World Travel Awards (WTA), the “Oscars of the travel industry,” has announced plans to host its first ceremony in Kenya, reflecting the African nation’s continuing evolution into a world-class tourism destination.
WTA’s Africa&Indian Ocean Ceremony 2012 will take place in Nairobi September 26, 2012, with the most important decision-makers in the region’s travel and tourism sector scheduled to attend.
The event will be co-hosted alongside the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), a two-day conference (September 25-26) that will showcase the hospitality investment potential of Africa’s fastest-growing nations.
The WTA organizers highlighted how Nairobi is rapidly emerging into one of Africa’s key hubs for business and leisure.
Graham E. Cooke, President and Founder, WTA, said: “The selection of our hosts is fundamental to the success of our awards program, and Nairobi possesses all the ingredients to rise to the challenge of hosting our Africa&Indian Ocean Ceremony – a vibrant and progressive city, brimming with opportunity.”
“Tourism is fundamental to Kenya’s economy, contributing 12 percent to its GDP and creating one in ten jobs. The future is exceptionally bright given the nation’s overwhelming natural resources, most notably its unrivaled collection of wildlife and its paradise beaches. New airlift from the likes of Etihad Airways will facilitate this growth. Kenya also serves as a blueprint of how to develop tourism in a sustainable way,” he added.
Matthew Weihs, Managing Director, Bench Events, said: “We are delighted to announce that both the Africa Hotel Investment Forum and World Travel Awards will take place in Nairobi in September. It’s very important that we join these leading events together to underline the growing importance and overall influence Africa has on the world tourism stage.”
The WTA ceremony marks the culmination of a year-long search for the very best travel and tourism brands in Africa and the Indian Ocean. Organizations in contention include South African Airways, &Beyond, Air Mauritius, Le Touessrok, and Soneva Fushi Resort&Spa.
WTA’s 2012 Grand Tour also includes regional legs in Dubai (Middle East Ceremony), Turks&Caicos (Caribbean&The Americas Ceremony), Algarve, Portugal (Europe Ceremony), and Singapore (Asia&Australasia Ceremony). The winners of these regional heats will progress to WTA’s Grand Final, which will take place at The Oberoi, Gurgaon, New Delhi, India on December 12, 2012.