The annual Lilizela Tourism Awards are around the corner and ready to celebrate those who are growing SA’s global destination competitiveness. The 6th annual premier travel and tourism awards will take place on Saturday the 17th of November at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.The Lilizela Tourism Awards are delivered by South African Tourism (SAT), on behalf of the Minister of Tourism and the National Department of Tourism. Launched in 2013, the Awards were created to honour, celebrate and recognise those people and businesses who work passionately and with pride to deliver a world-class product and service and whose delivery grows South African's global destination competitiveness. "The Lilizela Tourism awards are about acknowledging and recognising these individuals for the sterling job they do every day in contributing to our economy through the high levels of service excellence their business offer to travellers," SAT CEO Sisa Ntshona previously told Traveller24. It’s therefore only fitting that the awards are derived from the Zulu word “Lilizela” which means praising by ululating when someone has done well. The award categories cover sustainable development, entrepreneurship, service excellence and the ministers award which recognises an organisation, person or event whose contribution to the industry has been exceptional; whose performance has been remarkable; and whose contribution to the industry has elevated tourism’s status as a vital sector of the national economy. This year’s awards will also see a category named the “I Do Tourism Award”. The Minister will choose the "I do Tourism Award" recipient from the MEC’s award winners from the Lilizela Provincial awards.The provincial winners of the #LilizelaAwards18 have been announced and now it’s the countdown to the national award ceremony. Who will take home gold on the 17th of November 2018? Head to the website and vote: https://t.co/0arOgc6UvZ pic.twitter.com/h2OC26x5be— The Lilizela Awards (@Lilizela_Awards) November 2, 2018Participating individuals, organisations and destinations in SA’s tourism industry will be judged by a 28-member panel of experts from across the industry. Darryl Erasmus, Chief Quality Assurance Officer at SAT, previously told Traveller24 that the judges “will certainly have their work cut out for them” when selecting the winners. Meet the judges “The prestige that is associated with this awards initiative is evidence that South African Tourism’s ongoing drive to promote service excellence and product grading through the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) is yielding positive results for the tourism industry,” Ntshona said. Besides being a platform that provides travel operators with exposure to grow and develop their business, the awards also give tourists the comfort of knowing where to get the best services when they plan a trip to South Africa. The countdown to the #LilizelaAwards18 nationals has already begun, but which province do you think will take away most accolades? Keep an eye on Summerset Place Country House in #Limpopo, winner of the provincial leg. https://t.co/RtDAhqvHNy #InspringNewWays pic.twitter.com/wKE9LtH2Bp— The Lilizela Awards (@Lilizela_Awards) October 24, 2018View this year’s provincial finalists here. This post is sponsored by South African Tourism produced by BrandStudio24 for News24.