Destination Gauteng tourism products and experiences emerged top of the list once again at the 7th annual National Lilizela Tourism Awards held at the award-winning and state of the art Sun Arena Time Square in Tshwane over the weekend.
The Lilizela Tourism Awards are the tourism industry’s leading awards and recognition platform which aims to recognise and reward the highest levels of excellence in tourism value chain. The name is derived from the Zulu word ‘’Lilizela’’ which means celebrating and praising by ululating when someone has done well. These awards are an initiative of the National Department of Tourism (NDT) spearheaded by South African Tourism and delivered by the National Convention Bureau every year covering over 16 categories.
The following products and experiences emerged top in their respective categories receiving the highest national tourism honors cementing Gauteng standing as a formidable tourism destination with quality assured products and breath-taking experiences:
Birchwood Hotel and Conferencing – Meetings, Exhibition and Special Events MESE 3-star category
Lesedi African and Cultural Village – Tourism Experience category
Thaba Eco Hotel – 4-star Hotel category
Sandton Convention Centre – Convention and Exhibition 5-star category
Sun Arena in the Events Venue category
The Forum – MESE category
Centurion Forever Resorts Hotel Conference – MESE category 4-star
Once in Joburg – Backpacking and Hostelling category
Hayward Safari – Wildlife Encounters category
I do Tourism – Ministers Award To Curiosity Backpackers based in Maboneng.
“We congratulate these amazing bunch of winners and shining stars that continues to make Gauteng the golden city region that strives for nothing else but gold position. These businesses constitute what we call the Signature Products and Experiences in the province.
Just like the brand essence of destination Gauteng, they are agile, energetic, bold, welcoming and striving for excellence all the time. Indeed, Gauteng is not just the home of champions in sports and the arts but across the various sectors as demonstrated over the weekend.” remarked Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development Morakane Mosupyoe
This excellence performance by our tourism products in Gauteng at the National Lilizela Tourism Awards happens against the backdrop of continued decline in terms of visitor arrivals and domestic trips in the country and the province. The consequences of this declined is sharply felt in Gauteng as we account to the bulk of the excepted arrival numbers in the country. For the country to realise improved tourism growth in terms of numbers, it will be up to these star-performers and the rest of the tourism sector in the province to turn on the magic consistently.
I urge all of us in Gauteng including the tourism sector to be bold, aggressive and unapologetic in our marketing and promotion of the province and the country’s tourism offerings. We need to be volunteers in chief of our champion host programme. We need to denounce bad customer service, denounce sub-standard offerings, denounce violence against Uber and Taxify drivers, denounce xenophobic and related criminal acts and mobilise all behind the We Do Tourism, I Do Tourism Responsibly Movement. In doing so we will be making quality customer service and excellence service standards our everyday work and mobilising tool for those lacking behind, concluded Mosupyoe.