De Beers’ Big Hole Museum Bids for More Tourist Awards

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De Beers’ Big Hole Museum Bids for More Tourist Awards

De Beers’ Big Hole Mine museum is seeking to add to its trophy cabinet by entering South Africa’s premier travel and tourism awards this year.

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.@TheBigHoleSA #Mine #museum bids for more #tourist awards by entering this year's @Lilizela_Awards @debeersgroup
Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - 2:00pm

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The museum, set up to create a lasting mining legacy for the people of Kimberley, is challenging in two categories in the 2017 Lilizela Awards – visitor experience and universal accessibility.

Entries for the fifth annual Lilizela awards opened at the beginning of March and will end on 31 May. Provincial award ceremonies take place in September, culminating in a star-studded national awards event in Johannesburg in October.

The team at the museum has already received more than a dozen awards, including the TripAdvisor top award for service excellence in 2013, 2014 and 2015, as well as picking up a Lilizela Tourism Award in 2016 for the best visitor experience and a Universal Accessibility Award, both on a provincial level.

Museum Curator Dirk Coetzee said: “Our previous award wins have shown that the Big Hole is up there with the best of attractions in the big centres of Johannesburg and Cape Town. Increasing numbers of people are finding their way here and thoroughly enjoying the visit. But we need them to support us and vote.”

‘Lilizela’ is a term unique to South Africa’s Nguni languages, meaning ‘ululate’, the sound of joy and celebration. The awards are an initiative of the National Department of Tourism and are spearheaded by South African Tourism.

South African Tourism Chief Executive Officer Sisa Ntshona said: “Tourism has, more than any other sector, the potential to act as an engine for growth in South Africa. This includes the potential to create employment, generate foreign exchange, encourage entrepreneurship and act as a driver for other sectors of the economy.”

Mining operations at the Big Hole, which began 150 years ago, closed down in 1914. By then some 22.5 million tons of earth had been removed, providing access to more than 14.5 million carats of diamonds. The hole was dug to a depth of 240 metres entirely by pick and shovel, and remains one of the largest manmade excavations in the world.

By the 1960s, relics of Kimberley's early days, including old buildings and memorabilia, began to be organised into a formal museum and tourist attraction. Between 2002 and 2005, De Beers invested R50 million (US$3.9 million) in developing the Big Hole into a world-class tourism facility. 

About De Beers
De Beers is a member of the Anglo American plc group. Established in 1888, De Beers is the world’s leading diamond company with expertise in the exploration, mining and marketing of diamonds. Together with its joint venture partners, De Beers employs more than 20,000 people across the diamond pipeline and is the world’s largest diamond producer by value, with mining operations in Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa. As part of the company’s operating philosophy, the people of De Beers are committed to ‘Building Forever’ by making a lasting contribution to the communities in which they live and work, and transforming natural resources into shared national wealth. For further information about De Beers, visit

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Keywords: Awards, Ratings & Rankings | De Beers Group | Environment | Events, Media & Communications | Philanthropy & Cause Initiatives | Tourism

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