South Africa did very well in the 2012 World Travel Awards for Africa, winning 32 awards out of a total 57 categories, including leading African airport, beach destination, family resort, city hotel, conference venue, safari lodge and spa resort.
The results for Africa were announced last month.
Since its inception in 1994, the World Travel Awards have grown in prestige to become known as “the Oscars” of the tourism industry – with travel agencies, tour and transport companies and tourism organisations across the world voting annually for the winners.
South African hotels and resorts did very well at this year’s awards. Some of the top winners were the popular Palace of the Lost City (casino resorts), the Arabella Hotel & Spa (spa resorts), Sun City (in the family resorts category), and the Legend Golf & Safari Resort (sports resorts).
Sandton Sun won in both the business hotels and city hotels categories. While Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas & Spa (boutique and luxury hotels), The Regent (apartment hotels), the Phantom Forest Eco-Reserve (green hotels), and the No 5 Boutique Art Hotel (town house hotels). Durban’s International Convention Centre was named Africa’s leading conference centre
Winners among the hotels were the Sandton Sun (in both the business hotels and city hotels categories), Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas & Spa (boutique hotels and luxury hotels), The Regent (apartment hotels), the Phantom Forest Eco-Reserve (green hotels), and the No 5 Boutique Art Hotel (town house hotels), while Durban's International Convention Centre was named Africa's leading conference centre.
South Africa did very well in the wild category as well. Shamwari Game Reserve won in both the safari lodges and the conservation companies categories. Thanda Private Game Reserve and Shambala Private Reserve both did well in the luxury category, with Thanda winning the luxury game reserves and Shambala winning best luxury lodge.
The country also scored well for responsible tourism, with &Beyond being named leading responsible tourism company as well as leading game reserve brand, and Fish Eagle Safaris winning Africa's Responsible Tourism Award. Fairmont Zimbali was named Africa's leading tourism development project.
Airlines and travel agents
South African Airways was named Africa's leading airline as well as leading airline economy class, and 1time Africa's leading low-cost airline, while Johannesburg's OR Tambo International was voted the leading airport, Durban the leading port, and the Blue Train the leading luxury train on the continent.
South African tourism operators also did very well, with Club Travel (travel agencies), Travel with Flair (business travel agencies as well as travel management companies), and Flightsite.co.za (online travel companies) all winning in their categories.
Africa's leading destination
Cape Town was voted Africa's leading beach destination, the popular "Africa's Leading Destination" award went this year to the ancient medina of Marrakech in Morocco - which saw off competition from Cape Town and the Kruger National Park, as well as Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and the Kalahari Desert in Namibia.