Nominations open for establishments with good service

Monday, July 27, 2009

Johannesburg - Holidaymakers who feel they have received excellent services at a particular establishment may nominate the business for the Welcome Awards.

South African Tourism, in partnership with First National Bank (FNB), have called on consumers to nominate establishments and tourism services that they feel have delivered outstanding services and have gone the extra mile to make their experience exceptional.

The public can nominate businesses based on professional and friendly service, cleanliness, value for money, advertising claims being met, access to information about the establishment or services, availability of parking, staff knowledge and skill and high standards of safety.

"These awards are about exceeding customer expectations in terms of service delivery," said Hanneli Slabber, Global Manager: Product at SA Tourism.

"As the public is on the receiving end of this delivery, we encourage consumers to vote and put forward services and establishments they feel have gone that extra mile."

She said it was vital that service levels are continually improved so that visitor's experience enhanced, especially in the lead up to international events such as the FIFA 2010 World Cup.

"We call on all South Africans to be part of this process as we strive to position the country as a world class welcoming destination."

Pieter De Bruin, Head of the FNB's Tourism Division, explained that they had introduced a Consumer Choice category for the Welcome Awards.

"Consumer approval and support is one of the most powerful factors that contribute to good, sustainable business growth," said Mr de Bruin, adding that one of the first laws of business was to keep customers happy with excellent service and value for money.

The Welcome Awards were launched four years ago with the intention of improving service excellence within the tourism sector.

The categories include accommodation; meeting venues; exhibitions and special events venues; parks; restaurants; tourist guides and game rangers; tour operators; travel agencies; tourist attractions as well as websites in these catergories.

The awards have now been enhanced to engage with consumers to have their input on what makes an establishment or service stand out from the rest.

To submit nominations, you can SMS the word CC, the establishment's name and its location to 32310. The sms will cost R1.00.

Entrants into the Welcome Awards can download an entry form on the Welcome Awards website

In addition, entrants who have a website will automatically be entered into the online category and judged on the efficacy of their site.

Welcome Award winners will be announced in May 2010 at the annual Tourism indaba.