The 2017 Gauteng Lilizela Awards were announced at a gala event at Freedom Park on 29 Sep 17. The Lilizela Awards are designed to recognize and reward service excellence and particularly to encourage upcoming tourism products, especially SMMEs.
Once again on these, the 5th Lilizela Awards, accommodation establishments dominated the proceedings.
In the Backpacker Category the 2-star winner was Naledi Backpackers, the 3-star winner was Lebo’s Soweto Backpackers and the 4-star winner was Curiocity Backpackers. In the Bed and Breakfast Category Morulana Guesthouse took honours in the 3-star category, Habitat Guesthouse in the 4-star category and Hyde Park Villas in the 5-star category. Country House winners were the 4-star Oxbow Country Estate and the 5-star De Hoek Country House. The Guesthouse Category saw Sunrock Guesthouse take 3-star honours, with the 4-star winner being Rivonia Bed & Breakfast and the 5-star winner being Mont d’or Bohemian House.
The top 1-star hotel was Road Lodge Centurion, the leading 2-star being Town Lodge Midrand, best 3-star being Riverside Sun, most acclaimed 4 star being Thabo Eco Hotel and most outstanding 5-star being awarded to The Palazzo Montecasino.
The Lodge Awardwent to the 3-star Lanseria Country Estate. In the Self-catering Exclusive Category the winners were Nullarbor Cottages in the 3-star category and The Warehouse in the 4-star category.
In the Meetings, Exhibitions and Special Events (MESE) Category the 3-star winner was Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo conference Centre, the 4-star winner was Maropeng Conference Centre and the 5-star category was the forum / the campus, with the forum / turbine hall as runner up.
Eteya Award finalist Shova Lifestyle Origin was edged out of the winning space by Fly S.A. Wise.
The winner of the Tour Operator Category was Boyang Gape Tours and Travels.
Winners in the Visitor Experience Awards were Fly S.A. Wise (Action & Adventure Category), SAB World of Beer (Culture & Lifestyle Category) and Lebo’s Soweto Backpackers (Roots & Culture Category).
Culture Guide Siphiwe Abram Khumalo was the winning tourist guide.
Lilizela Awards are chosen allocating 80% of the decision to public feedback media such as Trip Advisor and equivalents and only 20% of decision to the specialist panel.
Minister Thokozile Xasa was quoted as having said “As government, we have an opportunity to turn the economy around, and we need your input as drivers of this sector. We appreciate the work that the industry is doing and it has contributed positively to GDP and created employment opportunities. We also appreciate how you have embraced the Executive Development Programme (EDP) for Women in Tourism.”
The winners are eligible for entry into the National Lilizela Awards which will take place on 29th Oct 2017 at Sandton Convention Centre.