The stars of the travel, tourism and hospitality aligned at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), Nairobi, Kenya to find out who amongst them had won the industry’s ultimate annual honours.
A capacity audience of 400 VIP guests, industry figureheads and media were in attendance for a sensational World Travel Awards (WTA) Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony 2022.
Big winners at the red-carpet reception included Maldives winning ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Destination’ and ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Tourist Board’. Cape Town picked up the coveted honour of ‘Africa’s Leading City Destination’. Kenya topped off an evening that will live long in the memory by scooping the major title of ‘Africa’s Leading Destination’, capital Nairobi claimed the prize for ‘Africa’s Leading Business Travel Destination’ and KICC for ‘Africa’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre’. ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Wedding Destination’ went to Mauritius, while ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination’ was won by Seychelles. Thanda Island took the trophy for ‘Africa’s Leading Luxury Island’.
The event marked the return of business tourism with a bang, and gave cause for unbridled celebration for Kenya Airways with a hat-trick of top aviation honours. Kenya’s flagship carrier claimed success in categories for ‘Africa’s Leading Airline – Business Class’, ‘Africa’s Leading Airline Brand’ and the ultimate prize of ‘Africa’s Leading Airline’. Ethiopian Airlines took the title of ‘Africa’s Leading Airline – Economy Class’. Air Seychelles celebrated with the honour of ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Airline’ with ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Airline Brand’ won by Air Mauritius.
Travel industry VIPs from 25 nations attended World Travel Awards comeback event at KICC in heart of Kenya’s vibrant capital city, Nairobi.
Graham Cooke, Founder, WTA, said: “What a breath-taking event and what a truly memorable experience was had by our blue-chip audience. WTA had the privilege of recognising the region’s leading lights as the industry marked its triumphant return in style. As stellar examples of tourism excellence, our winners have helped to once again raise the bar”.
“Nairobi is a pulsating city, rich in heritage but with a dynamic, forward-thinking business focus. And at its epicentre is the majestic KICC. I would like to put on record my heartfelt thanks to Nana Gecaga – the KICC’s superstar CEO and her fabulous team, as well as extend my gratitude to our generous Event Partners and Supporting Partners. I’ve been travelling the globe for the last 29 years heading up our annual Grand Tour of gala ceremonies. Tonight was amongst the very best I’ve had the privilege of leading. As the industry bounces back better and stronger, Kenya should take its place at the high table of world class tourism destinations”.
The refined elegance of Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club claimed the ultimate hospitality award for ‘Africa’s Leading Hotel’, with Radisson Blu taking top honour for ‘Africa’s Leading Hotel Brand’. Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa, South Africa won the prize for ‘Africa’s Leading Boutique Hotel’ with Transcorp Hilton Abuja, Nigeria taking the title ‘Africa’s Leading Business Hotel’
The hotly contested category for ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading New Resort’ went to Jumeirah Maldives Olhahali Island; the award for ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Beach Resort’ went to Andilana Beach Resort; Madagascar, ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Luxury Island Resort’ was awarded to Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi; and ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Resort’ was won by Vakkaru Maldives.
Travel provider winners included Flight Centre, South Africa (‘Africa’s Leading Travel Agency’) and Thompson’s Africa (‘South Africa’s Leading Destination Management Company’). In the Indian Ocean region top honours went to Get Into Maldives Travel ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Luxury Tour Operator’, Simply Maldives (‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Travel Agency’) with Mautourco taking the honours for both ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Destination Management Company’ and ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Tour Operator’.
The next red carpet events on the WTA Grand Tour 2022 will take place in Amman, Jordan (Middle East) followed by Muscat, Oman (Grand Final).