Tripadvisor’s Top 25 World Destinations list for 2012 has been released, with Olympic-ready London taking the top spot and last year’s winner, Central Cape Town, coming in 23rd, while also being voted second favourite destination in Africa.
The Tripadvisor surveys are completed by its users and the results are tallied in an annual round-up. When asked why the user-generated results varied so significantly from one year to the next, Cape Town Tourism CEO, Mariette du Toit-Helmbold said that factors, such as major events, often brought destinations top of mind. “Our 2011 win was very much a legacy of the attention and exposure the 2010 World Cup brought us – many people vote for the destination they aspire to visit and not necessarily the places they have already been.”
Says Du Toit-Helmbold, “Awards are a significant boost to any destination’s reputation and the 2011/2012 summer season saw a real increase in tourism, no doubt influenced by accolades, such as the Tripadvisor Destinations top spot. What is essential, however, is that awards are followed up with tangible marketing campaigns which reinforce the message and capture the interest that the moment brings.”
Cape Town’s urban centre was recently the topic of a documentary made as a result of a two-city (Cape Town and Durban) partnership with the Discovery Channel. The programme explored the undiscovered aspects of Cape Town and revealed its hidden gems through the eyes of its own people. Social media elements supported the shoot and the resulting footage will be aired extensively in multiple countries which Cape Town has targeted as potential and existing source markets.
Du Toit-Helmbold stressed the importance of working in partnership, “Cape Town Tourism is committed to working with our provincial and national associates and our private sector stakeholders to grow tourism as a major, and more inclusive, economic driver. If this sector can provide jobs and fulfilling careers, then that in itself is the greatest reward.”
In other award news, Woodstock restaurant, The Test Kitchen appeared for the first time on the S.Pellegrino World’s Top 100 Restaurants list at number 74. The feted line-up includes culinary luminaries as repeat number one Noma in Denmark, Quay in Australia and The Fat Duck in England.