Kenya has been voted one of the best destinations in Africa at the World Travel Awards 2016.
In a gala ceremony held at Diamonds La Gemma dell’Est resort in Zanzibar on Saturday, Kenya emerged the big winner when its cities and local tourism products bagged a host of awards.
Mombasa scooped Africa’s leading destination award while Nairobi, which has hosted high profile conferences, was named the place to be for meetings.Diani in Kwale County is Africa’s leading beach destination for the third year running, while Mombasa was voted Africa’s leading cruise port for the second consecutive year.
The Maasai Mara National Reserve, known as the eighth wonder of the world, was ranked the continent’s best national park for the second year in a row, beating other reserves in South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.
Serena Hotels won two prizes as it was voted Africa’s leading hotel brand with its Nairobi hotel recognised for its green practices.It was named Africa’s green hotel as well as the leading business hotel in Kenya.
Kenya Airways, whose award-winning transit lounges at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, for their design, bagged the award of Africa’s leading airline for its business class. Fly540 was ranked Kenya’s leading domestic safari carrier.
Kenya Tourism Board continued its winning streak when it once again bagged the Africa’s leading tourist board award.The Presidential Suite of Villa Rosa Kempinski was named Kenya’s leading hotel suite.
Tourism principal secretary Fatuma Hirsi, who attended the award ceremony said she was impressed by the vote of confidence in Kenya as a travel destination and the tourism and hospitality products as she made a case for conservation.
“We have a world heritage to protect in our parks. We must continue to support conservation efforts for Kenya to remain the top safari destination in the world,” she said.
She added that Nairobi deserved its win as Africa’s leading meetings and conferences destination after successfully hosting global conferences such as the Global Entrepreneurship Summit headlined by US President Barack Obama and the World Trade Organisation conference. The events took place within months of each other last year.
Ms Hirsi lauded Radisson Blu Hotel, Nairobi, voted Africa’s leading new hotel, saying its success would attract other hotel brands.