No one involved in tourism in South Africa needs convincing that Cape Town is one of the most sought after international holiday destinations; particularly after the success of the 2010 World Cup and the extensive favourable international feedback that our beautiful city has received. This recognition has been reinforced by the World Travel Awards Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony in Johannesburg on 7 July, attended by 1200 senior industry leaders. In fact the headline of the press release on their website states that “ South Africa swept the board at the World Travel Awards Africa”. The World Travel Awards was launched in 1993 to acknowledge and recognise excellence in the world's travel and tourism industry. Now celebrating its 17th Anniversary, the awards is regarded as the very highest achievement that a travel product could ever hope to receive.
Graham E. Cooke, Founder and President of World Travel Awards said, the winners gain considerable commercial benefit from their deserved success. “Because of their global reach and reputation, World Travel Awards are unique and regularly referred to as the ‘Oscars’ of travel and tourism”. This means that consumers are increasingly using our portfolio of winners as a reliable and independent guide when booking their vacation.” “What is so encouraging for Africa is that unlike much of the world, the region has determinedly bucked the trend, notably with the sub-Saharan destinations which are doing particularly well.”
The travel and tourism industry’s best watched South Africa take the spotlight, winning 36 awards out of the total 49 categories; although there were awards for travel companies, organisations and destinations in Botswana, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The winners were selected with the participation of about 183,000 travel professionals, including travel agencies, tour and transport companies and tourism organizations voting on line in over 160 countries.
The full list of awards may be found on the website of “World Travel Awards”, but notable were :
• Cape Town was voted Africa’s Leading tourist Destination.
• South African Airways - Africa’s Leading Airline
• 1Time Airline - Africa’s Leading Online Tour Operator.
• The Hilton Durban -Africa’s Leading Business Hotel
• Sun City Resort - Africa’s Leading Family Resort
• Arabella Hotel & Spa at Hermanus - Africa’s Leading Luxury Hotel
• The Westin Grand Cape Town Arabella Quays, -Africa’s Leading Meetings & Conference Hotel;
• Sandton Sun -Africa’s Leading Convention Hotel.
• The Blue Train- Africa’s leading luxury train
We take pride in the wonderful Cape Town beaches, a number of which have been awarded blue flag status, but South Africa did not have win it all, as Egypt managed to scoop a few prestigious awards with its Red Sea beach resorts, which included:
• Sharm El Sheikh beat the competition as Africa’s Leading Beach Destination.
• The Sheraton Miramar Resort El Gouna Hughada in Egypt took Africa’s Leading Beach Hotel.
In spite of the many prestigious and beautiful golf resorts in South Africa, such as Steenberg Golf estate , just over the mountain from Noordhoek, the top place had to be ceded to Morocco’s Palmeraie Golf Palace, which was voted Africa’s Leading Golf Resort.
CEO’s, directors of leading travel companies, Government Ministers, heads of tourism departments and destinations, industry association leaders and celebrities gathered for Africa’s most important industry evening. VIP’s included: South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Tourism Hon. Tokozile Xasa; Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi, the Hon. Commissioner, Lagos State Delegation; Mr. Kenneth Racombo, First Secretary at the Seychelles High Commission; Mr. Mansoor Mohamed, Executive Director of the City of Cape Town; and Ms. Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, CEO of Cape Town Tourism..
Winners of this Regional ceremony will now forward to compete in the World Travel Awards 2010 final in London, immediately before World Travel Market on Sunday 7 November. To be recognised as the best in Africa is no mean achievement, but we are sure that Cape Town, which offers such an extensive range of activities to suit the interest of every tourist, and a range of Cape Town holiday accommodation that includes world-class luxury hotels through to the extensive non-hotel sector that includes guest houses; B'n Bs and self-catering accommodation, will be recognised as one of the world’s top destinations.
Website of World Travel Awards : http://www.worldtravelawards.com/