The World Travel Awards Africa ceremony took place at a star-studded event on May 11 held at the Durban ICC. More than 200 organizations 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 “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.
Some of Africas’ top senior industry management attended the ceremony including Miller Mathola, CEO, ICC Durban; Wessel Witthuhn, president, 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, Cape Town Tourism; Nomasonto Ndlovu, global manager, business tourism, INDABA; Friedrich Schaefer, COO, ArabellaStarwood Hotels & Resorts South Africa.
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 modern Violin Quartet Sterling EQ, South Africa’s sensational all-girl electric quartet and Kwel Tebza.
The evening host was the inspirational speaker Gerry Rantseli-Elsdon, MC for Face of Africa for four years, as well as announcer and anchor for international broadcaster M-Net.
This premium event is part of the World Travel Awards Grand Tour, culminating with the Grand Final on October 30 in Jamaica.