Organisations scoop national tourism awards

2017-11-02 06:00
The Chokka Trail in St Francis Bay, headed by Eric and Esti Stewart, took top honours with the trail being voted the Best Visitor Experience of the Year in the Beach Experience Category.                         Photo:SUPPLIED

The Chokka Trail in St Francis Bay, headed by Eric and Esti Stewart, took top honours with the trail being voted the Best Visitor Experience of the Year in the Beach Experience Category. Photo:SUPPLIED

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THE Chokka Trail, J-Bay Zebra Lodge and Baviaanskloof in the Kouga region, are the cat’s whiskers when it comes to tourism.

Respectively the local adventure initiative, top-class accommodation establishment and scenic beauty diamond scooped three major national awards at the recent national 2017 Lilizela Tourism Awards - placing Kouga firmly on the tourism adventure map of South Africa.

The Chokka Trail in St Francis Bay, headed by Esti and Eric Stewart, took top honours with the trail being voted the Best Visitor Experience of the Year in the Beach Experience Category.

“It is the most wonderful feeling to see how four days on the Chokka Trail touch people,” says Esti. “They arrive tired to the bone, but after some time in our beautiful environment and some added luxuries thrown in the mix, they once again have the strength and courage for life’s challenges. We can see the appreciation in their eyes.

“The Best Visitors Experience Award confirms exactly what our hikers experience. It is a wonderful acknowledgement of our high level of work.”

J-Bay Zebra Lodge, which is set to reopen in April 2018 after devastating fires destroyed the lodge earlier this year, received the award for the Best Country Experience in the Eastern Cape.

“Our having won the National Award with J-Bay Zebra Lodge is just unbelievable. It recognises the hard work we as the owners and our team have been doing,” says owner Florbela Mateus Duc.

“This award certifies our place in the hospitality industry, especially when the award has been judged by industry-leaders and experts. It allows us to benchmark the lodge against the very best and to improve from the inside.

“Most importantly, it shows that we are going in the right direction. We thank our employees for their hard work. We could not have won the award without them.”

The Baviaanskloof World Heritage Site won the Best Scenic Beauty category.

  • The Lilizela Tourism Awards is a national government initiative aimed at promoting tourism transformation, service excellence, entrepreneurship, and thriving and sustainable tourism. The awards are a platform to re-cognise and celebrate tourism players and businesses that work passionately to make the Eastern Cape a preferred tourist destination.

The awards also profile milestones of the tourism sector, while bringing its challenges to the fore, for collective address and resolutions.

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