SA wins big at World Travel Awards

A view of Green Point in Cape Town with
the city’s 2010 Fifa World Cup stadium at
left, and Table Bay beyond. The city
regularly receives global accolades for its
tourist attractions.
(Image: Rodger Bosch,
MediaClubSouthAfrica.com image library)

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Mary Alexander

South Africa cleaned up at the annual World Travel Awards for Africa last night, winning 36 awards out of the total 49 categories. Despite the pyramids, Egypt, its nearest rival, managed to win only four.

For the sixth time in seven years the city of Cape Town was named Africa’s leading destination, at an awards ceremony held in Sandton, Johannesburg. South African Airways was named Africa’s leading airline, South African Tourism the continent’s leading tourism board and Durban harbour the leading port.

Of the 49 categories, six were awarded to multinational entities with a strong presence in South Africa. Kenya, Morocco and Namibia garnered one award each.

Cape Town, South Africa’s most-visited destination, regularly receives international accolades for its attractions. This year it joined Paris, London, New York and Venice as one of Forbes magazine’s 10 most beautiful cities in the world.

In 2009 the city was named best destination in the Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards, the world’s second-best city by Travel+Leisure magazine, the world’s best entertainment and lifestyle destination in the Luxury Travel Awards, and best tourism investor city in the AI Tourism Investor Awards. Cape Town was also named one of the “places of a lifetime” by National Geographic in 2008.

The World Travel Awards also nominated Cape Town as the leading destination in the world in 2002, 2005 and 2006.

“These awards are an incredible endorsement,” said Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariette du-Toit Helmbold. “Being recognised by the industry makes all the hard work we put into hosting the Fifa World Cup in Cape Town so worthwhile.

“We do believe that Cape Town is one of the greatest cities to live, visit, study and invest in. It’s a place of a lifetime, and it just keeps on getting better.”

The World Travel Awards, first held in 1994, is a tourism industry initiative, with travel agencies, tour and transport companies and tourism organisations across the globe voting for the winners.

The full list of the 2010 World Travel Awards for Africa winners: