Pieter de Bruin, Head of Tourism at FNB Commercial Banking: “Welcome Awards semi-finalists points to world class service, world class fun and world class hospitality for 2010 visitors”
Johannesburg – IT HAS BEEN a lengthy and arduous task, but South African Tourism is delighted to announce the semi-finalists for the 2009/2010 Welcome Awards for service excellence in travel and tourism… the very cream of the crop, the brightest stars in South Africa’s firmament of hospitality service providers and businesses who take conviviality and warmth far beyond the professional to the personal.
It’s difficult to get Hanneli Slabber, Global Manager: Product at South African Tourism not to talk about the Welcome Awards.
“We had a fabulous field to choose from this year,” she says. “For starters, we had 55 percent growth in entry numbers… and this was across all categories. Quantity aside, however, the quality of entries improves year on year, and we saw some superb businesses enter this year. This fills me with optimism for the future of travel and tourism in South Africa. Our industry rocks, and the people who run it are rock stars.”
Pieter de Bruin, Head of the Tourism Division at FNB Commercial Banking (the official Welcome Awards sponsor) says the quality of entries as well as the number of businesses contending for the Welcome Awards is a fitting indication of South Africa’s competitiveness as an attractive global leisure destination. “The fact that we have seen an improvement in the amount of entries received over the last few years means that our travel and tourism industry is meeting, and exceeding, quality and service standards that are benchmarked by South Africa’s global destination competitors,” de Bruin says.
“We will welcome more than 450 000 visitors for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in a few months. These visitors are going to experience more than the thrill of the game in some of the finest football stadia in the world. They are going to experience the warm, friendly heart of a passionate nation waiting to welcome them, as brand ambassadors for the continent, so that these visitors will return home and boast of their experiences. The Welcome Awards instills in its semi-finalists the importance of world class service, world class fun and world class hospitality during 2010 and, more importantly, for the years to come,” adds de Bruin.
There are nine Welcome Award categories:
- Hotel accommodation
- Lodge accommodation
- B&B, Guest House and Guest Lodges accommodation
- Self catering accommodation
- Backpacking, Hostels and Camp Sites accommodation
- Tour operators:
- having been in business for more than five years
- having been in business for less than five years
- Tourist attractions
- Fine dining restaurants
- Casual dining restaurants
- Travel agencies
- Meetings, Events and Conference venues
- Tour Guides (announcement on 19 March)
- Online Awards (announcement on 19 March)
Out of the semi finalists, an overall winner will be chosen per category to receive the 2009/2010 Welcome Award for service excellence in tourism in South Africa. All winners will be announced at South African Tourism’s INDABA on 9 May. (The full list of semi-finalists is provided here as a note to editors).
“Tourism,” says Slabber, “is a diverse and exacting industry. The Welcome Awards categories reflect this. This year is an especially demanding year for our industry. We are going to be busier than ever before. 2010 calls for grace under pressure. However, the benefits that we will reap will be almost infinite… not only during the one month of the World Cup itself, but also for years afterward. This is the real legacy of the FIFA 2010 World Cup™: improved word of mouth marketing for our destination, greater numbers of tourists post 2010 and a thriving, robust industry that supports millions of South Africans well, well into the future.”
Picture: Carstino Delmonte/ Touristikpresse.net