Cape Town was just named best airport in Africa again – but it is still shy of Joburg’s record

Business Insider SA
Cape Town International Airport
Cape Town International Airport (Image: Wikimedia Commons)
  • Cape Town International Airport has been voted as Africa's Leading Airport in 2020.
  • The latest accolade continues a four-year winning streak for the Mother City.
  • But Johannesburg still holds the record for the most number of wins since the World Travel Awards began the competition in 1998.
  • For more stories go to

Cape Town won big at the 2020 World Travel Awards (WTA), scooping honours for Africa's Leading Festival destination, Leading Tourist Attraction and Leading Airport. The latter continues a bitter rivalry between north and south - Johannesburg’s OR Tambo vs Cape Town International.

Since its inception in 1998, the WTA has awarded Johannesburg the leading airport accolade a grand total of 12 times. Cape Town’s latest victory adds an eleventh notch to the Mother City’s belt.

Competition was stiff in the 2020 WTA pool, with defending-champion Cape Town International pitted against local nominees, King Shaka Airport in Durban and OR Tambo in Joburg. Cairo International Airport in Egypt, Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport in Morocco, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Kenya, Julius Nyerere International Airport in Tanzania and Kigali International Airport in Rwanda also joined the challenge.

And while the WTA acclaim is Cape Town International’s latest crown, the battle for the title of undisputed champion rages on.

Although OR Tambo holds the current WTA record, Cape Town has bagged more praise in the Skytrax World Airport Awards, holding the title of Africa’s Best Airport for three-years running.

The WTA contest between Cape Town and Johannesburg extended to other categories.

In total, the Mother City bagged six WTA awards in 2020:

  • Africa's Leading Airport
  • Africa's Leading Design Hotel (Mannabay, Oranjezicht)
  • Africa's Leading Festival and Event Destination
  • Africa's Leading Luxury Hotel Villa (Villa Two at Ellerman House, Bantry Bay)
  • Africa's Leading Serviced Apartments (Lawhill Luxury Apartments, V&A Waterfront)
  • Africa's Leading Tourist Attraction (Table Mountain)

Johannesburg came up short in the 2020 competition, securing only three titles:

  • Africa's Leading Boutique Hotel (Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa)
  • Africa's Leading Hotel Suite (Nelson Mandela Platinum Suite at Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa)
  • Africa's Leading New Hotel (The Houghton Hotel)

Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato welcomed the city’s exemplary performance and said that the Mother City, although battered by the global coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdowns, was prepared to greet visitors with a host of events planned for 2021. “It is clear Covid-19 has had a negative impact on the sector, but we are looking ahead to revitalise the industry,” explained Plato. “We have begun implementing a strategy aimed at rejuvenating the events sector as we navigate our way beyond this pandemic.”

Compiled by Luke Daniel.

Receive a daily news update on your cellphone. Or get the best of our site emailed to you.

Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.

Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo