A range of tourism entities in the Free State were lauded for their contribution to the tourism industry in the province.A total of 23 provincial finalists of the Lilizela Tourism Awards were recognised at a function held at the Imvelo Safari Lodge near Bloemfontein on 26 September. These awards recognise entities for the best service offered to tourists. The theme for 2019 is “Honouring the Best of the Best”. An initiative of the National Department of Tourism, the Lilizela Awards are run in partnership with South African Tourism and the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa. Apart from the Lilizela Awards, the MEC’s award and awards for service excellence, entrepreneurship and sustainable development were also handed out. Road Lodge Bloemfontein, City Lodge Bloemfontein, Anta Boga Hotel, Protea Hotel by Marriot Clarens, Lions Rest Country Estate, Monte Bello Lodge, Kamohelong Luxury Accommodation, Allegro Guest House, Letsatsi Game Lodge, Bethesda Exclusive Accommodation, Gariep A Forever Resort Chalets, Clarens Xtreme Adventures, Mont d’ Or Hotel, Gariep A Forever Resort Conference Centre and Dithabeng Tours were all awarded for excellence in the tourism industry. They were recognised by the provincial Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs. The provincial awards coincide with the annual Tourism Month celebration, which aims to promote tourism in South Africa.Recipients of the provincial Lilizela Tourism Awards automatically qualify to compete nationally.At the national level, tourism stakeholders are recognised for their contribution to South Africa’s gross domestic product. The national winners of the Lilizela Tourism Awards will be named on 9 November.