Britons rate Cape Town tops

19 October 2004

Cape Town has added to its growing collection of international tourism accolades, being voted the best foreign city in the UK’s 2004 Telegraph Travel Awards, and the best city in the world for eating out in – and the second best destination overall – in a recent poll of British Airways staff.

The Daily Telegraph, Britain’s best-selling daily newspaper, has conducted a travel poll amongst its readers for the past seven years. According to travel editor Graham Boynton, the awards are based on “the genuine opinions and experiences of the UK’s most affluent travellers and holidaymakers.”

In the Telegraph’s top city spot, Cape Town relegated Sydney and Venice to second and third place respectively.

South Africa placed third in the favourite holiday destination category, where the popularity of the film “Lord of the Rings” saw New Zealand knocking Italy off the perch it has sat on for four years.

And in a poll of British Airways staff – among the “most well-travelled employees on the planet” – published in the September edition of the airline’s onboard magazine Highlife, Cape Town was rated the best city for eating out, pipping New York, Sydney, London and Paris to the post.

Cape Town also scored highly in the best view category, with Table Mountain coming second after Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro and ahead of the Great Wall of China.

South Africa was the only country to feature in the top five best overall destinations, placing fifth after Sydney, Cape Town, New York and Dubai.

Speaking ahead of the unveiling of Cape Town and the Western Cape’s new destination brand identity this week, Destination Marketing Organisation chief Noki Dube said that winning international awards was “proof that our city has what it takes to compete with the best and win”.

Dube added, however, that to be a real winner on the global tourism stage, a city had to “pay homage to the tourism troika – physical attraction, people and value.

“Obviously, Cape Town’s physical beauty is a huge drawcard, and we need to preserve our natural heritage, working closely with environmental organisations and other interested stakeholders”, Dube said.

“But this involves more than simply keeping our city and beaches clean. We need to ensure that all areas of this city are able to put their best face forward by giving disadvantaged areas the makeovers they need to attract tourists too.

“Capetonians have always been singled out by foreign tourists for their friendliness”, Dube said. “We must capitalise on this natural friendliness by reinforcing tourism awareness and civic pride.

“We must also continue to offer value propositions to our visitors. By doing this we will remain unbeatable.” reporter