The World Travel Awards are the Oscars of the Travel and Tourism, and Hospitality Industries, recognising and celebrating the very best the industries have to offer.
Here’s a round-up of the winners…
Air and Rail
- South African Airways (SAA) – South Africa’s national carrier is one of the oldest airlines in the world, with flights to more than 700 destinations around the world. Despite ongoing financial troubles, it scooped two awards, Africa’s Leading Airline and Africa’s Leading Airline, Economy
- 1Time – Whilst trading under the protection of business rescue, the budget airline worked hard to turn itself around operationally and financially. Alas, it was not to be and the airline filed for liquidation in early November 2012. A small victory, though, for 1Time in the form of the award for Africa’s Leading Low-Cost Airline.
- OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg – One of the 100 busiest airports in the world and Africa’s busiest airport – handling some 17 million passengers a year – OR Tambo is also officially Africa’s Leading Airport.
The Blue Train – a luxury five-star hotel on wheels, the Blue Train is the epitome of elegant travel, where guests can sit back and take in the scenic splendour of South Africa, whilst wining and dining. It was named Africa’s Leading Luxury Train.
Travel agencies and Tour companies
- Travel with Flair – offers customer-focused total quality travel management programmes for organisations, with a strong focus on corporate travel and film and production travel. They won the awards for Africa’s Leading Business Travel Agency and Africa’s Leading Travel Management Company.
- Flightsite.co.za – is an innovative online portal for South Africans to make local or international travel arrangements, by accessing the widest choice of flights, accommodation and car hire available, at the best possible prices. Flightsite.co.za is also Africa’s Leading Online Travel Company.
- Club Travel – strives to offer customers a unique combination of best price and service and to develop long-term relationships with them. This philosophy has earned them the title of Africa’s Leading Travel Agency.
- Fish Eagle Safaris – This Cape Town-based tour company specialises in tours throughout Southern and East Africa. In addition to personalized service, they have a particular interest in promoting responsible and ethical tourism. This refreshing approach wins them Africa’s Responsible Tourism Award.
Surf and Safari
- Cape Town – boasts no less than 17 Blue Flag beaches. High standards of beach management, safety and security and water quality earn them the distinction of being Africa’s Leading Beach Destination.
- Thanda Private Game Reserve – is situated in Northern Zululand, close to the coast. It offers the Big Five Safari Experience, along with a sampling of traditional Zulu Culture, fine dining and a superb wellness spa. Thanda Game Reserve is Africa’s Leading Luxury Game Reserve.
- Shamwari Game Reserve – in the Eastern Cape, not only provides guests with a magnificent African Safari experience – for which it wins the award for Africa’s Leading Safari Lodge – but also has a strong focus on conservation and education. For these efforts Shamwari wins the award for Africa’s Leading Conservation Company.
- The Phantom Forest Eco-Reserve – is a magical spot just outside Knysna on the Garden Route, on the Southern Cape Coast. The reserve contains a unique combination of three biospheres – Afromontane forest, fynbos and estuarine wetland – which you can enjoy from the comfort of your tree suite. Here, the emphasis is on sustainable development and minimising human impact; which earns the Phantom Forest Eco-Reserve the title of Africa’s Leading Green Hotel.
Town and Country
- The Regent – consisting of luxury apartments and triple-story penthouses, The Regent in Morningside, Johannesburg is the ultimate in glitzy, glamourous urban lifestyle. In fact, it’s Africa’s Leading Apartment Hotel.
- The Sandton Sun – linked to both the Sandton Convention Centre and Sandton City shopping centre, and within a stone’s throw of many of the city’s finest cafés, restaurants, boutiques and businesses, the Sandton Sun combines the best of business and leisure travel, making it Africa’s Leading City Hotel and Africa’s Leading Business Hotel.
- No. 5 Boutique Art Hotel – in the Friendly City, Port Elizabeth, offers luxury boutique accommodation, complemented by fine dining and impeccable service…all of this a mere 100 metres from the beach. No wonder it is Africa’s Leading Townhouse Hotel!
- Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas and Spa – located in the tranquil, leafy Johannesburg suburb of Sandhurst, the Saxon is far enough from the busy city to be a retreat, yet close enough for the business traveller. It scoops two awards; one for Africa’s Leading Boutique Hotel and one for Africa’s Leading Suite for the unsurpassed luxury and elegance of its Nelson Mandela Platinum Suite.
Ellerman House and Villa – in exclusive Bantry Bay, Cape Town, offers unparalleled luxury and opulence. It’s the perfect base from which to explore all that the exciting city of Cape Town has to offer – cafés, bars, restaurants, museums, galleries, wineries, shops, beaches, wild spaces and more. It earns the title Africa’s Leading Luxury Villa.
- Arabella Hotel & Spa – Just over an hour’s drive from Cape Town, in the Kogelberg Mountains, near Kleinmond, Hermanus, this five-star resort also offers access to the beautiful Bot River Lagoon. Here, you can go hiking, horse riding, golfing, relax at the spa or simply read a good book at the poolside. The Arabella is Africa’s Leading Spa Resort.
- Legend Golf & Safari Resort – situated within the Entabeni Safari Conservancy in the picturesque Waterberg region of Limpopo Province, the resort consists of four and five star safari lodges built around a championship golf course. There’s also a luxury wellness centre and conference facility.
- Sun City – not only South Africa’s favourite resort, but also officially Africa’s Leading Family Resort, Sun City offers guests everything they could possibly imagine and more…safari, sun, shopping and even an inland beach!
- The Palace of the Lost City – within the Sun City Resort, this extraordinary luxury hotel is literally a fairytale African palace. Guests get lost in the myth and mystery of their spectacular surroundings, while enjoying outstanding service, plush rooms and fine dining. It’s a little bit of outlandish Las Vegas in South Africa – which is why it’s Africa’s Leading Casino Resort.
Zimbali Coastal Resort – offers discerning guests a warm, subtropical climate, sandy beaches, five-star country club and two world-class hotels, the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge and Fairmont Zimbali Resort. This stunning resort wins the award for Africa’s Leading Tourism Development Project.
- The International Convention Centre (ICC), Durban – centrally situated and offering state-of-the-art facilities, there’s no better place to host a conference…which is why the ICC is Africa’s Leading Meetings and Conference Centre.
- The Port of Durban – is Africa’s busiest container port, operating around the clock, every single day of the year. It’s been awarded the title of Africa’s Leading Port.