Mombasa has been named Africa’s Leading Destination as 2016 World Travel Awards Africa & Indian Ocean Gala and Ceremony held on Saturday in Zanzibar, Tanzania honoured the city with the title.
Ten other famous destinations which were nominated include: Cape Town, South Africa; Durban, South Africa; El Gouna, Red Sea, Egypt; Johannesburg, South Africa; Luxor, Egypt; Marrakech, Morocco; Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt; Victoria Falls, Zambia; and Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Spectacularly, Mombasa, the city on the coast of Kenya and the second biggest city in Kenya after Nairobi, won the title. The city is soaked in history, and is a regional cultural and economic hub. It features extra-large port and an international airport, making it a useful regional tourism centre.
At the edge of a coral ridge overlooking the entrance to the Old Port of Mombasa is Fort Jesus, an imposing fort that stands watch over the harbour. The fort, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2011 was built in the shape of a man (viewed from the air), and was named after Jesus.
More amazingly, the fort was also described as one of the most exceptional and well preserved examples of 16th-century Portuguese military fortifications.
Additionally, the high gun turrets, battlements and underground passages of this 16th Century Fort was the site of a historic battle for control of the Kenya coast between the Portuguese army and the Shirazi Arabs.
Besides the history, new Mombasa is a city brimming with a range of different entertaining features. From remarkable restaurants, to echo-making markets and even to a melting pot of cultures.
Other cities that have won the title in the past comprise Marrakech in 2015, Cape Town which has won it for 14-times, and Sharm El Sheikh winning twice in 2007 and 2004.
The red carpet event hosted by Diamonds La Gemma dell’Est on the northern tip of Zanzibar, Tanzania didn’t only bring Kenya to map by naming its city Africa’s Leading Destination, it also honoured Kenyan airline.
While Air Seychelles was mentioned as Indian Ocean’s Leading Airline, Kenya Airways gained recognition as Africa’s Leading Airline – Business Class – while Serena Hotels was honoured with the title of Africa’s Leading Hotel Brand. Nigeria’s Transcorp Hilton located in Abuja was named Africa’s Leading Business Hotel, while Indian Ocean’s Leading Destination went to the Maldives.
World Travel Awards marks its 23rd anniversary this year and since its started in 1993, it is known worldwide as the absolute hallmark of quality, with winners being a reference point to which all others aspire.
World Travel Awards covers the world every year with a series of regional Gala Ceremonies staged to pick and celebrate individual and collective successes within each major geographical region and across all sectors of the tourism industry.