The stars of travel, tourism, and hospitality aligned at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), in Nairobi, Kenya at the World Travel Awards Africa & Indian Ocean 2022 ceremony. The World Travel Awards, established in 1993, acknowledges, rewards, and celebrates excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry.

This year’s Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony gathered 400 VIP guests, industry figureheads, and media with travel industry professionals attending from 25 different countries.

2022 World Travel Awards Special Performance
Photo Credit: World Travel Awards

Best In Class In Aviation

The event marked the return of business tourism and gave cause for celebration for Kenya Airways which received several aviation honors. Kenya’s flagship carrier claimed success in categories for “Africa’s Leading Airline – Business Class”, “Africa’s Leading Airline Brand” and the ultimate prize of “Africa’s Leading Airline”. Ethiopian Airlines took the title of “Africa’s Leading Airline – Economy Class”. Air Seychelles celebrated with the honor of “Indian Ocean’s Leading Airline” with “Indian Ocean’s Leading Airline Brand” won by Air Mauritius.

World Travel Awards winners for Africa's Leading Airline - Business Class 2022: Kenya Airways
Julius Thairu, Chief Commercial & Customer Officer, Kenya Airways, Dennis Kashero, Director, Communications & Public Affairs, Kenya Airways accepting 2022 Award for Africa’s Leading Airline – Business Class 2022: Kenya Airways, Photo Credit: World Travel Awards

Leading Destinations and Tourism Boards

Other big winners at the red-carpet reception included the Maldives winning “Indian Ocean’s Leading Destination” and “Indian Ocean’s Leading Tourist Board”. Cape Town picked up the coveted honor of “Africa’s Leading City Destination”. Kenya scooped the prestigious title of “Africa’s Leading Destination”, and its capital of Nairobi claimed the prize for “Africa’s Leading Business Travel Destination”. KICC, the venue in which the award ceremony took place, snagged the award for “Africa’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre”. “Indian Ocean’s Leading Wedding Destination” went to Mauritius, while “Indian Ocean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination” was won by Seychelles. Thanda Island was named “Africa’s Leading Luxury Island”.

Team from Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Kenya accepting WTA 2022 Award for Africa's Leading Meetings & Conference Centre
Nana Wanjiku Gecaga, CEO, Kenyatta International Convention Centre, Nairobi, Kenya accepts WTA 2022 Award for Africa’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre 2022

Hotspot Hotels and Resorts

The refined elegance of Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club claimed the ultimate hospitality award for “Africa’s Leading Hotel”, with Radisson Blu taking the top honor of “Africa’s Leading Hotel Brand”. Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa, South Africa won the prize for “Africa’s Leading Boutique Hotel” with Transcorp Hilton Abuja, Nigeria taking the title “Africa’s Leading Business Hotel”.

WTA 2022 Winners of Africa's Leading Hotel award, Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club
Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club accepts 2022 WTA Award for Africa’s Leading Hotel, Photo Credit: World Travel Awards

The heavily contested category for “Indian Ocean’s Leading New Resort” went to Jumeirah Maldives Olhahali Island. The award for “Indian Ocean’s Leading Beach Resort” went to Andilana Beach Resort; Madagascar, ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Luxury Island Resort’ was awarded to Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi; and ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Resort’ was won by Vakkaru Maldives.

Graham Cooke, Founder, WTA, said: “What a breath-taking event and what a truly memorable experience was had by our blue-chip audience. WTA had the privilege of recognizing the region’s leading lights as the industry marked its triumphant return in style. As stellar examples of tourism excellence, our winners have helped to once again raise the bar”.

“Nairobi is a pulsating city, rich in heritage but with a dynamic, forward-thinking business focus. And at its epicentre is the majestic KICC. I would like to put on record my heartfelt thanks to Nana Gecaga – the KICC’s superstar CEO and her fabulous team, as well as extend my gratitude to our generous Event Partners and Supporting Partners. I’ve been traveling the globe for the last 29 years heading up our annual Grand Tour of gala ceremonies. Tonight was amongst the very best I’ve had the privilege of leading. As the industry bounces back better and stronger, Kenya should take its place at the high table of world-class tourism destinations”.

The next red carpet events on the WTA Grand Tour 2022 will take place in Amman, Jordan (Middle East) followed by Muscat, Oman (Grand Final).

A full list of the 2022 winners is available on the official WTA website.

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