By Christine Muchira
Kenya has received a record five destination awards at the 23rd annual World Travel Awards (WTA), Africa & the Indian Ocean Islands Gala Ceremony held at the Diamond La Gemma Hotel in Zanzibar.
The awards included:
Africa’s Leading National Park which went to the Maasai Mara National Reserve
Africa’s Leading Beach Destination which saw Africa’s leading beach, Diani retain the top position
Africa’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination, went to Nairobi
Africa’s leading Destination and Africa’s Cruise Port 2016 – Mombasa
Africa’s Leading Tourist Board for the 5th year running retained by the Kenya Tourism Board
Tourism Principal Secretary, Mrs. Fatuma Hirsi who received the awards on behalf of the sector applauded the industry players who have consistently showcased the country amidst challenging times.
Speaking at the event, she singled out Nairobi as indeed having become a city of choice for international conferencing and we are happy with the role that the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) is playing.
“The increase in bed capacity through the entry of international brands like Radisson Blu and Kempinski and the recently opened Golden Tulip Hotel, enhanced security and improved infrastructure has seen Kenya meet the international standards for successful bidding to host global meetings,” said Mrs. Mohammed.
Kenya will be hosting UNCTAD and TICAD in July and August 2016 respectively.
“We have a world heritage to protect in our parks and we must continue to support conservation in order to remain the top authentic safari experience. Mombasa port has attracted various cruise ship in the recent past and the recognition of Mombasa as a leading destination in Africa is a big win for the coastal product that had suffered a lull,” she added.
The WTA celebrates excellence across the travel tourism and hospitality sector.
“We are happy with the endorsement that these awards bring to the destination as a whole and we encourage all stakeholders to pull together as we recover the sector.”
Last year, Kenya was voted as Leading Safari Destination during the 2015 World Travel Awards (WTA) held in El Jadida, Morocco, on December 12 beating seven other nominees including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Speaking at the event, Chris Frost, the Vice President of the Word Travel Awards applauded Kenya on her consistency in showcasing the quality tourism product that the country has.
“Kenya is a destination of choice for many and we are delighted that the industry continues to step up quality service to all the visitors to Kenya, the previous challenges that the country has had have not dampened their spirit to showcase their country and we all need to learn from Kenya in order to bring more benefits of tourism to Africa and the Indian ocean Islands.”
Other Kenyan winners in the sector included:
Kenya’s Leading Beach Resort – Leopard Beach Resort and Spa
Kenya’s Leading Business Hotel – Nairobi Serena
Kenya’s Leading travel Agency – Bonfire Ventures
Kenya’s Leading Travel Management Company – Abercrombie & Kent
Kenya’s Leading Safari Lodge – Sarova Shaba Game Lodge
Africa’s leading Airline – Kenya Airways
Africa Leading Airline – Business Class – Kenya Airways
Africa’s Leading All-Inclusive Beach Resort – Diamonds Dream of Africa , Kenya
Africa’s Leading Design Hotel – The Tribe
Africa’s Leading Family Resort – Leopard Beach Resort and Spa
Africa’s leading green Hotel – Nairobi Serena
Africa’s Leading Hotel Brand – Serena Hotels
The Ministry of Tourism will in the coming week meet tourism stakeholders in Nairobi and later meet the coastal stakeholders at Africa’s leading beach destination, Diani, with a view of strengthening working ties towards full recovery of the tourism sector.