Cape Town has received yet another prestigious international travel award – it has been named the Best World City in the 2008 Telegraph Travel Awards.
The British daily newspaper conducted the poll among 40 000 of its readers. Value for money and the strength of the British pound compared to other world currencies were important factors for readers who voted.
South Africa also came in the top three in the Best Non-European Country category at the awards.
Cape Town Tourism Chief Executive Officer Mariëtte du-Toit Helmbold said the organisation is "thrilled" with the award.
“Cape Town is well placed to receive visitors looking for value for money and an authentic experience. Cape Town has so much to offer that visitors generally end up coming back to see and do more,” she said.
South African Tourism UK Country Manager Lebohang Mokhesi said Cape Town is one of the world’s most beautiful cities, and to receive such an accolade from consumers themselves is "great recognition of the wonderful tourism offering it has developed.”
She said that word-of-mouth advertising is important in spreading the good word about South Africa in the UK, and that it is nearly impossible for anyone to visit South Africa and not share their experiences with friends and family on their return.
"During this period of economic downturn, value for money is at the forefront of travellers’ minds. South Africa has always offered value for money, and with the current exchange rate as it stands, the visitor’s money goes even further,” Mokhesi said.
Cape Town has already received a long list of tourism accolades. It was recently voted one of ten cities in the world that are most likely to become a global sustainability centre by 2020.
It has also been named Africa’s Best City (US Travel and Leisure Best in the World Awards, July); Best Travel Destination in Africa and the Middle East (US Travel & Leisure magazine, 2004 through 2007); and One of the World’s five Bluest Sky Destinations (expedia.co.uk).
In addition, City Mayors, a global local government think-tank, recently named Cape Town Mayor Helen Zille the world’s top mayor.