Locals excel at Lilizela Awards

Various establishments were honoured for their contribution to service excellence and quality assurance at the annual Lilizela Tourism Awards ceremony held at Casambo Guest Lodge on Friday.
Blue Jay Lodge, Jock Safari Lodge, Elephant Plains Game Lodge, Hamilton Parks Country Lodge and Kruger Park Lodge were all winners in the accommodation awards. In the visitors-experience division, Inyati Game Lodge was rewarded in the wildlife encounters category, and Lowveld Extreme Adventures took the spoils in the action and adventure category, and also walked away with the Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Billed to recognise only the best, the Lilizela Tourism Awards aim to recognise the highest levels of excellence in the tourism industry. It is the ultimate award for entrepreneurial and service excellence that sets global benchmark standards.
“We would like to congratulate all the Mpumalanga finalists and winners.

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“These awards are our way of recognising our dedicated travel industry for its hard work in setting the bar high and helping to make South Africa such a highly regarded must-visit destination for local and international tourists.
“We would also like to thank all the businesses that took the time to enter the awards, and particularly to our provincial partners for ensuring that a cross section of South Africa’s diverse experiences is represented,” said minister of tourism, Tokozile Xasa.
The Lilizela Tourism Awards are an opportunity to celebrate professionalism, creativity and innovation in the industry. The provincial awards are held in the month of September – which correlates with Tourism Month.
“We are delighted with the standard of the entries and remain committed to growing the number of entries to ensure our province is well represented next year.
“This has been a long journey, following a rigorous judging process, leading to the announcement and we are proud to have come out with good quality products that represent Mpumalanga in the area of service excellence,” said Johannes Nobunga, CEO of Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency.

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“The province received a total of 170 entries, compared to the 79 in 2016. The ceremony tonight will see 96 finalists being awarded certificates, with 32 of them proceeding to represent Mpumalanga in the national awards ceremony to be held in Gauteng on October 29,” commented Nobunga.
“We wish to congratulate our provincial winners for their achievements and all their hard work, as well as the effort they have put into positioning their products.
“We believe that this achievement will enable others to learn from the outstanding work that is being delivered and further motivate others to participate,” concluded Nobunga.

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Stefan de Villiers

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