Maropeng named Best Tourism Establishment – again!
Maropeng received four gold awards and a silver at the seventh West Rand Tourism Awards, held on Friday 20 June 2014.
The awards – which were hosted by the West Rand District Municipality in association with Gauteng Tourism and took place at Mount Usambara in Krugersdorp – recognise and celebrate business owners, products and services that have displayed exceptional service and value for money to tourists visiting the West Rand.
The West Rand District Municipality forms part of the Cradle of Humankind, a World Heritage Site where evidence of hominid habitation dating back millions of years has been documented.
The awards recognise excellence in the following categories: accommodation; food and beverage; MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events); tourist guides; tour operators; travel agencies; and tourism experiences and activities.
Maropeng received the following awards:
- Cultural Site Guide: Mathabele Tsikoane
- Best Educational Experience – category winner: Maropeng Visitor Centre
- Best Tourism Experience: Maropeng Visitor Centre
- Best Tourism Establishment in the West Rand: Maropeng
- Large Conference and Events Venue: Maropeng Conference Centre
Maropeng marketing and communications manager Lindsay Marshall was extremely pleased with Maropeng’s performance: “We are very proud of our achievements and are honoured that we are now an entrenched part of the tourism sector on the West Rand. We were thrilled for all our guides who entered, especially for Mathabele, who earned a Gold Award.”
Tony Rubin, Maropeng managing director, pointed to the staff for all their hard work: “My thanks to my management and staff for the great effort they continue to put into these achievements.”
Gauteng Tourism Authority CEO Dawn Robertson said the awards recognise those establishments that offer exceptional service and value for money.
“Maropeng has received so many accolades that the foyer of the Tumulus Building is beginning to look a little bit crowded, “ she said.
“The Gold Award for the Best Educational Experience is thoroughly deserved. The museums/exhibitions at Sterkfontein Caves and Maropeng are a wonderful resource for both learners and teachers alike because of the inclusion of fossil studies and evolution in the National Curriculum Statement.
“The overall Gold Award for the Best Tourism Establishment in the West Rand District is, of course, the cherry on top. Maropeng is not only unique, original and of a world-class standard, but it is run very professionally and has implemented some very forward thinking environmental projects, particularly with regard to recycling of water.”
Tour guide Mathabele Tsikoane, who was named best cultural site guide, said: “Although we have great guides with a wealth of knowledge and confidence in their jobs, I am overjoyed at being recognised for the best cultural guide award.”
Robertson sang Tsikoane’s praises: “The spirit of the staff is exemplified by Mathabele, who is a very fresh and engaging guide who is also very willing to learn and grow. He has a great future ahead of him.”
Last year, Maropeng walked away with top honours, too, winning Best Tourism Establishment, as well as gold for Best Educational Tourism Experience, Best Eco Tourism Establishment, and Best Meeting, Incentive and Conferencing Venue.
“Maropeng deserves its place as a leader of the Gauteng Signature Collection, the pinnacle of products in the province. It should be obvious to locals and visitors alike that no visit to Gauteng is complete without the inclusion of Maropeng, the iconic symbol of our universal origins from the African continent,” she said.