Gauteng tourism industry players came out to celebrate one another at the provincial leg of the Lilizela Tourism Awards on 20 September 2018.
The Lilizela Tourism Awards recognise tourism businesses that provide world-class products and services in South Africa. The provincial winners go on to represent the province at the national level of the awards.
The historic Constitution Hill precinct in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, hosted the event, at which an overview of the awards which mentioned their goal to give recognition for tourism excellence with a special focus on SMEs. This was given by South African Tourism general manager for human capital, Thapedi Mofokeng. “Local SMEs are the backbone of our industry and the ones we want to help grow and flourish,” he said.
The evening’s proceedings were opened by the acting HOD for the Gauteng Department of Economic Development: Tourism, Makhukhu Mampuru. He gave a warm welcome, during which he mentioned how the tourism sector is working hard to ensure that tourist sites are safer – a concern that some have regarding local tourism.
Attendees were entertained by musicians Kitchen Mess throughout the night, and the ceremony ended with a great performance by seasoned singer, dancer and actress Kelly Khumalo.
With a 47% increase in entries from the previous year, the Gauteng leg of the Lilizela Provincial Tourism Awards was tightly contested. The winners on the night were (categories in bold):
Action and Adventure: Johannesburg Skydiving Club
Backpacking and Hostelling: Once in Joburg
Backpacking and Hostelling (3 stars): Lebo’s Soweto Backpackers
Bed and Breakfast (5 stars): Hyde Park Villas
Bed and Breakfast (3 stars): Mkhwani Guest House
Tour Operator: Tsheola Dinare Tours & Transport
Roots and Culture: Constitution Hill
The Gauteng Tourism Authority’s Nonnie Kubeka handed out the awards for the Meetings, Exhibitions and Special Events (MESE) categories. Award winners were:
Meetings, Exhibitions and Special Events (5 stars): Turbine Hall
Meetings, Exhibitions and Special Events (4 stars): Oxbow Country Estate
Meetings, Exhibitions and Special Events (3 stars): Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre
Culture and Lifestyle: The Maboneng Precinct
The MEC Leadership 2018 Award (which recognises individuals or establishments that have made a considerable contribution to tourism in the province), handed out by Makhukhu Mampuru, went to our host for the evening, Constitution Hill.
The Gauteng Enterprise Propeller’s acting CEO, Leah Manenzhe, helped hand out the following awards to the winners :
Game Lodge: Ritsako Game Lodge (in Dinokeng Game Reserve)
Country House (5 stars): De Hoek Country Hotel
Country House (4 stars): Oxbow Country Estate
Guest House (5 stars): Castello di Monte
Guest House (4 stars): Rivonia Bed & Breakfast
Guest House (3 stars): 3@Marion Guesthouse
Cultural Guide: Valentino Meirotti
Scenic Beauty: Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden
Lodge: Lanseria Country Estate
Kubeka was back on stage to help with next set of awards. The winners were:
Self-Catering Exclusive: Blue Roan Guest Farm
Self-Catering Shared Vacation: OuKlip Game Lodge
Hotel (4 stars): The Syrene Boutique Hotel
Hotel (2 stars): Town Lodge Menlo Park
Hotel (1 star): In a surprising twist, the last category was initially thought to not have a winner, but the last entry, Road Lodge Southgate, walked away with the prize
All these winners will go on to represent Gauteng in the national awards that will be hosted later in the year. Good luck to them and we hope they make Gauteng proud.