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Cape Town claims the title of Greatest City on Earth in the 2023 Telegraph Travel Awards, with South Africa being named the best country to travel to, as both receive global recognition for their exceptional attractions, inclusivity, and tourism efforts.


Western Cape, South Africa (14 July 2023) – In a resounding victory, Cape Town has once again proven its unparalleled charm by being crowned the Greatest City on Earth in the esteemed 2023 Telegraph Travel Awards.

This accolade comes after eight years of consistent podium finishes, solidifying the city’s well-deserved reputation. Adding to the celebration, South Africa itself was named the world’s best country to travel to, dethroning last year’s champion, New Zealand. The nation’s breathtaking scenery and captivating attractions have been rightfully acknowledged.

Enver Duminy, the CEO of Cape Town Tourism, expressed his elation regarding this prestigious recognition. As the city’s official destination marketing and management organisation (DMO), Cape Town Tourism has tirelessly endeavoured to share the remarkable wealth of attractions that this city boasts with the world. This acknowledgement reinforces their conviction that they reside in the greatest city on Earth. With immense excitement, Duminy envisions this award bolstering the tourism sector, which has shown remarkable resilience after the challenging pandemic period. He eagerly awaits the arrival of more visitors to Cape Town’s shores, as the world’s most wonderful city stands ready to greet them with open arms.

“We have worked tirelessly to share our city’s incredible wealth of attractions with the world. We know we live in the greatest city on Earth and it’s hugely exciting to have others recognise this as well. We are certain that this award will further bolster our tourism sector, which has seen strong recovery post the pandemic. We look forward to welcoming more people to our shores. The world’s most wonderful city is waiting for you.”

Cape Town Tourism has been dedicated to enhancing the city’s profile through a series of immersive and inspirational experiences. Among these initiatives, the Find Your Freedom choice-driven campaign stands out as a resounding success. This groundbreaking, gamified adventure offered overseas markets the opportunity to create their own unique Cape Town experience, yielding astounding results. Furthermore, the DMO has been committed to ensuring that Cape Town embraces inclusivity through their pioneering movement, ‘Limitless Cape Town.’ This initiative strives to make the city accessible to all visitors, regardless of their abilities.

Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth at the City of Cape Town, enthusiastically adds to the jubilation. He acknowledges this triumph as a testament to the city’s relentless efforts, along with their partners, in putting Cape Town’s experiences, cultures, and communities on the global map. The win reaffirms Cape Town’s standing as a globally relevant and appealing destination. Vos recognises the immense contribution of every individual involved, from the dedicated staff at the award-winning Cape Town International Airport to the gracious concierges, hotel owners, restaurant waitrons, and the friendly teams at various attractions. It is their collective efforts that have made this extraordinary accomplishment possible.

“This win is an acknowledgement of the efforts of the city and our partners to put Cape Town’s experiences, cultures and communities on the map and to make sure that we maintain global relevance and appeal that stands out above other destinations. Winning this award is the cherry on top after a major resurgence in travellers and will help us to build momentum for the months ahead. Well done to every single person who helped bring us to this moment, from the staff at our award-winning Cape Town International Airport, to the concierges at our many beautiful hotels, guesthouse owners, restaurant waitrons and friendly teams at our many attractions. They have all made this possible. These awards serve to acknowledge and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry. Locals and visitors have long known that Cape Town is a triple-A-rated city, which in this instance refers to accommodation, attractions and aviation, signalling the strength of our destination value. Tourism a top priority sector, because through clever campaigns and city to city agreements, we land more flights and attract more visitors, which benefits businesses through increased bookings and spending, and creates jobs for locals.”

The runners-up in the highly coveted ‘Greatest City’ category were Venice in second place, followed by Seville. Similarly, in the top country rankings, New Zealand secured the runner-up position, with the Maldives earning the third spot on the podium.

Duminy concludes by emphasising Cape Town’s distinctive allure as a remarkable place to visit and call home. The warmth and hospitality experienced by all who set foot in this city ensure their return year after year. Cape Town Tourism aims to amplify its commitment to radical inclusivity, ensuring that every visitor has the most extraordinary experience and creates cherished memories in the world’s greatest city.

Sources: Telegraph Travel Awards | City of Cape Town | Cape Town Tourism 
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