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Cape Town wins top travel award for Africa, Middle East

By Crystal Orderson in Cape Town
Posted on Thursday, 7 July 2016 14:37

The city, adorned with beaches and mountains, topped in the ‘Top Cities in Africa and the Middle East’ category at a ceremony in New York.

Such accolades make us appreciate our awesome surroundings once again

Over the past few years, Cape Town has become a domestic and international travellers’ dream offering leisure, medical and adventure tourism.

A member of the Cape Town Mayoral Committee member Garreth Bloor said the award would help residents appreciate the beauty of their city.

“Those of us who live in Cape Town tend to take the natural beauty of our city for granted. Such accolades make us appreciate our awesome surroundings once again,” he said.

Officials also said the award would help lift South Africa’s tourism profile after it was weighed down by new stringent visa regulations for visitors and those travelling with children.

According to a study by Grant Thornton, Cape Town has been registering a tourism, which has seen an increase in the direct tourism spend from R14.4 billion in 2012 to R15.6 billion in 2014.

It is estimated that about 28,000,000 domestic trips were taken in South Africa in 2014 and there were 10,247,614 foreign arrivals during tthe same period.

But Grant Thornton said the country experienced its biggest loss from African tourists where a decline of 7.3% was recorded, compared to nine growth recorded during 2014.

The decline in tourism numbers in 2015 was attributed to the implementation of the controversial visa regulations.

Cape Town is also a favourite business tourism destination on the African continent.

The city’s Tourism, Trade and Investment Agency in the Western Cape, WESGRO says over the past five years, there has been an estimated economic impact of about R1.5 billion in conference bids.

This growth has in turn created thousands of jobs, providing a livelihood for many.

Other recent accolades for the city include the 2015/2016 Telegraph Travel Awards’ “Best City in the World” for the fourth year running and Condé Nast’s highly-acclaimed reader’s choice award in the World’s Best Food Cities list.

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