See Cape Town before you die!

12 November 2002

That’s the vote from viewers of the popular BBC travel programme “Holiday’. And on the other side of the Atlantic, readers of the biggest travel magazine in the US gave the thumbs-up to four of South Africa’s premier tourist destinations.

It’s been a good week for SA tourism “products’. On Sunday night, “Holiday’ placed Cape Town fifth in its rundown of top destinations, “50 Places To See Before You Die’.

Cape Town was the only city to be named in the top five, beating Sydney, New York, Venice and Paris – not to mention famed attractions like India’s Taj Mahal, Egypt’s Pyramids and Australia’s Ayers Rock.

Over 20 000 BBC viewers named their “dream destination that both surprises and inspires’, with most votes going to the Grand Canyon, followed by Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Florida’s Walt Disney World, and New Zealand’s South Island.

  • For the BBC’s full report on Cape Town, along with country facts, tourist info and links, and reports on the full range of things to see and do in the city, click here.

Conde Nast Traveler
In the same week, on the other side of the Atlantic, some 30 000 readers of the prestigious Conde Nast Traveler (US) voted in the magazine’s Top 100 Readers’ Choice Awards 2002, rating cities, resorts, islands, hotels and cruises according to criteria such as standard of rooms, service, food, location and service – and placed four of South Africa’s leading properties on its Top 25 list.

The luxury Singita Private Game Reserve bordering the Kruger National Park scored top honours for the second consecutive year, and was named best resort in Africa and the Middle East, also sharing the World No 1 position as “The Best of the Best 2002′ with a luxury French hotel.

Sun International’s five-star Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town was placed fourth, the exclusive Londolozi Game Reserve – also bordering the Kruger Park – was ranked 12th, and the Cape Grace Hotel in Cape Town came in at 24th position.

Nor are these the only accolades South African tourism has received of late. In the Conde Nast Traveller UK Readers’ Awards, announced in September, South Africa ranked 10th overall in the world as a preferred travel destination, coming in first place for value for money.

And in the same month, South Africa was rated as a preferred tourist destination by the French travel industry, with over 21 000 tour operators and retail agents giving the country the thumbs-up at TOP RESA, the annual travel and tourism trade show held in Deauville, France.

The latest official tourism statistics also bear out the success of South Africa’s tourism strategy, confirming the country’s position as one of the best-performing destinations in the world.

South African Tourism’s chief executive officer, Cheryl Carolus, described the awards as “well-deserved recognition of the immense commitment, made by all winners, to the continued growth and success of South Africa’s tourism industry, and clearly indicate the wealth of quality, value-for-money experiences that we as a country can offer visitors.’

SouthAfrica.info reporter