Park awarded once again

2016-09-14 06:00
Dhilosen Pillay (FSTA CEO), Glen Netshivhodza (FSTA Chair of the Board), Nonkululeko Khanyile, Norman Mudau, Tokozile Xasa (Deputy Minister of Tourism), Peter Mokoena (Golden Gate National park manager) and Sam Mashinini, (MEC for Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs) during the 2016 Free State Province Lilizela Tourism Award at Lavender Hill in Bethlehem.

Dhilosen Pillay (FSTA CEO), Glen Netshivhodza (FSTA Chair of the Board), Nonkululeko Khanyile, Norman Mudau, Tokozile Xasa (Deputy Minister of Tourism), Peter Mokoena (Golden Gate National park manager) and Sam Mashinini, (MEC for Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs) during the 2016 Free State Province Lilizela Tourism Award at Lavender Hill in Bethlehem.

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BETHLEHEM. – The Golden Gate Highlands National Park has done it again.

In June, it scooped Park of the Year at the SANParks regional award, but as if that was not enough, the tourist attraction park harvested five more awards at this year’s Free State Lilizela Tourism Award ceremony which was held at the Lavender Hill Country Estate in Bethlehem on Thursday (08/09).

The awards were presented by the Free State Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs. And they were aimed at honouring those establishments and individuals who continue to provide customers with memorable service in the hospitality industry in the province.

Among their achievements are three-star hotel winner, self-catering exclusive winner, finalist in meetings, exhibitions and special events, finalist in two self-catering exclusives with their hotel chalets and NP Basotho Cultural Village.

Kamohelong Luxury accommodation of Qwaqwa and Lionsrock Lodge of Bethlehem were named the winners of three-star bed and breakfast and three-star lodge respectively.

Some of the hospitality establishments that won awards as finalists in the Eastern Free State were Imperani Guest House in Ficksburg (four-star guest house), Frontier Inn and Casino (three-star hotel) and Basotho Cultural Village (roots and culture).

Sam Mashinini, the MEC for Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, urged the owners and managers of the hospitality industry who attended the event, to market their products. “You should make sure that you give the best to the people so that they would wish to come to your place again,” he urged.

He said they would like to congratulate the National Department of Tourism for bringing the programme known as Tourism Buddies to their shores.

“A total of 100 unemployed matriculants where recruited to take part in the programme and it saw learners being placed at different hospitality facilities in Matjhabeng, Dihlabeng, Maluti-a-Phofung and Ngwathe municipalities for a period of 12 months to expose them to the tourism and hospitality industry.

“We hope that this exposure will go a long way in absorbing these young people into this industry and assist in tackling unemployment, poverty and inequality,” he said.

Peter Mokoena, the Golden Gate park manager said they were delighted to win the award at the Lilizela. He said they are setting a standard on how these establisments should be run in the province.

“We are a unique selling point within the province. We are an entity that does not only market itself but we are also marketing the province. When everyone talks about the attractions in the Free State, Golden Gate is something that comes to mind first. Remember we are the only national park in South Africa that protects the grass and biome,” he said.

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