2012 World Travel Awards names finest brands in Africa

Posted: September 27, 2012 in travel & tourism

Nigerian travel and tourism operators were conspicuously absent as South African Airways, Abercrombie & Kent, and Beyond, Avis, Travel with Flair and Mantis Collection featured among the top organisations named the finest in their field at the just-concluded World Travel Awards (WTA).

Morocco’s continuing rise up the global tourism order was acknowledged with it emerging victorious in several blue-ribbon categories. The ancient medina of Marrakech saw off tough competition from the likes of the Kalahari Desert (Namibia), Kruger National Park (South Africa), Mt. Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) and Cape Town (South Africa) to win the coveted title of “Africa’s Leading Destination”.

Properties in Marrakech also enjoyed top honours. Amanjena was voted “Africa’s Leading Luxury Resort”, whilst the Royal Mansour was named “Africa’s Leading Hotel” in a category that included The Palace of the Lost City (South Africa), Fairmont The Norfolk (Kenya) and Grand Hyatt Cairo (Egypt).

Nations across the continent shared in the travel triumph. Hilton Cairo Zamalek Residences (Egypt) was voted “Africa’s Leading New Hotel”, whilst Magical Kenya was named “Africa’s Leading Tourist Board”.

South Africa enjoyed a significant share of the accolades. Notable winners included Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas & Spa (“Africa’s Leading Luxury Hotel”), The Blue Train (“Africa’s Leading Luxury Train”), Ellerman House & Villa (Africa’s Leading Luxury Villa), Fairmont Zimbali (“Africa’s Leading Tourism Development Project”) and Shamwari Game Reserve (“Africa’s Leading Safari Lodge”).

The comprehensive WTA programme, hailed as the ‘Oscars of the travel industry’ by the global media, highlights and rewards those travel brands that have made the greatest contribution to the industry in quality, innovation and service, over the past year.

Graham E. Cooke, President & Founder, WTA, underlined the depth and quality of the travel and tourism sector across Africa.

He says: “Our winners are drawn from the breadth of Africa, reflecting how the outstanding natural attractions of the continent are being complimented with a growing portfolio of luxury facilities. I am sure these organisations will fare strongly in our Grand Final, which takes place in New Delhi, India on 12 December 2012.”

Other WTA Grand Tour 2012 regional heats include Middle East Ceremony, Caribbean & The Americas Ceremony, Europe Ceremony, Indian Ocean Ceremony and Asia & Australasia Ceremony. The winners of these legs will go head-to-head in WTA’s Grand Final, which takes place at The Oberoi, Gurgaon December 12, 2012.

WTA was launched in 1993 to acknowledge and recognise excellence in the global travel and tourism industry. Now celebrating its 19th anniversary, it is regarded as the very highest achievement that a travel product could hope to receive.

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