Lilizela Tourism Awards 2015

lilizela logo“Lilizela” is a Zulu word meaning to ululate as a demonstration of celebration and praise when someone has done well – much as one would cheer and clap for someone’s achievements in the West.

Recently, Khaya Volunteer Projects was privileged to be able to take part in the Lilizela Tourism Awards, first launched in 2013. These awards are given annually in South Africa to tourism groups and businesses who deliver a first-class product and exemplary service, and whose contribution greatly enhances South Africa’s ability to compete in the global tourist arena.

The awards are nominated by members of the public who vote for the best tourism experiences and products in South Africa. This encourages the tourism trade to provide excellent and innovative services, products and facilities; and remain competitive in the global arena.

A total of 954 entries that met the provincial entry requirements were received by members of the adjudicating body. The Eastern Cape Province had the most number of entries, followed by the Western Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal, whilst Gauteng province followed closely behind.

Mpumalanga, North West, the Northern Cape, and the Free State provinces had an increase in entries from previous years. 570 finalists were selected from all these entries.

The award categories include Accommodation, Visitor Experience of the Year, Tourist Guides, Tour Operators, B-BBEE (Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment) and Universal Accessibility.

The Visitor Experience award is aimed at businesses that allow visitors to South Africa to immerse themselves in the country’s rich and diverse cultural experience. Khaya Volunteer Projects was nominated in the Culture and Lifestyle category for this award in the Eastern Cape. Nominees in other provinces included well-loved and long-established tourist attractions such as the Voortrekker Monument, the Durban Country Club and the KWV Wine Emporium!

Judges in the Visitor Experience category included experienced heavy-hitters in the South African tourism industry such as Desmond Langkilde (Publisher and Executive Editor of the Tourism Tattler Trade Journal – the official journal of the African Travel & Tourism Association), Jonker Fourie (CEO of Emfuleni Corridor Tourism, based in Port Elizabeth), and Nesang Maleka, an expert in entrepreneurship and youth enterprise development throughout the country.

The regional awards ceremony was held at the Boardwalk Hotel on the 10th of September (right in the middle of Tourism Month) in Port Elizabeth, and Khaya was honoured to receive the Culture and Lifestyle award! We are proud to have been able to offer the best experience possible to all our visitors in a responsible and ethical manner, and help promote South African tourism and volunteering. We are committed to continuing this standard. Thanks to everyone who made and continues to make this possible!

The National awards will be held in Sandton on the 22nd of October.


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