By Michael Appel
The Prestigious Travel and Leisure Magazine in the United States has ranked Cape Town as the number one city in Africa and the Middle East region.
Cape Town beat a host of cities to be ranked tenth in the "Best City in the World" category at the Travel and Leisure World's Best Awards 2007, Monday.
Following the announcement, Cape Town's City Mayoral Committee Member for Economic, Social Development and Tourism Simon Grindrod expressed his delight at Cape Town's performance.
"Our vision for Cape Town is to be a world class city not only for all our citizens but also as a tourist destination. To achieve this we must strive to improve every aspect of what Cape Town has to offer," he said.
He added that such awards increased interest in the city as a tourist destination and "will thus have a direct and positive effect on job creation and growth in the economy for the residents of Cape Town."
The City's Executive Director for Economic, Social Development and Tourism, Mansoor Mohamed, highlighted the fact that Cape Town beat a number of very popular European and Middle Eastern cities including Dubai and Paris.
This, he said, illustrated Cape Town's strength in natural beauty, cultural diversity and arts and culture.
Cape Town is famed for its renowned flat-topped Table Mountain, which rises to 1 086 metres at its highest point, and the area's rich mix of biodiversity and Fauna and Flora including some 8 500 endemic flowering plant species.
The city, which was evaluated according to criteria such as natural beauty and cultural diversity, cuisine and value for money, has been ranked as number one on the Africa and Middle East region and in the top ten best tourist destinations since 2004.
Winners of the Travel and Leisure World's Best Awards will be honoured at an awards ceremony in New York City on 23 July 2007.