Travel

Kenya wins big at Oscars of tourism

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Founder of WTA, Graham Cooke congratulates Kenyatta International Convention Centre CEO Nana Gecaga during the World Travel Awards held in Nairobi on October 15, 2022. PHOTO | POOL

It was an evening marked by colour, glamour and pomp as Nairobi played the host to the World Travel Awards (WTA) Africa and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony 2022.

The annual event saw 400 leading travel industry individuals and decision-makers drawn from 25 African and Indian Ocean countries drop business attire for ritzy evening gowns and dapper tuxedos as they attended the red-carpet gala held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) on October 15.

The WTA was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry.

The KICC chief executive, Nana Gecaga, said Kenyans were thrilled to showcase their world-renowned culture and hospitality during the gala ceremony as well as ensure guests have an unforgettable magical experience.

25 Kenyan nominees emerged as winners.

The Port of Mombasa bagged Africa’s Leading Cruise Port 2022.

The national carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) scored a hat-trick emerging as Africa’s Leading Airline 2022, Africa’s Leading Airline-Business Class 2022, Africa’s Leading Airline Brand 2022. Jambojet, KQ’s offshoot, was named Africa’s Leading Low-Cost Airline 2022.

Other notable Kenya winners included Manda Bay (Africa’s Leading Private Island Resort), The Residences at Leopard Beach Resort and Spa (Africa’s Leading Hotel Residences 2022), Ol Pejeta Conservancy (Africa’s Leading Conservation Company 2022) and Sirai House (Africa’s Leading Luxury Private Villa 2022).

On the domestic front, 23 winners were crowned in their respective categories. They included: Kinondo Kwetu (Kenya's Leading Resort 2022), Porini Mara Camp (Kenya's Leading Tented Safari Camp 2022), and The Social House (Kenya's Leading Boutique Hotel 2022) among others.

Founder of WTA, Graham Cooke said he was honoured to come back to Nairobi after KICC hosted the 2020 edition.

“Nairobi is a pulsating city, rich in heritage but with a dynamic, forward-thinking business focus. As the industry bounces back better and stronger, Kenya should take its place at the high table of world-class tourism destinations”.,” he said.

WTA gala ceremonies are widely regarded as the best networking opportunities in the travel industry, attended by government and industry leaders. 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).