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Winning doesn’t always come easy, particularly for the five finalists of the Tsogo Sun Book a Guesthouse – Guesthouse of the Year 2014 Award, all of whom are South African entrepreneurs striving to take their guesthouse to the next level. A jam-packed two-day workshop saw the potential winners undergo intense preparation and training for their possible role as winner of this national competition, which will identify the top entrepreneur within Tsogo Sun’s Book a Guesthouse programme.

Selected as the top five finalists from among the programme’s 85 participants, they represent the most promising entrepreneurs within the programme. They are Ntombekhaya (‘Ntosh’) Swartbooi from Blessed Corner Guesthouse and Mbuyisile (’Veve’) 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 Sanchia (’Jenny’) Govender of Sanchia Luxury Guest Lodge in KwaZulu-Natal.

The finalists were brought to Tsogo Sun head office at Montecasino for the workshop, which included training sessions in media interviews, being filmed on camera, personal branding, reputation management, public relations and business presentation skills. It also included a show at the Teatro – the Sound of Music – and various exciting experiences such as dining at Aarya and meeting Deena Naidoo, MasterChef SA 2012 winner.

Tsogo Sun Book a Guesthouse - Guesthouse of the Year 2014 Award

Pictured here from left to right are the Tsogo Sun Guesthouse of the Year finalists’ – Mmabatho Montse Special Projects Coordinator at Tsogo Sun, Nosipho Malope of Ekhayalethu Guesthouse, Jenny Govender of Sanchia Luxury Guest Lodge, Carol Sanderson of Casambo Exclusive Guest Lodge, Ntombekhaya Swartbooi of Blessed Corner Guest House, Mbuyiseli Kondile of Edge Lodge, Candy Tothill, Group Internal Communications and Special Projects Manager for Tsogo Sun and Rebone, Project Manager for Tsogo Sun Book a Guesthouse.

The Guesthouse of the Year winner is selected by a rating system based on a set of criteria measured against a scorecard and the judges include Tsogo Sun’s CEO, Group Human Resources Director and Corporate Finance Manager. The winner will be announced at the Book a Guesthouse Annual Awards Dinner on 16May 2014 at the Riverside Sun Resort.

The top prize includes R10 000 from Tsogo Sun and an opportunity to attend Master I, The Awareness Process and Master IV, Master of Success from Beyond Coaching, a Tsogo Sun Book a Guesthouse programme partner.  The winner becomes ‘the face of Tsogo Sun Book a Guesthouse’ for the year and receives additional development and exposure as part of their reward, which includes being featured on programme collateral, and representing the programme as an ambassador.

“The specialised development and coaching that we provide for our finalists stands them in good stead in their businesses – even though there can only be one winner at the end of the day,” says Candy Tothill, Tsogo Sun’s Group Internal Communications & Special Projects Manager. “We regard the five finalists as winners already and we applaud each one of them for what they have achieved in their lives and in their businesses.”