Meet KZN’s tourism sector superstars

06 November 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201917026

Commerce & Trade
Events
Meet KZN’s tourism sector superstars
Winners of the KZN Lilizela Tourism Awards 2019 celebrate a proud moment with KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube

THE Who’s Who in the tourism sector rubbed shoulders and clinked champagne glasses as they arrived for the prestigious annual Lilizela Tourism Awards at Fairmont Zimbali in Ballito, KwaZulu-Natal.

The competition is an initiative of the National Department of Tourism, spearheaded by South African Tourism and delivered by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa.

Addressing the event, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, said: “Tourism is one of the strongest drivers of world trade and prosperity. Poverty alleviation is one of the greatest global challenges. Despite turbulent times for the world’s economy, these basic facts are unlikely to change.

“Focusing the wealth creating power of tourism on people most in need remains an immense task and opportunity.

“In South Africa in general and in KZN in particular, tourism acts as an engine for development through foreign exchange earnings and the creation of direct and indirect employment,” she said.

A study conducted by Dr Barney Mthembu of the KZN Department of Education and Dr Emmanuel Mutambara of the Graduate School of Business and Leadership at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, concludes that tourism development could be a powerful centre of synergy for job creation.

The study found that tourism can create population stability, propel industrial growth, create operator’s jobs, facilitate youth employment, create jobs in the service industry, create self-employed people and alleviate poverty. The study also showed that tourism development can increase the participation of the local communities in the economy.

Acting CEO for Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, Phindile Makwakwa, said: “Most importantly, tourism gives us a chance to show off our intangible assets in KZN - the natural friendliness of our people, our relaxed lifestyle, our openness to visitors, our helpfulness and our service excellence.

“These attractions aren’t so easy to convey in glossy brochures and advertisements. And we don’t think about it much because the people of KZN are naturally friendly. But in an increasingly competitive world, it is a point of difference for us.”

Tour operators, lodge owners, tour guides, game rangers, hotel chains, transport companies, excursion organisers and the like were among the eight categories of awards. In addition, a special MEC’s Award was bestowed upon the most deserving candidate.

Thandekile Jessica Nhleko, founding director of ANB GROUP, was chosen for the MEC special award. Nhleko has worked in various roles in the hotel industry as an International Hotel School Graduate in Hotel Management before finally realizing her dream of breaking into the hospitality and tourism sector where she has almost two decades of solid experience.

The winner of each category received the sought-after SA Lilizela Awards trophy and all finalists received a certificate of excellence.

The national competition in which the eight category winners will participate will be held on Saturday, 9 November at Time Square Casino in Pretoria, Gauteng.

The KZN provincial award winners as selected by a panel of independent judges are:

Establishment

Category

Star Grading

Olive Convention Centre

Convention & Exhibition Centre

3 Star

Villa Spa Holiday Resort

Caravan & Camping

4 Star

ATKV Drakensville Holiday Resort

Caravan & Camping

3 Star

Mahai Caravan Park Royal Natal

Caravan & Camping

2 Star

Curiocity Durban

Backpacking & Hostelling

4 Star

Midlands Saddle and Trout

Self-Catering Shared Vacation

3 Star

Cabana Beach Resort

Self-Catering Shared Vacation

4 Star

Rockwood Lodges

Self-Catering Exclusive

4 Star

Dolfinview Self-Catering Accommodation

Self-Catering Exclusive

2 Star

Beverley Country Cottages

Self-Catering Exclusive

3 Star

Leopard Mountain Safari Lodge

Game Lodge

4 Star

Amakhosi Lodge (Pty) Ltd

Game Lodge

5 Star

Bayala Game Lodge

Game Lodge

3 Star

Hawklee Country House

Country House

3 Star

Days At Sea Beach Lodge

Country House

5 Star

Pleasant Places Country Guest House

Country House

4 Star

Three Tree Hill Lodge

Lodge

4 Star

Tembe Elephant Park & Lodge

Lodge

3 Star

The Gorge Private Game Lodge & Spa

Lodge

5 Star

Fairlight Beach House

Bed & Breakfast

4 Star

Madeline Grove Bed and Breakfast

Bed & Breakfast

3 Star

Westville B&B

Bed & Breakfast

5 Star

The View Boutique Hotel & Spa

Guest House

5 Star

Lodge Afrique

Guest House

4 Star

Elegant Lodge

Guest House

3 Star

Ekhaya Boutique Hotel

Boutique Hotel

4 Star

Amakhosi Lodge (Pty) Ltd

Wildlife Encounters

5 Star

Wild 5 Adventures

Action & Adventure

N/A

Veyane Cultural Village

Roots & Culture

N/A

Road Lodge Pietermaritzburg

Hotel

1 Star

uMhlanga Sands Resort

Hotel

4 Star

Garden Court Umhlanga

Hotel

3 Star

The Oyster Box Hotel

Hotel

5 Star

Establishment

Tour Operator Awards

Syavaya Group

Tour Operator

Name

Tourist Guides Awards

Timothy Brown

Nature

Nompumelelo Gina

Culture

Johannes Jacobus Outram

Adventure

Establishment

ETEYA Awards

La Teranga Bed and Breakfast

Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Establishment

MECs Award

Thandekile Jessica Nhleko

MEC’s Award

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