The highpoint of Tsogo Sun’s successful entrepreneurial development programme for guesthouse owners is approaching as the finalists in the Guesthouse of the Year competition are announced. They are Ntombekhaya Swartbooi from Blessed Corner Guesthouse and Mbuyisile Kondile from Edge Lodge – both in the Eastern Cape; Carol Sanderson from Casambo Exclusive Guest Lodge and Nosipho Malope of Ekhayalethu Guesthouse – both in Mpumalanga; and Jenny Govender of Sanchia Luxury Guest Lodge in KwaZulu-Natal.

Just one will be chosen as the most outstanding entrepreneur from among the programme’s 85 participants when the winner is announced at the Book a Guesthouse Annual Awards Dinner on 16May 2014 at the Riverside Sun Resort. The top prizes include R10,000 from Tsogo Sun and an opportunity to attend Master I, The Awareness Process and Master IV, Master of Success from Beyond Coaching, the Southern African licensee of the internationally accredited consciousness coaching® academy and partner to the Tsogo Sun Book a Guesthouse programme.  The winner will also become the programme’s ambassador for the year ahead and will receive additional development and exposure as part of their reward.

The Book a Guesthouse programme focuses on sustainability in tourism and aims to encourage growth in the hospitality industry by providing a proven comprehensive framework for success for its entrepreneurs, 92% of whom are women.

Past winners have come from all over the country and include Emmah Makatu of Zwinoni Lodge in Milnerton Ridge, Western Cape in 2013; Salome Tshungu of The Orchards Executive Accommodation in Midrand in 2012; Phindi Ngema of The Big Five Guesthouse in Westville, KwaZulu-Natal in 2011; and Florence Mondi of Flossie’s B&B in Pimville, Soweto in 2010.

Tsogo Sun has partnered with several businesses to add value to the programme, which include IT systems installations and support from Micros South Africa, Micro Enterprise Development Organisation (MEDO) who develop small businesses, South African Chefs Association (SACA) and Carlson Wagonlit Travel. Tsogo Sun executives are also committed to contributing to the development of the entrepreneurs and their businesses.

The winner is selected by a rating system based on a set of criteria measured against a scorecard. Judges include Tsogo Sun’s CEO, Group Human Resources Director and Corporate Finance Manager.  The finalists will attend a two-day coaching workshop at Montecasino to prepare them for their role as Guesthouse of the Year, should they win.

Candy Tothill, Tsogo Sun’s Group Internal Communications and Special Projects Manager, says, “Tsogo Sun is extremely proud of how the programme is proving to be an excellent way for the group to add value through skills enhancement within the broader hospitality industry, while also investing in the growth of the South African economy.”