The finest travel brands in Africa and the Indian Ocean have been unveiled at a star-studded gala ceremony in Mauritius. The elite of the travel industry assembled for the World Travel Awards (WTA) Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony at Sugar Beach – A Sun Resort to find out who amongst them would be crowned best of the best.
Winners at the red carpet reception included Kenya, home to some of the world’s greatest tourist attractions, was voted ‘Africa’s Leading Destination’. Meanwhile the lush forests, wild waterfalls, unique wildlife and paradise beaches of Mauritius helped it lift the title of ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Destination’, as well as the new category of ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination’. Hundreds of the leading travel industries figureheads from across Africa and the Indian Ocean attended the ceremony at Sugar Beach – A Sun Resort, which borders the vast sands of Flic-en-Flac Beach.
Graham E. Cooke, Founder, WTA, said: “Our inaugural ceremony in Mauritius has proved an incredible success. We have had the privilege of recognising the leading destinations, hotels, resorts, airlines and travel providers from across Africa and the Indian Ocean and my congratulations to each of our winners.”
Honorable Anil Kumarsingh Gayan, SC, Minister of Tourism, Republic of Mauritius, said: “It was a big honour and a great privilege for Mauritius to host the WTA Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony 2019.
“Such a glittering event would not have been possible without the dedication and unwavering support of my good friend, Mr. Graham Cooke, and his wonderful team. Thank you for making 1 June 2019 such an exciting and memorable evening.”
In the aviation sector, Ethiopian Airlines was voted ‘Africa’s Leading Airline’, whilst ‘Africa’s Leading Airport’ went to Cape Town International Airport. In the Indian Ocean, Air Mauritius claimed the titles of ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Airline’ and ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Airline – Business Class’.
South Africa’s Table Mountain was named ‘Africa’s Leading Tourist Attraction’. Kenya enjoyed a strong showing, with Kenya Tourist Board named ‘Africa’s Leading Tourist Board’, capital Nairobi winning the new category ‘Africa’s Leading Business Travel Destination’, and Kenyatta ICC picking up ‘Africa’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre’.
In the Indian Ocean categories, the Maldives cemented its reputation as the definitive romantic nation by being named ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination’, whilst Seychelles picked up ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Sustainable Tourism Destination’.
Hospitality winners included Hilton Hotels & Resorts (‘Africa’s Leading Hotel Brand’), Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa (‘Africa’s Leading Boutique Hotel’), Thanda Island, Tanzania (‘Africa’s Leading Luxury Island’), Pangolin Chobe Hotel, Botswana (‘Africa’s Leading New Hotel’), Legend Golf Resort & Spa, South Africa (‘Africa’s Leading Sports Resort’), and Transcorp Hilton Abuja (‘Africa’s Leading Business Hotel’).
The ceremony marked the third leg of the WTA Grand Tour 2019 – a search for the finest travel and tourism organisations in the world. Other 2019 regional ceremonies include Montego Bay (Jamaica), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Madeira (Portugal), La Paz (Bolivia), Phu Quoc (Vietnam), with the winners progressing to the Grand Final in Muscat (Oman).