1 December 2008
Cape Town was chosen as “Best World City” in the 2008 Telegraph Travel Awards, while South Africa secured a place in the top three of the “Best non-European Country” category.
Cape Town, best known for Table Mountain, great wines and being a gateway to the Garden Route, fended off competition from major tourist cities like San Francisco and Sydney to claim the top spot.
The Telegraph, one of the UK’s leading daily newspapers, polled 40 000 of its readers for the tenth edition of its Travel Awards.
“Cape Town is well-placed to receive visitors looking for value for money and an authentic experience,” Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariette du-Toit Helmbold said in a statement this week.
“Cape Town has so much more to offer that visitors generally end up coming back to see and do more.”
Value for money
South African Tourism UK country manager Lebohang Mokhesi pointed out that value for money and the strength of the pound compared with other world currencies appeared to have been a deciding factor for readers when voting.
Cape Town was one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Mokhesi said, and to receive such an accolade from consumers themselves was great recognition of the wonderful tourism offering it had developed.
She added that word-of-mouth advertising was a key component to spreading the good word about South Africa in the UK.
“It is near impossible for anyone to visit and not share their experiences with friends and family on their return,” she said, adding: “During this period of economic downturn, value for money is at the forefront of travellers minds.
“South Africa has always offered value for money and, with the current exchange rate as it stands, visitors’ money goes even further.”
Global sustainability centre
In October this year, Cape Town was chosen by the Ethisphere Institute as one of the 10 cities in the world that are most likely to become global sustainability centres by 2020.
The latest award comes on the back of Cape Town’s already impressive list of accolades, which includes Africa’s best city (US Travel and Leisure Best in the World Awards, July); best travel destination in Africa and the Middle East (US Travel & Leisure magazine, 2004 through 2007); and one of the world’s five “Bluest Sky Destinations” (expedia.co.uk).
Cape Town Mayor Helen Zille was recently also honoured being the world’s number one mayor by City Mayors, a global local government think-tank. Zille came tops out of a group of 820 mayors from around the world in the competition, which spanned 18 months.