October is gearing up to be an exciting month in the world of travel news, as the 20th Annual World Travel Awards Africa take place October 16th in Nairobi as scheduled. There was some speculation as to whether the event would take place as scheduled as the result of recent events, however World Travel Awards founder and president Graham Cooke announced on behalf of the organization that the event will take place as a way to support the government and people “…for whom tourism forms a vital part of the country’s economy.”
In fact, Nairobi is rounding out a great year in terms of event hosting, having been the home of this year’s Eco-Tourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC 2013) and the Africa Hotels Investment Forum (AHIF 2013). Also bolstering Kenya’s endorsement as a global destination is the recent announcement that it will host the 2015 Skål World Congress for Mombasa.
The Oscars of the travel industry
The 20th Annual World Travel Awards is considered to be the Oscars within the travel industry. In 2013 alone, World Travel Awards has held gala events in Dubai, Maldives, Peru, Turkey, & Antigua to celebrate those in the industry who are pushing the envelope of travel excellence.
This year’s event will be held at Nairobi’s Safari Park Hotel & Casino. As Africa’s largest conference destination, it’s considered a natural oasis of tranquility in the heart of Nairobi. Luxury accommodations adorned with African architecture and exacting specifications make it the perfect site to showcase an industry event of this magnitude.
On this spectacular evening, awards will be given out in categories that include:
- Cruise Line
- National Park
- Beach Resort
- Meetings & Convention Center
- Travel Management Company
The nominees: A “who’s who” of African and world travel
The list of nominees for the 20th Annual World Travel Awards is a definite “who’s who” of African and world travel. Abercrombie & Kent, Four Seasons, Sun City Resort, Hilton, Royal Caribbean International and dozens of others are all represented on the list of nominees for the black tie event.
One of the most exciting parts of the event is that it brings together members of Africa’s travel and tourism industry who might not otherwise get a chance to meet and learn about each other. It’s also one of the best ways to network and show support within the industry itself – which is constantly growing and evolving - especially on Africa’s Eastern front. It’s truly a celebration of success within the industry – and the whole of Africa.
Next stop for African winners – the finale in Qatar
Winners from the October 16th gala in Nairobi will be in the running for the world event scheduled for November 30th, 2013 in Doha, Qatar. The three-hour finale event will showcase world travel & tourism leaders and announce the winners to the rest of the world. But for now, our eyes are on the upcoming event in Nairobi where the winners for the region will be chosen – although each nominee is a winner already in the eyes of African travel & tourism.
Over 750,000 tourism industry professionals take part in the regional and worldwide voting process spread across nearly 200 countries in order to determine winners in the regional and worldwide gala ceremonies.
Africa is seen as a key international travel & tourism region, and with recent large-scale infrastructure and other investments in tourism, especially in Kenya, traveling will be even easier. The recent expansion of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is now in progress and smaller airstrips in Masai Mara and other national parks are recently improved to allow better quality travel for travelers who wish to experience the region first-hand.
Eran Feinstein is the founder of Direct Pay Online. Direct Pay Online provides global e-commerce and online payments solutions for the travel and related industries He is a leading authority in the fields of e-commerce, travel and payments, having acquired extensive experience from various parts of the world.