Kenya has again been voted as the world’s top safari destination by the World Travel Awards.
It is the fourth time that Kenya has won the award, bagging it 2013, 2015, 2016 and now 2017, beating fierce competition from other top African safari destinations such as South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
The World Travel Awards, widely regarded as the Oscars of the travel industry, is the most prestigious awards programme for the travel industry.
It rewards leaders in the tourism, airline, hotel and hospitality sectors from around the world.
The votes for the award come from qualified executives working within travel and tourism and the consumer travel buyers.
Kenya was handed the prestigious award at a grand ceremony at the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Hotel in Vietnam on December 10.
The East African powerhouse also scooped Africa’s leading beach destination award, Africa’s leading national park award, and Africa’s leading tourist board award.
Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) chairman Jimi Kariuki termed the global award win as a great honor to Kenya’s safari offering.
He said Kenya deserved the win since it has best safari hotspots such the world famous Maasai Mara National Reserve, Amboseli National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park among many others.
“The annual wildebeest migration spectacle in the Mara, abundant wildlife in our parks, which include the Big Five, makes Kenya stand above the rest in the safari world,” said Mr. Kariuki.
He added that KTB the tourism board would capitalize on this award to aggressively market the country in both traditional and emerging markets for Kenya to attract many tourists.
Kariuki’s sentiments were shared with Kenya Tourism Federation chairman Mohamed Hersi who said Kenya must take advantage of the win to woo more safari seekers for tourism to recover in the country.
Other major winners at the prestigious awards ceremony are Thanda Island from Tanzania which scooped the world’s leading exclusive private island award.
Four Seasons Safari Lodge, Serengeti, also from Tanzania, won the world’s leading safari lodge award.
Legend Golf and Safari Resort from South Africa won the world’s leading safari resort award while Villa iZulu @ Thanda Safari, also from South Africa, bagged the world’s leading luxury private villa award.
Shambala Private Reserve from South Africa scooped the world’s leading private game reserve award.