Lilizela Provincial Tourism Awards reveal who will represent Gauteng at this year’s national awards ceremony

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.

Makhukhu Mampuru
HOD for the Gauteng Department of Economic Development: Tourism, Makhukhu Mampuru giving a warm welcome. (Image: Gauteng Tourism Authority)

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

Maboneng Precinct reps
The representatives for Maboneng Precinct accepting the Culture and Lifestyle award, presented by Gauteng Tourism Authority's Nonnie Kubeka (far left). (Image: Gauteng Tourism Authority)

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.

Kelly Khumalo
Seasoned singer, dancer and actress Kelly Khumalo closing the event off with a great music performance. (Image: Gauteng Tourism Authority)