Tsogosun.com takes gold in top global industry awards

Tsogo Sun’s multiple award-winning website has been awarded top honours at the ‘Oscars’ of the global hospitality industry, the prestigious HSMAI (Hospitality, Sales and Marketing Association International) Adrian Awards, following a series of award wins last year. 

Centre: Max Starkov (President and CEO – HeBS Digital), Alison Mills (eCommerce Manager: Group – Tsogo Sun). Second from left: Allison Ammermuller (Senior Account Executive – HeBS Digital). Third from right: Jennifer Alberts (Manager Client Services – HeBS Digital). Fifth from right: Jason Price (Executive Vice President – HeBS Digital). Sixth from right: Pam Smith (Systems Development Manager – Tsogo Sun)

The Tsogo Sun website won gold in the Digital Marketing – Design and Development category. The award recognised “website design, and smartCMS website technology platform to manage over 100 hotels and resorts, 14 casinos, 35 restaurants, and a convention centre.” The winners were selected from a field of about 1 200 entries by senior industry and media experts and the award was presented to Tsogo Sun and the website developer, HeBS Digital, at a gala ceremony at the New York Marriott Marquis hotel on 21 February 2017.

The HSMAI Adrian Awards competition, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2016 and has long been the leading international hospitality industry awards event, covers all segments of the industry, including hotels, airlines, cruise lines, car rental companies, destinations, credit card companies, and more. The competition incorporates many categories within Advertising, Digital Marketing, and Public Relations sectors, as well as the Leader in Sustainable Tourism Award presented together with National Geographic Traveler.

This prestigious award for Tsogo Sun follows four global wins that the group’s website achieved in 2016, which include Best-in-Class in the Interactive Media Awards (IMA) in the Hotel/Resort category in October; a Gold Travel Weekly Magellan Award and the Webawards 2016 Best Hotel and Lodging Site – both in September; and in April, the website was selected as an Official Honoree in the 20th Annual Webby Awards in the Advertising: Tourism & Leisure category. The Webby Awards is the leading international awards programme honouring excellence on the internet, and the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) nominates, selects and presents the awards. Websites that win Official Honoree Awards are in the top 20% of the 13 000 odd entries received annually.

Says Noëleen Bruton, Tsogo Sun’s Group Marketing Director, “We’re immensely proud of winning gold at what can only be described as the pinnacle of global industry awards. We are extremely grateful for the acknowledgement that we’re being given by the international community for the exceptional effort, both internally and by HeBS Digital, that was put into developing this website. Our website is a key strategic component of driving direct revenue, primarily with regards to our hotel portfolio – so it’s really is great to be recognised for all our collective efforts. Even more gratifying, is seeing how many guests visit the site monthly (now averaging in excess of 1 million visits per month) and how increasingly more of them are using the platform to transact. And while it is certainly giving us a tremendous sense of achievement, it is spurring us on to do even better at every touchpoint of guest interaction – on our properties, by phone, on social media, and of course, on our website.”

The tsogosun.com website, developed by New York-based hospitality website development company HeBS Digital, was launched on 16 December 2015 as a single domain incorporating a total of 144 desktop and tablet websites and 144 mobile sites – which include one corporate website, 100 hotel sites, 14 casinos, Sandton Convention Centre, and as well as select restaurant and bar properties.

Says Max Starkov, President & CEO of HeBS Digital, “When we partnered with Tsogo Sun to develop their most important digital asset – the brand website, we knew that it was only the beginning in terms of a successful future ahead for their portfolio. This award is a huge honour and affirmation that the industry-first capabilities we have implemented in bringing this massive hospitality portfolio under one roof, is indeed a digital masterpiece. We are so proud to share this award with Tsogo Sun and look forward to a continued prosperous direct online channel future together.”

Adds Bruton, “Our heartfelt thanks to the HSMAI and the judging panel for this honour, HeBS Digital and our Digital Marketing Team headed by Alison Mills, eCommerce Manager for the group. The collective contribution of this team has ensured that our award-winning website stays ahead of its game.”

Tsogo Sun’s portfolio includes over 100 hotels and 14 casino and entertainment destinations throughout South Africa, Africa, the Seychelles and Abu Dhabi. For further information, visit tsogosun.com, follow on Twitter and Instagram @TsogoSun or like on Facebook /TsogoSun.

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