The World Travel Awards Africa Ceremony took place at a star-studded event on 11 May held at the Durban ICC. More than 200 organisations were nominated in 75 categories for the Africa region, including airlines, airports, hotels, car hire, destinations, resorts, spas and travel agencies.
South African Airways won Africa’s Leading Airline, Starwood Hotels won Africa’s Leading Hotel Brand and The Mount Nelson Hotel won Africa’s Leading Hotel.
World Travel Awards, established 16 years ago and described by the Wall Street Journal as the “Travel industry’s equivalent to the Oscars”, 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.
Some Africas’ top senior industry management attended the ceremony including Miller Mathola CEO Durban ICC,Wessel Witthuhn, IFA Hotels & Resorts, Wayne Duvenage CEO AVIS Southern Africa, Cllr Grant Haskin, Acting Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, CEO Cape Town Tourism, Ian Bartes, Chairman of Cape Town Tourism, Nomasonto Ndlovu, Global Manager: Business Tourism, INDABA, Friedrich Schaefer, COO of Arabella Starwood Hotels & Resorts South Africa.
"Winners of the World Travel Awards Africa Ceremony are very special brands, dedicated to being the absolute best in all aspects of "customer experience", said Graham E Cooke, founder and president. "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. "We hope that the winners have set a supreme standard of professionalism in Africa with excellent examples of creativity and business acumen that can stimulate others to also raise their performance and their profile, not only within the African industry but worldwide."
This premium event is part of the World Travel Awards Grand Tour, culminating with the final in December in Jamaica. Guests enjoyed international entertainment from the world renowned pop group Boney M and virtuoso modern Violin Quartet Sterling EQ, South Africa’s sensational all-girl electric quartet. The evening host was the inspirational speaker Gerry Rantseli-Elsdon MC for Face of Africa for 4 years as well as announcer and anchor for international broadcaster M-Net.