Africa’s top destinations and leading travel operators are preparing to battle it out on Wednesday July 7th as the World Travel Awards comes to South Africa.
Taking place at the Sandton Conventon Centre, Johannesburg, the World Travel Awards Africa and Indian Ocean Ceremony offers participants a chance to win one of the most sought-after prizes in the travel and tourism industry.
The awards - described by the Wall Street Journal as the ‘Oscars’ of the global travel and tourism industry - have helped improve quality, value and customer service over the past 17 years.
Nominations include some of the most respected and successful travel names and resorts in the business - including South African Airways, Plettenberg Bay, Camps Bay Retreat, African Pride Hotels, Pen Travel South Africa, Marrakech Tourism, African Safari Club, Singita Game Reserves, Sonesta Nile Cruises, Kruger Park, Sharm El Sheikh and Victoria Falls.
The evening, attended by the region’s major company CEO’s, tourist board chiefs, association leaders and Government Ministers is set to be a spectacular affair.
Celebrities include Miss World contestants and well known entertainers such as smash hit African hip-hop dance group, The Clinch Crew, soon to appear in Las Vegas at a show produced by American Idol judge Randy Jackson.
African nominees are among 5,000 nominated companies across more than a 1,000 categories, including airlines, cruise companies, destinations, resorts and hotels in 162 countries.
The fight for Africa’s Leading Airport is between Cairo International Airport, Egypt; Cape Town International Airport, South Africa; Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi; and O.R. Tambo International Airport, South Africa.
Likewise, there’s hot competition among airlines for Africa’s Leading Airline. The contenders are South Africa Airways; Air Namibia; Egypt Air; Ethiopian Airlines; Kenya Airways and Royal Air Maroc.
But it’s the struggle between hotels, large and small, that are likely to see the fiercest resistance.
Africa’s Leading Beach Hotel is between Camps Bay Retreat; Diaz 15, South Africa; Diaz Strand Hotel & Resort, South Africa; La Gemma Dell’Est Zanzibar, Tanzania; Lagoon Beach Hotel, South Africa; Peponi Hotel Lamu Island, Kenya; Sheraton Miramar Resort El Gouna Hurghada, Egypt; The Bay Hotel, South Africa and The Z Hotel Zanzibar, Tanzania.
There are 13 nominations for the hotly disputed category of Africa’s Leading Boutique Hotel. They are: Andros Country House, South Africa; Birkenhead House, South Africa; Dar Les Cigognes, Morocco; Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa, South Africa; Kasbah Tamadot, Marrakech, Morocco; La Villa des Orangers, Morocco; Saxon Boutique Hotel & Spa, South Africa; Shamwari Town House, South Africa; The Constantia, South Africa; The Long Beach, South Africa; The Peech, South Africa; Villa Didon Hotel & Spa, Tunisia and Welgelegen, South Africa.
Sweeping off the title of Africa’s Leading Hotel is a ‘bone of contention’ between: Camps Bay Retreat, South Africa; Cape Grace, South Africa; Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at the First Residence, Egypt; Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at the Nile Plaza, Egypt; Grand Hyatt Cairo, Egypt; Kasbah Tamadot, Marrakech, Morocco; Mena House Oberoi Hotel & Casino, Egypt; Mount Nelson Hotel, South Africa; Saxon Boutique Hotel & Spa, South Africa; The Palace of the Lost City, South Africa; The Table Bay Hotel, South Africa; and The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa, South Africa.
Title for Africa’s Leading City Tourist Board is between Cairo Tourism; Cape Town Tourism; Johannesburg Tourism Company; Marrakech Tourism and Tourism Tunis.
In addition to overall Africa categories, there are awards for Botswana, Cape Verde, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Travel industry professionals throughout the world have been voting online for their preferred companies and organisations during the past four months. Voting has now closed and votes counted ready for the big night.
Consumers use the list of winners as a reliable guide and means of reassurance when choosing their holiday. Companies and destinations that finish up on the winners podium, receive extensive commercial benefits and global profile.
For a full list of nominees for Africa and Indian Ocean log on to the World Travel Awards website.
Winners of the Africa and India Ocean Gala Ceremony go through to the final of the World Travel Awards in London on Sunday November 7th, immediately prior to World Travel Market.