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British Telegraph readers love South Africa and think Cape Town’s No 1 | #daitngscams | #lovescams | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | #match.com | #dating

Saffas might have plenty to complain about, but British readers of The Telegraph just seem to love our country. They really, really do. South Africa has just won Country of the Year at the 2023 Telegraph Travel Awards, as voted for by 27,000 Britons in deciding on their favourite destinations, airlines and travel companies. And Cape Town is their best city in the world. Capetonians would agree.

The Telegraph, which boasts a readership of 2.3 million readers, launched the awards in 1998, although the last reader survey for travel was published in November 2019 – just before the pandemic, which caused significant disruptions to the sector globally.

“Safari favourite” South Africa was named best country, followed by New Zealand and then the Maldives.

Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo: Unsplash / Dan Freeman)

Other countries, which were popular before the pandemic, have dropped off the list: Bhutan, ranking fourth in 2019, was so short of votes in 2023 that it didn’t even make the list, as did Myanmar (sixth in 2018) and Nepal (22nd in 2019). Uzbekistan, Georgia, Madagascar, Tunisia, South Korea and Gambia also failed to make the cut.

Love for Russia – a dismal 62nd in 2019 – is nowhere to be seen this year (might its war crimes in Ukraine have something to do with it?), while the United States, which won in 2011, only made 36th place – below Iceland, Ecuador and Cuba.

Africa features in three segments on the list: Starting at number 10, Botswana – which has some of the best game parks in Africa and the renowned Okavango Delta – has been voted one of their top 10 countries for the seventh consecutive time.

In ninth is Costa Rica, which has grown in popularity over the years. Boasting beaches on both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica’s forested interior is rich in wildlife, while the capital San José is known for its seriously cool accommodation.

Eighth is India: the world’s most populous country dazzles with diversity, rich architecture and holy places. It’s the first time India has made it to the top 10.

The next port of call is another safari destination, Kenya, in seventh place. The tourism sector suffered after the 2013 terror attacks in Nairobi and has fluctuated wildly on the list (little surprise), but this year, Brits are feeling good about their visits to the Maasai Mara and Indian Ocean beach resorts.

Italy’s in sixth and that’s more “amore”. This is the first time in the past decade that Italy has been ranked higher than 10th, as tourists stream to the Eternal City (Rome), Florence, Tuscany and the Amalfi coast. 

Australia’s in fifth place, as Telegraph readers brave long travel times to reach this bucket-list destination, which boasts the Outback, Sydney’s iconic skyline, the Great Barrier Reef, the Gold Coast and so much more. A direct flight from London to Perth, currently only offered by Qantas, takes more than 16 hours. From 2025, travellers will be able to fly directly on Qantas from London to Sydney. It will be the world’s longest flight.

tourism japan

Cherry Blossoms over Meguro River, which runs through Tokyo, Japan. (Photo: Unsplash / Sora Sagano)

Japan – the land of sushi, sumo, cherry blossoms, manga art and the snow-capped Mount Fuji, has been a stalwart on the list over the past six awards, placing fourth consecutively in the four most recent awards.

In third place is the Maldives, a collection of almost 1,200 islands in the Indian Ocean, which has become an exclusive honeymoon island synonymous with top-end restaurants, pristine beaches, scuba diving, emerald waters and palm trees.

New Zealand – Telegraph readers’ choice of travel destination for the past decade – might be unbeatable in many things, but when it comes to travel destinations it’s had to eat humble pie this year, toppled by South Africa.

South Africa is now one of the most accessible countries in Africa, with direct flights between two cities (Cape Town and Johannesburg) and London, plus a near-identical time zone. Telegraph Travel says the reward for 12 hours in the air is a “place of true beauty – Cape Town a supermodel at the foot of Table Mountain, the Garden Route a ribbon of road-trip nirvana, the wineries of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch crafting fine vintages, the landscape thrilling to the peaks and troughs of the Drakensberg range and Motlatse Canyon, Kruger National Park a roaring wildlife zone”.

This crowning, it says, has been coming as South Africa was third in this poll in 2017 and second in 2018.

And the best cities in the world? Cape Town, followed by Vancouver and Rio de Janeiro.

The best long-haul airline, once again, is Emirates followed by Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines.


Meanwhile, citing more representative data from the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS), Statista’s results don’t place South Africa anywhere in any top 10.

The online specialised data portal says that with 71 million visits abroad, outbound travel from UK citizens in 2022 was at roughly the same level as in 2014, while still falling more than 20% short of 2019 levels.

ONS data showed that Brits are mostly seeking out sunnier shores when they travel, with 15.6 million UK citizens visiting Spain last year, making it by far the most popular destination for British travellers. France attracted 7.4 million visitors from the UK, followed by Italy, Greece and Portugal.

Business trips accounted for just 4.8 million outbound trips last year, down from almost nine million in 2019. DM


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