14 November 2012
Cape Town got the nod as the favourite city worldwide from 17000 readers of British news site the Telegraph, while South Africa was rated third favourite country worldwide in the 2012 Telegraph Travel Awards.
The list of winners, released by www.telegraph.co.uk on Tuesday, places Cape Town in top spot ahead of Vancouver and New York on Telegraph readers’ list of best cities to visit.
When it came to countries as tourist destinations, South Africa came third after New Zealand and the Maldives.
Cape Town is no stranger to travel accolades. A frequent winner in the “Africa’s Leading Destination” category of the World Travel Awards, Cape Town was displaced this year by the ancient medina of Marrakech in Morocco – but still took the vote as Africa’s leading beach destination.
Overall, South Africa enjoyed a big share of the spoils in the 2012 World Travel Awards for Africa, winning 32 awards out of a total 57 categories, including leading African airport, beach destination, family resort, city hotel, conference venue, safari lodge and spa resort.
And the arrivals figures bear out the view that the country remains a hit with tourists, despite the global dip in travel numbers in the face of the global economic downturn.
According to Statistics South Africa, total tourist arrivals to South Africa grew by 10.5% for the first six months of 2012, more than double the global average of 5% for the same period.
The country experienced particularly strong growth in overseas tourist arrivals, recording 17.1% growth in arrivals from outside the African continent, with 1.16-million overseas travellers entering the country in the first six months of 2012, compared to 0.99-million for the corresponding period in 2011.