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Seychelles has been named the top island destination in Africa and the Middle East in the Travel + Leisure’s 2017 World’s Best Awards. It’s the second year in a row that Seychelles is rated in the top spot in this category by Travel + Leisure.
Results of the 22nd travel + leisure’s world’s best awards were revealed on Tuesday 11th July. This is based on an annual survey, which allows readers of the New York-based travel magazine to rate their travel experiences around the globe. Readers get to share their opinions on top hotels, islands, cities, airlines, cruise lines, spas, among others.
The best islands by region are rated on a number of characteristics including their natural attractions, beaches, activities & sights, restaurants, food, people & friendliness and value. Their romantic appeal also feature as an optional criteria. For each characteristic, respondents are asked to give a rating based on a five-point scale of excellence.
Boasting lush tropical vegetation, powder-white beaches and clear turquoise waters, Seychelles – a 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean came out on top of the readers’ list when it comes to the Africa & Middle East region. Mauritius has been voted the second-best island destination and Madagascar is third.
Announcing Seychelles’ number 1 position, Travel + Leisure quoted one reader’s description of the islands as saying: “It is like you are in the Garden of Eden.”
Commenting on the award, the Seychelles Tourism Board’s Regional Director for Africa & the Americas, David Germain said: “Achieving the distinction of Top Island in Africa and the Middle East for the second year in a row is a tremendous honor for the Seychelles, recognizing that the region has much to offer in terms of world-class island experiences.”
Mr. Germain noted that that the Seychelles Tourism Board continues to build a solid trade relations platform with the USA and Canadian outbound tour operators, travel agents and other trade partners in North America. He said that winning the award for a second consecutive year, is evidence that the STB’s marketing strategy in North America is working.
“The Award helps to garner recognition, and provides a significant amount of visibility for our islands in North America and the region. The STB will continue to share and present the culture and tourism attributes of Seychelles to both the trade and consumers in the various North American cities, with the aim of increasing tourist’s arrival to Seychelles from this part of the world,” said Mr. Germain.
Visitor arrivals from the Americas to the Seychelles has increased by 69 percent from January to June.
Mr. Germain will be receiving the award for Seychelles, at a ceremony which will bring all winners together in New York City on July 26. The award ceremony will be hosted by the Editor in Chief of Travel + Leisure, Nathan Lump.
Commenting on the choices of the readers this year, Mr. Lump said: “What’s clear to me this year is how much they are drawn to experiences that aren’t just enjoyable but provide something richer — cultural immersion, mental and physical well-being, a true sense of adventure.”
“It’s not easy to satisfy this group, but the destinations, hotels and companies that are doing it know that today’s traveler cares about a lot more than creature comforts,” he added.
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