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Wednesday, October 30, 2019


Cream of the crop to grace prestigious Lilizela Awards

The stage is set and preparations are in full force for the provincial Lilizela Tourism Awards which will take place at a glittering banquet (tonight: October 30, 2019) at Fairmont Zimbali in Ballito, KwaZulu-Natal.

An initiative of the National Department of Tourism, spearheaded by South African Tourism and delivered by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa, the Lilizela Tourism Awards has grown from strength to strength since being launched in 2013.

“Lilizela” is an isiZulu word, which means celebrating and praising by ululating when someone has done well.

South Africa’s premier Travel and Tourism Awards recognises and rewards tourism players and businesses who pride themselves in delivering a world-class product and service and whose delivery grows South Africa’s global destination competitiveness.

Tour operators, lodge owners, tour guides, game rangers, hotel chains, transport companies, excursion organisers and the like who epitomise product and service excellence are among the eight categories of awards.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, said: “The diversity of products and memorable experiences offered by KZN to domestic and international travellers provide compelling reasons for holidaymakers to keep choosing KZN as their holiday destination of choice.”

The tourism grading incentive introduced by the Department of Tourism in partnership with the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa helps tourism products adhere to requirements to ensure quality assurance and service excellence.

“KZN has all the ingredients, attributes and infrastructure to deliver holiday experiences comparable with international standards. The grading system instils consumer confidence in brands and establishments that are among the award-winning tourism products,” added Dube-Ncube.

She said KZN remained a popular tourist destination for local and international travellers and that product owners should not be complacent in their offerings and service levels.

“Creativity and innovation in the competitive hospitality industry requires constant reflection on what can be done better to give consumers a truly unique, unforgettable and value for money experience.”

In preceding years, KZN emerged amongst the top provinces in terms of the total number of entries for the high-profile competition.

This year, the awards attracted 180 entries from KZN, indicative of the popularity of the Awards and steady growth.

Acting CEO for Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, Phindile Makwakwa, said: “Celebrating excellence, creativity and innovation in the dynamic and exciting space of tourism is of paramount importance in raising the bar of excellence on our home ground and aboard.”

Travel and tourism in South Africa contributed 1.5 million jobs and R425.8bn to the economy in 2018, representing 8.6% of all economic activity in the country and making South Africa the largest tourism economy in Africa, according to an annual review by the World Travel & Tourism Council.

“Tourism is a fast-growing industry, is ranked among the highest performing sectors of the global economy and is the life-blood of local economies given its unwavering potential to alleviate the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality,” Makwakwa said.

She added the tough prevailing economic environment was no deterrent given the growing trends of “bleisure” or combining business with leisure travel; an increasing number of travellers planning their trips online; people travelling to SA for medical treatment and a growing number of people who travel as a multi-generational family to spend more time together.

The winner of each category will receive a prestigious SA Lilizela Awards trophy and all finalists will receive a certificate of excellence.

The national competition will be held on Saturday, November 9, 2019, at Time Square in Pretoria, Gauteng.

To find out more about the exceptional experiences you can enjoy in KZN, go to

For more information on the Lilizela Tourism Awards, visit