THE Port of Dar es Salaam has been voted as Africa’s Leading Cruise Port in the 27th edition of the World Travel Awards (WTA), held in London on Tuesday.
This is the first time Tanzania's largest port scooped the award in a crème de la crème category which featured the likes of Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Durban from South Africa, Port of Mombasa in Kenya, Zanzibar Port.
The Dar es Salaam Port which is also the country’s principal port, has a rated capacity of 4.1 million deadweight tonnage of dry cargo and 6.0 million deadweight of bulk cargo, according to available information on Tanzania Port Authority (TPA) website.
It has a total quay length of about 2,600 metres with 11 deep-water berths, handling about 95 per cent of the Tanzania international trade.
Also, the port serves the land linked countries of Malawi, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.
The strategic placement of the port coupled with its recent upgrading by the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) has since seen large vessels from across the world anchoring in.
Meanwhile, the Serengeti National Park has once again retained its status in the awards, which are also considered as the “Oscars” of the travel industry by clinching this year Africa’s Leading National Park award.
The legendary beautiful natural attraction which is among the seven natural wonders in Africa fended off challenges from the likes of Central Kalahari Game Reserve of Botswana, Etosha National Park in Namibia, Kidepo Valley National Park of Uganda, Kruger National Park of South Africa and Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve.
The mighty Serengeti has been overly feted due to its popularity of migratory animals such as wildebeest, zebras and easily seen animals like lions, hyenas, cheetahs, broad and long attractive grasses, streams and the Crocodile and Hippo infested Mara River.
Africa’s rooftop Mt Kilimanjaro came second in Africa’s leading tourist attraction, only behind South Africa’s Table Mountain.
The results follow a year-long search for the world’s top travel, tourism and hospitality brands. Votes were cast by travel industry professionals and the public, with the nominee gaining the most votes in a category named as the winner.
“Our winners represent the very best of Africa’s travel and tourism sector and my congratulations to each of them. They have all demonstrated remarkable resilience in a year of unprecedented challenges,” said WTA Founder Graham Cooke.
According to Mr Cooke, this year’s awards programme received a record number of votes cast by the public.
“This shows that the appetite for travel and tourism has never been stronger and bodes well for the industry’s future as the global recovery begins,” he added.
WTA was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry.
The award is widely recognised as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.
Each year, WTA covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognise and celebrate individual and collective success within each key geographical region.