awards reward and celebrate highest levels of excellence across the tourism industry.

The 2014 Lilizela Awards opened on 01 March and will close on 30 May, after Indaba 2014. The national awards will be preceded by provincial recognition awards. The finalists from the provincial awards will then automatically go on to the national competition, amongst the best of the best. The provincial winners will be honoured at a ceremony at the beginning of September, whilst the national awards will take place later in the month.
Entry for the awards is free but businesses need to comply with certain requirements, before their application will be accepted. This includes having been operational for at least a year, been graded by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa, and naturally meet all other business legal requirements.

There are four focus areas, reflecting eight categories:
The Minister’s Award: recognises outstanding, unique, impactful people, events or organisations that have performed in a manner that urges the industry closer to tourism’s 2020 vision.

Service Excellence: this comprises three categories and will, to a very large degree, be based on guest feedback as measurements have been put in place to allow the public to cast their vote. The categories are Accommodation, Visitor Experience and Tourist Guide of the Year

Entrepreneurship: the Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Award (ETEYA), recognises black-owned SMMEs who have achieved notable success since starting up.

Sustainable Development: this includes three categories being Imvelo, Universal Accessibility as well as BBBEE. The Imvelo award includes Best Social Involvement Programme, Best Practice Economic Impact, Best Overall Environment Management System and Best Single-Resource Programme. To achieve transformation in the tourism sector and to encourage enterprises to view BBBEE as a business imperative, the BBBEE award will recognise exempted micro enterprises, qualifying small enterprises as well as large enterprises.

Judges will comprise the Tourism Grading Council South Africa assessors, trade partners, tour operators and independent auditors, who will oversee the judging process. Furthermore, each category will judged based on consumer feedback, site visits, TGCSA scores, accessibility and affordability, authenticity of the experience and the overall quality of the experience.

These are the Oscars for the tourism industry and provide an opportunity for KwaZulu-Natal to showcase all our exceptional facilities and experiences.  It is an opportunity for our tourism sector to shine!

To find out more about the Lilizela’s or to enter, or even to vote for your favourite facilities, simply visit the web site www.lilizela.co.za

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