SA cleans up in the Africa category of the 'world travel Oscars'
Table Mountain, Sun City and The Blue Train are just some of the African winners at the 2020 World Travel Awards
The Africa winners in the World Travel Awards have been announced — with SA taking top honours in several categories, including Africa’s best tourist attraction, beach destination, casino resort and hotel suite.
Table Mountain was named Africa’s leading tourist attraction; while Sun City took Africa’s best casino resort. Plettenberg Bay won for being the continent’s best beach resort, while The Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg won both as Africa’s best boutique hotel and also for having the continent’s best hotel suite: the Nelson Mandela Platinum Suite.
Durban won for being both the leading city destination and the leading meetings and conference destination. Cape Town International got the nod as Africa’s best airport.
Silvan Safari Lodge in the Sabi Sands game reserve won the continent's leading luxury lodge; while Thanda Safari in northern Zululand, KwaZulu-Natal, won as the leading safari lodge. The Blue Train won leading luxury train.
The World Travel Awards began in 1993 as a way to acknowledge excellence across all key sectors in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Voting — by both experts in the industry and the public — takes place online and over the course of a year.
Winners for other parts of the world have also been announced, including the Caribbean; Europe; Latin America; North America; Asia & Oceania; and the Middle East. The regional winners will now compete head to head to take home a “world's best” title later this month.
In addition to some of the winners mentioned above, other SA nominees for the “world’s best” prizes include The Saxon Hotel and 12 Apostles in Cape Town, both for the world’s leading luxury hotel.
Johannesburg is a nominee for the world’s leading business travel destination, while Cape Town is also a contender for world’s leading city break destination.
Interestingly, three of the four contenders for the world’s leading private game reserve are in SA: Londolozi; Shambala; and Shamwari private game reserves. The other is Wolwedans Dune Lodge in Namibia.
SA itself is also a contender for the world’s leading safari destination, as well as the world’s leading destination overall.
Graham Cooke, the founder of the awards, said: “Our winners represent the very best of Africa’s travel and tourism sector and my congratulations to each of them. They have all demonstrated remarkable resilience in a year of unprecedented challenges.”
He added that this year’s awards had received a record number of votes cast by the public. “This shows that the appetite for travel and tourism has never been stronger and bodes well for the industry’s future as the global recovery begins.”
The grand final, at which the overall winners will be named, is to take place at a ceremony in Moscow, Russia, on November 27.