West Rand Tourism Awards recognise tourism excellence

Last Friday, 17 February 2012, the West Rand Tourism Awards were held at Maropeng. The aim of the awards is to acknowledge service excellence across the West Rand’s tourism industry sector.

The theme for the night was "Western" and here is what some of the winners had to say: 
Best site guide Reuben Tsime: “I’m really happy,” he says. “If I look back to where I was two years ago and to where I am now, I can’t believe it. It’s also thanks to the management team and support of my colleagues that I’ve managed to reach this achievement.”
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Best site guide winner Reuben Tsime
Best dance group in the performance category: Pantsula Group Red Danger's Sicelo Xaba says, “Our work in the tourism industry is recognised through these awards, so we are very grateful.” 
Paul Mange of the Merafong Tourism Association – which, along with the Kagiso Tourism Association, jointly received the award for most-improved local tourism association – says the awards evening is important for making crucial contacts: “Many of the small tourism businesses don’t get the opportunity to meet other stakeholders who they can link up with. This kind of event gives them the perfect opportunity to do this.”
Gilroy of Gilroy’s brewery won Best Tourism Leisure Experience and Best Al Fresco restaurant: “Gilroy’s is an amazing experience and I’m excited about this event because it shows that tourism is marching forward, it’s saying thanks to the foot soldiers who create the tourism experience.”
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Marketing assistant Ntlotleng Kobue and Gilroy from Gilroy's brewery
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Guests look dapper in their cowboy costumes
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Natalie and Durward Smyth from Jelani Transfers and Tours
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Guests having fun at the awards

Here is a full list of winners:


Township Accommodation: Popsue Place
Bed & breakfast: Premier Guest House
Self-catering: Stone Hill
Four star guest house: Soetkysi Guest House
Three star lodge: Heia Safari Ranch
Four star guest house: Onze Whonen Guest House
Four star lodge: Valley Lodge & Spa
Four star hotel: Maropeng a’Afrika Leisure (Pty) Ltd
Five star lodge: Kloofzicht Lodge
Best HDI-owned accommodation: Usiba Country Lodge
Most improved township accommodation: Tsitsi B&B
Best emerging accommodation: Hibon

Food and beverage

Restaurant – buffet: Mount Grace Country House & Spa
Restaurant ¬ – Al Fresco: Gilroy’s Brewery (Pty) Ltd
Restaurnt ¬– Fine Dine: Budmarsh Country Lodge
Taverns: Shimi’s Inn
Most improved Township Tavern: Maggie Sports Bar

Conference and wedding venues

MESE: EnGedi
Best HDI-owned MESE: Ekhaya accommodation and conference


Provincial guide: Adam Fillmore
Site guide: Reuben Tsime

Tour operators

Tour operator: Jelani Transfers and Tours

Tourism Experience

Best outdoor tourism experience: Heia Safari Ranch
Best tourism leisure experience: Gilroy’s Brewery 
Best tourism recreational experience: Sundowner Adventures
Most exhilarating tourism experience: AirVentures Hot Air Ballooning
Best spa experience (joint winner): Mount Grace Country House & Spa, Valley Lodge & Spa

Arts and Crafts

Beadwork: Suzaan Crafts
Visual / Fine art: Green ORB
Weaving: The Sun Hat Knitting and Multi-purpose
Design and innovation: Mamagola General Trading


Theatre: Ubizo Ma-Africa Theatre
Dance: Red for Danger
Poetry: Abram Mokome

Special awards

Best Eco-Tourism establishment in the West Rand: Mount Grace Country House & Spa
Most improved local tourism association (joint winner): Merafong LTA and Kagiso LTA
Best walk-in tourism information office: Mogale Tourism

Best for 2011 Overall

Best tourism establishment in West Rand: Valley Lodge & Spa
Best township tourism provider in West Rand: Tshuku’s Transport Service