Ashia cheetah sanctuary and awareness centre receives esteemed Lilizela I Can Do Tourism Award (MEC Award) at Western Cape provincial ceremony The Western Cape tourism industry was celebrated on Friday, 13 September with Provincial Minister for Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier, congratulating winners and finalists of the Provincial Lilizela Tourism Awards 2019 at a red-carpet affair at the Devonvale Golf and Wine Estate in Stellenbosch.

In addition to announcing the 40 winners across the 25 award categories, Minister Maynier awarded the coveted Lilizela I Can Do Tourism Award (MEC Award) to Ashia, a world-class and Fair Trade accredited cheetah sanctuary outside Paarl in the Western Cape that has demonstrated great impact in growing tourism within their community within a very short time span.  As expressed by Minister Maynier, “The Lilizela Tourism Awards recognises and rewards those in the tourism sector who work passionately and with pride to deliver a world class product or experience for visitors to the Western Cape. The tourism sector remains the backbone of the Western Cape economy, supporting over 300,000 direct and indirect jobs in our province alone thanks to the millions of tourists who flock to the region annually to enjoy some of the most scenic and breath-taking locations that the globe has to offer.”

Chantal Rischard, founder and co-owner of Ashia states, “We are honoured and delighted to have received this very prestigious award such a short time after having opened our doors to visitors early last year. Our primary focus remains cheetah conservation where, through our Breeding, Wilding and Release project, we have successfully started ‘wilding’ captive-born cheetah through an innovative approach, in order to preserve this iconic species. A large part of what we do is educating the public about the plight of the cheetah, and we welcome visitors, both local and international, to experience Ashia first-hand and to fall in love with these remarkable animals like we have”.  The 40 winners of the Western Cape Provincial Lilizela Tourism Awards will now go on to represent the province at the National Lilizela Tourism Awards which will take place on the 9 November 2019 at the Sun Arena in Tshwane, Gauteng.

CONTACTS AT ASHIA  Marna Smit, Sanctuary Manager (t): +27 (0) 72 956 3282 VOLUNTEERS: GUESTS: W:

FOR MORE PRESS INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Saskia Brown – Ashia Marketing T:  +27 (0)21 201 4774 E: