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Two billion sources have put four South African spots on the world’s top tourist destinations!


Stellenbosch, South Africa (22 January 2021) – For the first time ever, destinations around the world have been ranked to uncover those that are truly most loved… and South Africa has four spots on the list!

These Leading Places are the “100 most loved destinations in 2021” according to what people really feel. No one has paid to be named. No surveys have suggested an answer. Word of mouth built this list, unprompted and unbiased. Each of these 100 destinations has earned the love and an impressive “Tourism Sentiment Score” during one of the toughest years the tourism industry has faced. They are Leading Places, and that’s worth celebrating.

The vibrant Winelands town of Stellenbosch has been ranked the 23rd most loved destination, following Knysna at number 19, while Hermanus ranked at number 41 and Cape Town at number 54.

Good Things Guy chatted to Jeanneret Momberg, CEO of Visit Stellenbosch.

“To have our warmhearted town of Stellenbosch recognised as one of the top 100 destinations globally is the most heartwarming moment for our communities, stakeholders, local businesses and travel and tourism sectors,” says Jeanneret Momberg, CEO of Visit Stellenbosch.

“We are overjoyed that we have ranked in the top 25 as well. The fact that this list analysed online conversations of over 21,330 destinations globally prove what we’ve known all along – visitors fall in love with Stellenbosch and can’t stop talking about when they can come back!”

“I am pleased to learn that Stellenbosch has claimed the 23rd spot on this prestigious list. Just as remarkable is that the Western Cape has claimed three places in the Top 50. Stellenbosch continues to be seen as a destination of choice for local and international visitors and is one of the best places worldwide to work, visit, stay and play,” said Stellenbosch Mayor Gesie van Deventer.

The Mayor thanks all role-players and tourism stakeholders for their continued work in putting Stellenbosch on the map and growing the local tourism industry.

Tourism Sentiment Index (TSI), a travel data intelligence solution created by destination marketing agency Destination Think, analysed over 1.6 billion online conversations and articles about 21,330 global destinations to compile the list.

“As Visit Stellenbosch, we have worked hard to showcase our town and surrounds wealth of offerings, from our renowned wining and dining to splendid scenery, outdoor pursuits and creativity, living history and culture,” says Momberg.

“We are so excited that this accolade coincides with the launch of our #FreeToBe in Stellenbosch campaign. We want to remind travellers in the northern hemisphere, a significant source market for us, that while they are cooped up in their apartments in the cold and dark winter, the sun is shining in Stellenbosch. Come visit Stellenbosch and enjoy the freedom of our outdoors, desirable lifestyle overflowing with great wine and fabulous food, beauty and creativity, and spectacular natural surroundings.”

Commenting on the announcement Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier, said: “For four Western Cape towns and the Mother City to be identified in the top 100 most loved places in the world – following a global consumer sentiment analysis – is an outstanding achievement. The last two years will go down in history as the most challenging years thus far for the global tourism sector, and the rankings demonstrate that Cape Town and the Western Cape is a world-class destination and a firm favourite on the global travel bucket list.”

“Since the start of the hard lockdown last year, all Stellenbosch stakeholders and communities had to come together and work incredibly hard for our economy to recover. As a town so reliant on tourism, it was challenging, but we are encouraged that local and international visitors have slowly started to return to the beautiful streets and surrounds of Stellenbosch.

“We invite all visitors from far and wide to come and discover why thousands of travellers love Stellenbosch. You are #FreeToBe in our warmhearted town and won’t be disappointed!” concludes Momberg.

Over two billion sources put four South African spots on the world’s 100 top tourist destinations which you can find here but check out the top 20 below.

Here are the top 20 spots:

20 – Havana, La Habana, Cuba

19 – Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa

18 – Goa, Bicol, Philippines

17 – Gippsland, Victoria, Australia

16 – Broome, Western Australia, Australia

15 – Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

14 – Savannah, Georgia, United States

13 – Tulum, Yucatan, Mexico

12 – Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

11 – Zanzibar, Tanzania

10 – Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico

9 – Cairns, Queensland, Australia

8 – Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico

7 – Punta Cana, La Altagracia, Dominican Republic

6 – Nice, Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, France

5 – Noosa, Queensland, Australia

4 – Bora Bora, French Polynesia

3 – Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

2 – Whitsundays, Queensland, Australia

1 – Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Sources: Tourism Sentiment Index | Visit Stellenbosch
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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