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WTA to host first ceremony in Kenya in September 2012

WTA to host first ceremony in Kenya in September 2012

World Travel Awards - the “Oscars of the travel industry” - has announced plans to host its first ceremony in Kenya, reflecting the African nation’s continuing evolution into a world-class tourism destination.

WTA’s Africa & Indian Ocean Ceremony 2012 will take place in Nairobi on September 26th 2012, with the most important decision-makers in the region’s travel and tourism sector scheduled to attend.

The event will be co-hosted alongside the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), a two-day conference (September 25th-26th) which will showcase the hospitality investment potential of Africa’s fastest growing nations.

The WTA organisers highlighted how Nairobi is rapidly emerging into one of Africa’s key hubs for business and leisure.

WTA president Graham Cooke said: “The selection of our hosts is fundamental to the success of our awards programme, and Nairobi possesses all the ingredients to rise to the challenge of hosting our Africa & Indian Ocean Ceremony – a vibrant and progressive city, brimming with opportunity.

“Tourism is fundamental to Kenya’s economy, contributing 12 percent to its GDP and creating one in ten jobs.

“The future is exceptionally bright given the nation’s overwhelming natural resources, most notably its unrivalled collection of wildlife and its paradise beaches.

“New airlift from the likes of Etihad Airways will facilitate this growth. Kenya also serves as a blueprint of how to develop tourism in a sustainable way,” he added.

The WTA ceremony marks the culmination of a year-long search for the very best travel and tourism brands in Africa and the Indian Ocean, and will feature the leading travel brands from the competing head to head.

Organisations in contention include South African Airways, & Beyond, Air Mauritius, Le Touessrok and Soneva Fushi Resort & Spa.

Matthew Weihs, managing director, Bench Events, said: “We are delighted to announce that both the Africa Hotel Investment Forum and World Travel Awards will take place in Nairobi in September.

“It’s very important that we join these leading events together to underline the growing importance and overall influence Africa has on the world tourism stage.”

WTA’s 2012 Grand Tour also includes regional legs in Dubai (Middle East Ceremony), Turks & Caicos (Caribbean & The Americas Ceremony), Algarve, Portugal (Europe Ceremony) and Singapore (Asia & Australasia Ceremony).

The winners of these regional heats will progress to WTA’s Grand Final, which will take place at The Oberoi, Gurgaon, New Delhi, India on December 12th 2012.

World Travel Awards

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 can receive.

Votes are cast by 217,000 travel professionals including travel agencies, tour and transport companies and tourism organizations in 162 countries.

Main partners include BBC World News, TV5MONDE, Qatar Tourism Authority, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, Jebel Ali International, the Jamaica Tourist Board, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, Conrad Hotels & Resorts,, Sandals Resorts and WeClickMedia.

WTA’s global media partner network includes: International Herald Tribune, CNBC Arabiya, National Geographic Traveller, Khaleej Times, Trade Arabia, TTN, ABTA Magazine, Publituris, ASTA Network, Breaking Travel News, eTurboNews, Trav Talk, Travel Daily News, Focus on Travel News, New Focus Travel Magazine, Tourism Review, JAX FAX, Passport Magazine, and Travel & Leisure China.

This global media partner network has a monthly readership of 1.5 million and a TV audience reach of 90 million.

For more info about World Travel Awards Africa & Indian Ocean Ceremony & bookings visit the official website.