The industry and members of the public are now able to vote for the South African accommodation establishments they believe offer the best service. This follows the launch of the Lilizela Tourism Awards during the 2013 Durban Tourism Indaba that took place in May.
The Lilizela Service Excellence Awards will identify and reward tourism businesses that work passionately and with pride to help enhance South Africa’s global destination competitiveness.
The five award categories are:
1. Minister’s Award: This award will recognise a tourism business or personality who has set the benchmark, and whose work pushes this industry closer to the National Tourism Sector Strategy 2020 vision. The recipient will be chosen by the minister of tourism at his discretion.
2. Lilizela Service Excellence in Accommodation Award: This award is open only to graded establishments and is the only of the categories reliant largely on guest feedback. The accommodation sector will be recognised during this first year, with the other service providers and operators to follow next year. Establishment owners are asked to encourage their guests to vote for them in order to further their chances of winning.
3. Lilizela Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Award: This award recognises black-owned small, medium and micro enterprises that have achieved notable success since starting up.
4. Lilizela Universal Accessibility: This award is for facilities and services at accommodation establishments as well as meetings, exhibitions and special event venues that are accessible for people with physical limitations.
5. Lilizela Imvelo Award: This award will recognise the business that best incorporates the three development and sustainability pillars into its business operating models and the Imvelo brand will be incorporated accordingly.
Entries for the awards are free, but businesses need to comply with certain requirements before their application will be accepted. Overall winners from each category will be announced at a ceremony in September 2013, which will be preceded by provincial recognition awards to be handed out at provincial events.
To vote, people must visit www.lilizela.co.za and click on the vote button. Strict measures have been put in place to ensure the process is fair and that people who vote have actually stayed in the establishment. Voters will be required to enter information indicating when they stayed and rate their overall experience, the facilities available and the level of services rendered.