The countdown is on as Lilizela glory beckons

If your establishment has entered the fifth annual Lilizela Tourism Awards, you’ll be pleased to hear that judging is underway ahead of the “big reveal” of provincial winners in September and national winners in October.

A panel of judges drawn from the industry is currently immersed in the tough task of selecting the best of the best in the local travel industry across a range of categories.

The Lilizela Tourism Awards recognise and reward outstanding service among accommodation establishments and other tourism-related products and services. This year’s submissions have far exceeded last year’s number by almost 50%.

Following a call for judges at the 2017 Africa’s Travel Indaba in Durban, a 30-member panel has been chosen and will start assessing establishments across the nine provinces in categories such as service excellence, sustainable development and entrepreneurship.

The experienced adjudicators will evaluate accommodation establishments, tourist guides and tour operators, as well as facilities catering for meetings, exhibitions and special events. Exceptional visitor experiences will also be tested and toasted.

Particular attention will be paid to emerging black-owned tourism start-ups and small enterprises, as well as to establishments that have taken steps to improve their universal accessibility status (by welcoming and accommodating guests with special needs such as physical disabilities).

The judges’ assessments will be supplemented by data from the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa’s Tourism Analytics Programme, a platform that consolidates user reviews for establishments that have an online presence. The adjudication process and results will be audited by Grant Thornton.

Wishing all our members who entered the best of luck – all in the name of promoting service excellence in the hospitality and travel industry!

For more details, visit, or like the Lilizela Tourism Awards Facebook page or follow @Lilizela_Awards on Twitter for regular updates.