Kenya’s tourism sector has been showing massive growth in the last decade. The tourism sector has risen to become the second-largest foreign exchange earner for the country despite recent terrorism threats and other incidents of insecurity. Also, the tourism and travel sector contributed 3.7% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2016 and around 6% in 2017.
It is therefore not surprising that the East African nation has been ranked as the leading tourist destination in Africa ahead of South Africa by the World Travel Awards (WTA). Nairobi was also named as Africa’s Leading Business Travel Destination and Kenyatta International Convention Centre ranked as Africa’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre.
Kenya emerged top for its tantalizing cocktail of epic savannah landscapes, immense herds of wildlife and palm-fringed beaches. Also, Maasai Mara Game Reserve, Samburu National Reserve, Shimba Hills National Reserve, Sweet Waters Game Reserve, and Tsavo National Park were named among the country’s top safari destinations.
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Meanwhile, Cape Town was declared Africa’s Leading Festival & Event Destination and its majestic Table Mountain picked Africa’s Leading Tourist Attraction. The fascinating South African city of Durban was voted Africa’s Leading City Destination.
The results follow a year-long search for the world’s top travel, tourism and hospitality brands. Votes were cast by travel industry professionals and the public, with the nominee gaining the most votes in a category named as the winner.
In the Aviation sector, Ethiopian Airlines lifted ‘Africa’s Leading Airline’, whilst ‘Africa’s Leading Airport’ went to Cape Town International Airport. Kenya Airways picked up both ‘Africa’s Leading Airline – Business Class’ and ‘Africa’s Leading Airline – Economy Class’.
In the hospitality sector, Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club’s unique comforts in the shadow of the mighty Mount Kenya helped it to the title of ‘Africa’s Leading Hotel’, whilst Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa, South Africa picked up ‘Africa’s Leading Boutique Hotel’. Aberdare Country Club, Kenya was voted ‘Africa’s Leading Green Hotel’.
Graham Cooke, Founder, World Travel Awards, says: “Our winners represent the very best of Africa’s travel and tourism sector and my congratulations to each of them. They have all demonstrated remarkable resilience in a year of unprecedented challenges.”
He adds: “The World Travel Awards 2020 programme received a record number of votes cast by the public. This shows that the appetite for travel and tourism has never been stronger and bodes well for the industry’s future as the global recovery begins.”
Other winners include:
Serengeti National Park (‘Africa’s Leading National Park’).
Thanda Island, Tanzania (‘Africa’s Leading Luxury Island’).
Shambala Private Game Reserve, South Africa (‘Africa’s Leading Private Game Reserve’).
The Oberoi, Marrakech (‘Morocco’s Leading Hotel Suite’).