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2017 Lilizela Tourism Awards kicks off

South African Tourism announced the provincial finalists for the 2017 Lilizela Tourism Awards - drawn from an extremely competitive field of more than 1,600 entries, exceeding last year's tally by almost 50%. During Tourism Month in September, ahead of the national award in October, the winners will be announced at provincial awards ceremonies where the South African travel industry will gather to honour their best and brightest.
2017 Lilizela Tourism Awards kicks off

The Lilizela Tourism Awards were established in 2013 to recognise and applaud outstanding service among accommodation establishments and other tourism-related products and services.

“The Lilizela Tourism Awards are our way of thanking our dedicated travel industry for their 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 alike,” said Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa.

The finalists per province and corresponding award ceremony dates are:

KwaZulu-Natal, 7 September
Free State, 7 September
Mpumalanga, 8 September
Limpopo, 15 September
Northern Cape, 18 September 2017
Western Cape, 19 September
North West, 20 September
Eastern Cape, 21 September
Gauteng, 29 September

The national winners, drawn from these provincial champions, will be announced at a gala event in Johannesburg on 29 October.

The awards were adjudicated through both a public vote (using data from the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa’s Tourism Analytics Programme, which consolidates user reviews for establishments with an online presence, along with public votes on the Lilizela Tourism Awards website) and a 30-member judging panel. This meant that 80% of the scores came from consumers and 20% from adjudicators.

The panel, made up of industry professionals and travel practitioners, evaluated accommodation establishments, tourist guides and tour operators, as well as facilities catering for meetings, exhibitions and special events. Exceptional visitor experiences in an array of categories were also assessed.

Particular attention was paid to emerging black-owned tourism startups 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 adjudication process and results were audited by Grant Thornton.

For more details, visit Lilizela Tourism Awards, Facebook or Twitter @Lilizela_Awards

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