Local firms scoop tourism awards

2015-10-29 16:06

TWO local adventure organisations scooped four major national tourism awards at the recent 2015 Lilizela Tourism Awards - placing the Kouga region firmly on the tourism adventure map of South Africa.

Eastern Cape operator Stormsriver Adventures took top honours with Tsitsikamma Canopy Tours being voted the Best Visitor Experience of the Year in the Action and Adventure category. The company furthermore took home the Lilizela Imvelo Award for the Best Practice Economic Impact, as well as the BBEE Award for small enterprises.

Island Vibe triumphed in the Best Visitor Experience of the Year by coming out tops in the Beach Experience category.

A total of 954 entries was received for the Lilizela Awards from businesses around South Africa. Some 548 qualified as provincial finalists, 252 as national finalists and 68 were announced as national winners - of which the Eastern Cape scooped 10 national wins. They were trumped by KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape with 12 winners respectively and Mpumalanga with 11 national winners.

According to Stormsriver Adventures CEO, Ashley Wentworth, sixteen years of dedication to responsible tourism by their de-dicated team and managing director Anneline Wyatt have culminated in these fantastic accolades.

“The operating company is now 48% employee owned, endorsing our commitment to transformation,” says Wentworth. “We will continue to champion the principles of responsible tourism in the future.”

Island Vibe owners Loren and Taise Samp-son say: “Winning the award is a huge affirmation for us. It is an awesome recognition for all the hard work put into Island Vibe over the past 19 years.

“A huge thank you and congratulations to Island Vibe’s team for coming out tops! Receiving the Best Beach Experience in SA sums up exactly what we are about – much more than a bed, we capture a whole emotio-nal interaction of adventure, holiday and good times. Island Vibe is literally on the beach which allows guests to maximize the experience available to them - surfing, sandboarding, SUP, swimming or just chilling. Our new motto puts it quite nicely: Real People. Real Travel.”

) The awards are an initiative of the National Department of Tourism, in partnership with provincial tourism authorities, which seeks to honour excellence in the sector.

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