NAIROBI, KENYA, OCTOBER 4 — All roads will this Saturday be leading to the Durban International Convention Centre (Durban ICC) in South Africa, where Africa and Indian Ocean’s hospitality industry finest will be named.
This is during the World Travel Awards (WTA) Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony 2018 scheduled for this weekend, October 6.
Hundreds of the leading figureheads of the African and Indian Ocean travel industries are scheduled to attend the red-carpet gala evening.
Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda are among countries eying top accolades at the event which will be used to unveil the continents ‘Creme de la creme’ in hospitality for the year 2018.
From Kenya, those who will be battling for top honors in the continent include national carrier Kenya Airways, travel firm, Twiga Tours, budget carrier Jambojet and the Kenya Tourism Board.
A number of hotels, key facilities and companies are also lined up in different categories. They include Fairmount Hotels, Sarova Hotels, KICC, Hemingways Hotels, OlPejata, Keekorok lodge, Tribe Hotel Kenya, Bonfire Safaris and the Maasai Mara national reserve.
The evening will mark the sixth leg of the WTA Grand Tour 2018 – an annual search for the finest travel and tourism organisations in the world, celebrating its 25th Silver Jubilee Anniversary this year.
The Africa and Indian Ocean Gala ceremony comes after the Carebean and North America gala which was held in Montego Bay,Jamaica on September 22.
Other regions that have already held similar ceremonies include Europe, Asia and AustralAsia, Latin America and the Middle East.
Enviably located moments from Durban Beachfront, the world-class Durban ICC is a state-of-the-art events and entertainment venue, opened by the late Nelson Mandela in 1997. This will be WTA’s third visit to the iconic facility, which also hosted ceremonies in 2008 and 2009.
Graham E. Cooke, Founder & President, WTA, said: “It is with great anticipation that we return to the Durban ICC for the third time to host our African and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony 2018. I am honoured that this world-class convention centre, which has staged some of the world’s most prestigious events, is forming part of our 25th anniversary of celebrating travel industry excellence. I look forward to joining all our nominees for what promises to be a fabulous night.”
Lindiwe Rakharebe, Chief Executive Officer, Durban ICC, said: “I cannot express my excitement at the prospect of hosting this prestigious event in our world-class facility at the Durban ICC and the beautiful destination of Durban.
“We are all looking forward to welcoming our industry colleagues, friends and media from around the world. We are ready to give all our special visitors a warm and unforgettable Durban experience.”
Durban ICC has also organised a full itinerary throughout the weekend for guests to discover the rich history and culture of Durban and surrounding areas.
The neighbouring Hilton Durban will form the networking hub for the weekend. The landmark five-star hotel offers unrivalled accommodations in a supreme location, just moments from the Durban ICC and Durban’s beachfront.
As part of the Grand Tour 2018, WTA has also hosted ceremonies in Ras Al Khaimah (UAE), Athens (Greece), Hong Kong, Guayaquil (Ecuador) and Jamaica, with the winners progressing to the Grand Final in Lisbon (Portugal) scheduled for December 1.