Cape Town – Cape Town has been named Africa’s Leading City Destination for 2021 at the 28th annual World Travel Awards.
Table Mountain has also been named Africa’s Leading Tourist Attraction.
The World Travel Awards, which was established in 1993, recognises, rewards and celebrates excellence across all key sectors of travel, tourism and hospitality.
Despite the global challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a 17% increase of votes compared to that of the previous year.
Two million votes were cast.
Mayoral committee member for economic opportunities and asset management, Alderman James Vos said the awards were both humbling and an affirmation of the splendour and people of Cape Town.
“Tourism directly contributed 3% to South Africa’s GDP and that doesn’t even take into account the value to industries such as manufacturing or transport. It is through tourism that the opportunities and innovation of Cape Town are revealed to the world.
“These awards bring significant global attention and investor value to the Mother City.
“We will be building on the gains of these latest awards when I have the distinct pleasure to launch the City’s destination marketing campaign in key domestic and international markets in the coming days.
“Our aim with the campaign is to position Cape Town as the premier destination for travel and trade, thereby giving the local economy its biggest boost in almost two years,” Vos said.
CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Enver Duminy said it was a huge honour winning these awards and this really does instil a sense of confidence in Cape Town being a world class destination.
“As a visitor walks through the streets of Cape Town, explores our national parks, enjoys our beaches, enjoys what our winelands create, they will undoubtedly enjoy the natural beauty of Cape Town.
“But what turns that enjoyment into a love for our city is what we as locals offer. It’s our warmth and welcoming nature that is the magic ingredient that keeps visitors coming back to Cape Town.
“And whether you find yourself in the city centre, in Woodstock, in Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain or Langa, visitors will discover that every corner of Cape Town has something quite unique to offer,” Duminy said.
He said the Travel and Leisure Award saw Cape Town voted as the number one city in the Middle East and Africa.
Duminy said Cape Town is ready to welcome people back now that vaccination numbers are increasing and strict Covid-19 protocols are in place.
“What this award shows is that despite an extremely challenging 18 months, the Mother City remains a huge part of the global travel landscape and one of the most beloved city destinations in the world,” he said.
Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC) managing director, Wahida Parker said the awards came at just the right time as the country was finally removed from the UK’s travel red list.
“We definitely expect to see more tourists from all over the world coming to experience Africa’s leading tourist attraction,” Parker added.