Africa glitters in travel triumph

The World Travel Awards Africa Ceremony took place at a star-studded event last night at the Durban ICC. More than 200 organisations were nominated in 75 categories for the Africa region, ranging from airlines and hotels to travel agencies and game safaris, with the continent’s senior travel leaders turning out in force.

South African Airways won “Africa’s Leading Airline”, Starwood Hotels picked up “Africa’s Leading Hotel Brand” and The Mount Nelson Hotel was voted “Africa’s Leading Hotel”. Africa’s Travel Personality was awarded to Linidwe Mahlangu, CEO Johannesburg Tourism Company (pictured above with Graham Cooke, President World Travel Awards and reigning Miss South Africa).World Travel Awards, established 16 years ago and described by the Wall Street Journal as the ‘Oscars’ of the global travel industry, encourages greater quality, value and, above all, exceptional customer experience spanning every sector and region worldwide. Votes were received from thousands of agents and travel professionals throughout the world.

(Above: Manon Han, Executive Vice President, World Travel Awards)

Graham E. Cooke, Founder and President, World Travel Awards said; “Winners of the World Travel Awards Africa Ceremony are very special brands, dedicated to being the absolute best in all aspects of ‘customer experience’. Their success here at a country-wide and global level means they will further improve their international profile as well as reach out to new customers.”

“It was a wonderful evening for African tourism and hopefully an inspiration for all those nominated,” continued Cooke. “The winners have set a supreme standard of professionalism in Africa with excellent examples of creativity and business acumen, and we hope that they can stimulate others to also raise their performance and their profile, not only within Africa but worldwide.”


Guests enjoyed international entertainment from the world renowned pop group Boney M and virtuoso violin quartet Sterling EQ, plus South Africa’s pop sensations Kwel Tebza.

The evening host was Gerry Rantseli-Elsdon, an aids ambassador for the President’s Office, and the presenter of Big Brother, whilst comedian Trevor Noah (above) brought the ICC down with laughter.

This premium event is part of the World Travel Awards Grand Tour, culminating with the Grand Final on 30 October in Jamaica.