Kenya’s coveted position came after a hotly contested voting by travel agents across the globe which has been going on for the last one year and culminating into last week’s 19th World Travel Awards held at Beach Turks and Caicos Resort in UK.
The award places the country in the limelight as a tourist destination having beaten South Africa which has been topping for the last four years.
Other African countries which competed with Kenya included Egypt, Namibia, Nigeria, Ghana, and Morocco among others.
Tourism industry in the country has termed the award good tidings coming at a time when the country has had negative publicity occasioned by cases of insecurity. “Kenya stood out for its sustained innovative and cutting edge marketing campaigns targeting both the traditional and new niche market segments, in an increasingly competitive global tourism industry,” says KTB Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa who also appreciated the contribution of all the stakeholders towards this achievements.
He noted that over the last two years KTB has been receiving impressive results following the successful implementation of the products diversification strategy, adoption of new promotion strategies, increased advertising campaigns and partnerships with major tour operators worldwide.
“This award is an outstanding endorsement for the investment we have made in positioning Kenya as the premier tourism destination in Africa, and a worthy competitor in the global platform. We are honored to be recognized as Africa’s Leading Tourist Board this year”, said Muriithi.
The Award saw 50 awards being presented to travel industry practitioners across the Caribbean region, North and South America with Kenya Tourism Board, who were the highlight of the event in getting this highly valued award.
Muriithi added, “While we have been in contention for this and other awards, this is by far one of the greatest achievements we have received. We are alive to the fact that we must sustain our lead, through additional investments in the sector to ensure that the Kenyan experience for tourists remains unmatched”.
The World Travel Awards, described by the Wall Street Journal as the ‘Oscars’ of the global travel and tourism industry, serves to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel, tourism and hospitality industry
The Award was first held in 1994, as a tourism industry initiative, with travel agencies, tour and transport companies and tourism organizations across the globe voting for the winners.
The award places KTB in the same league with the other winning tourist Boards in the Europe, Caribbean, Americas and Middle East categories for the World Travel Awards Grand Final, which will take place at The Oberoi, Gurgaon in Delhi on 12th December 2012.