The 28th annual World Travel Awards has named Cape Town Africa's Leading City Destination for 2021, with Table Mountain named Africa's Leading Tourist Attraction.
The World Travel Awards recognises, rewards, and celebrates excellence across all key sectors of travel, tourism, and hospitality.
Despite global challenges, the World Travel Awards reported that travel appetites have reached unprecedented levels, with a 17% increase in voting numbers from the previous year.
"These awards, particularly as Cape Town starts to emerge from months of lockdowns, are both humbling and an affirmation of the splendour and people of our great metro. It is also thanks to my team and our industry partners who have worked so hard with me in keeping the city top of mind for travellers," says Alderman James Vos, mayoral committee member for economic opportunities and asset management, including tourism, at The City of Cape Town.
Destination management landscape
"As the City’s mayoral committee member for economic opportunities and as someone who goes out daily into communities and meets with people whose livelihoods depend on tourists, I understand the real value of this industry. 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."
Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism adds: "Winning these awards is a huge honour and really does instil a sense of confidence in our 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, Mitchell’s Plain or Langa, visitors will discover that every corner of Cape Town has something quite unique to offer."
Duminy continues: "Along with the Travel + Leisure award, which saw Cape Town voted the number one city in the Middle East and Africa, these World Travel awards further affirms that the Mother City is a destination worth coming to explore. We are ready to welcome people back now that vaccination numbers are increasing, and strict Covid-19 safety 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.”
Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC) managing director, Wahida Parker said these awards came at the right time. Parker continues: "As South Africa is finally removed from the UK’s red list, we definitely expect to see more tourists from all over the world coming to experience Africa’s leading tourist attraction."