The annual Lilizela awards took place in the North West. Picture: Supplied

A spectacular award ceremony held in Klerksdorp recently saw the best in the Tourism sector celebrated through the provincial Lilizela Awards. 

With an increase in the number of entrants in the completion from 68 participants in 2017, this year’s awards have gained momentum with 76 participants.

Celebrated annually the Lilizela Tourism Awards celebrates professionalism, creativity and innovation in the tourism industry through 14 categories including the special MEC’s Award.

North West Tourism MEC Desbo Mohono said the province is on par with other provinces and that is endorsed through the Lilizela Awards.

“I am proud to say our guest houses, hotels, bed and breakfast establishments, tour operators and many of our institutions are up there with the best, that I do not doubt at all", said MEC Mohono.

"Our four districts are doing their bit in making sure that our tourists have an unforgettable moment every time they touch base in our prefecture”.

MEC Mohono also encouraged stakeholders to strengthen partnerships that construct tourism growth. “Inter-sectoral support will go a long way in terms of transforming our sector, we really need one tree of cooperation between government, business and labour".

“We all have to constantly be bold and innovative thinkers that can be catalysts in the industry and engage on the best practices to map a way forward together”, added Mohono.

The Tourism Friendly Association, made up of different tourism businesses based in Rustenburg saw 9 of their properties walk away as winners at the awards.

MEC Desbo Mohono addressing industry stakeholders. Picture: Supplied

Amongst the biggest winners of the night was Zimasa Travel, a 100% black female owned Destination Management company and Tour Operator which provides tailor-made travel solutions from planning to execution of any travel or conference need, they won the MEC’s Special Award for 2018.

Mohono hailed Zimasa Travel’s CEO, Khosi Tyobeka as a hard working woman. She said that she epitomizes hard work and that she is also a yardstick for a lot of women within the Tourism sector.

“This woman has exhibited tremendous will of steel to succeed and also be the best amongst the best. Her body of work speaks for itself and she has always been willing to partner with others in the industry to ensure growth and stability".

"Through her company Zimasa Travel, Khosi continues to province various travel services to both domestic and international clients”, Mohono said. 

MEC Mohono also congratulated all winners and wished everyone well. She said that they are reminded that from the commencement, the biggest fundamental elements of excellence are respected and the need of our customers.

The Managing Director Iain Gunn says the Lilizela Awards provides a platform that recognises not only excellence but potential.

“The most important thing about winning an award like this is that it really is about those that don’t get celebrated enough, it represents our staff and when we go to nationals we know that we as a company have their backing as well as that of the entire province", Gunn said.

"This really shows that small companies can grow, next year we will need a bigger venue because we will have hundreds of companies representing the province".

Supplied