South Africa is the fourth-best country in the world – Conde Nast Traveler

Readers of the prestigious Conde Nast Traveler magazine have rated South Africa as the fourth-best country to visit – ahead of traditional tourist favourites such as France, Spain, Thailand and Morocco.

In the 2016 edition of the annual Conde Nast Readers’ Travel Awards list of the top 20 best countries in the world, Greece came out tops, followed by Italy, the USA, and then South Africa. France was in fifth position, with the rest of the top 10 rounded out by Spain (6), India (7), Australia (8), Thailand (9) and Mexico (10).

JohannesburgJohannesburg is the cultural heart of South Africa. It’s full of possibilities if you’re creative, free-spirited and adventurous. Joburg’s got a lot of heart, with a non-stop clash of cultures and energy.” – Conde Nast Traveler (Image: South African Tourism)

“The Readers’ Travel Awards celebrates the best of the best in travel, as voted for by people who love travel,” Conde Nast said in announcing the list in late August.

“In our Readers’ Travel Awards you told us you really can’t get enough of Greece, which continues to capture your imagination with crowd-pleasing scores across the board. You think Italy produces the best food. The USA has the finest places to stay and South Africa is fantastic when it comes to value for money.”

Franschhoek“Franschhoek, ‘French Corner’ in Afrikaans, lies at the head of a steep-sided valley in the Cape winelands. It has become the gourmet capital of South Africa, with great wines, world-class restaurants and lovely hotels in a stunning natural setting.” – Conde Nast Traveler (Image: South African Tourism)

The ranking is good news for South Africa’s tourism industry – and the country’s economy. The National Development Plan, a blueprint for increasing employment and reducing poverty and inequality in. South Africa by 2030, identifies tourism as a key driver of inclusive economic growth

According to the NDP, South Africa’s competitiveness in the global tourism industry is driven by our world-renowned natural beauty, well-managed national parks, developed domestic airline network, and excellent hotel capacity and
personal services.

“The tourism industry and the creative economy sector are labour intensive and stimulate the growth of small businesses,” the NDP says. “They can develop other spin-offs, such as foreign direct investment.”

Elephant in the Kruger National Park“The Kruger National Park is known for its superb bird-watching, and its game includes elephant, buffalo and lion, kudu, leopard, wild dogs, warthogs, baboons, hippo and crocodiles. Visitors can slow down and experience the rhythm, sounds and cycles of the bush.” – Conde Nast Traveler (Image: South African Tourism)

In its listing of South Africa’s top attractions, Conde Nast Traveler focused on Cape Town, Franschhoek, Johannesburg, the Kruger National Park, Londolozi private game reserve, Plettenberg Bay, the Garden Route and the Great Karoo.

Great Karoo“A far cry from the sea, surf and whistling sand dunes of South Africa’s Eastern Cape coastline, the bare beauty and tranquil atmosphere of the Great Karoo provides a rustic atmosphere that is perfect for a relaxing break in the sun.” – Conde Nast Traveler (Image: South African Tourism)

Here’s the full top-20 list of the 2016 Conde Nast best countries in the world:

1. Greece
2. Italy
3. USA
4. South Africa
5. France
6. Spain
7. India
8. Australia
9. Thailand
10. Mexico
11. New Zealand
12. Portugal
13. Canada
14. Argentina
15. Sri Lanka
16. Morocco
17. Indonesia
18. Ireland
19. Japan
20. Vietnam reporter

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