Cape Town once again top of BA’s global tourist pops

It’s not really surprising that British Airways considers South Africa’s Mother City high up on its list of eight of its top favourite long-haul tourist destinations. Cape Town has much to recommend it: cable car up Table Mountain, better still when it goes above the clouds that become the mountain’s table cloth; winelands close by, exquisite beaches and beautiful, clean, clear ocean waters that are the penguin’s and shark’s natural habitat. I refuse to call the waters “shark-infested” as journalists tend to do, as if the magnificent creatures are monsters. I’m on board with Shark Savers  on proper use of language in this instance. I’m also firmly on board the assessment of BA’s travel experts in this press release of their annual compilation of global tourist hotspots based on past performance, forward-booking profiles, global events, travel patterns and international trends.  – Marika Sboros

Cape Town
The vista from a Table Mountain lookout post. Picture © Jeremy Jowell

Cape Town has again made the list of British Airways’ top long-haul holiday destinations for 2016.

British Airways’ travel experts compile the annual holiday hotspots snapshot based on past performance, forward-booking profiles, global events, travel patterns and international trends.

Cape Town is typically amongst the favourite long-haul holiday choices and this year is no exception. The Mother City comes in at fifth in the top eight behind Lima, Kuala Lumpur, San Jose (Costa Rica), Rio de Janeiro and ahead of San José (California), Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) and Tampa.

“It’s certainly possible that Cape Town could overtake some of the other destinations during 2016. It has a number of advantages. It’s established, it appeals to everyone from thrill seekers to wine aficionados, it has fantastic hotels and infrastructure, an abundance of natural beauty and offers incredible value for money,” says Edward Frost, BA commercial manager for South and East Africa.

British Airways is the only airline to fly directly between Cape Town and London, with two flights a day during the busy Cape summer season. It operates Boeing 747-400 aircraft, amongst the largest in its fleet, with a choice of four cabins. These include the new First, ever-popular Club World, World Traveller Plus premium economy and World Traveller.

Machu Picchu
Early morning mist in Machu Picchu in Lima, Peru.

Amongst the other leading leisure spots, Lima secured its place thanks to the increasing number of travellers keen to walk the world-famous Inca Trail and see the majesty of Machu Picchu.

San Jose, Costa Rica owes third place to its incredible wildlife, with adventurers of all ages keen to explore its rain forests and stunning beaches.

Rio, much like Cape Town did after 2010, is still benefitting from the international exposure it enjoyed during the 2014 World Cup. Of course, the much anticipated 2016 Olympics will also increase its popularity.

Outside of South America, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia owes second spot to the bleisure travel trend, with business travellers opting to extend their stays to enjoy some leisure time. Its business-friendly reputation, rainforests and beautiful beaches combine to make it the ‘pearl of the Orient’.

British Airways’ experts are betting that San José, California will quickly make up the numbers when it starts daily flights with its 787-9 Dreamliner to the capital of Silicon Valley. As well as being the world’s software powerhouse and home to tech giants Apple, eBay and Google it is the gateway to Carmel and Monterey and provides easy access to the Yosemite National Park.

Punta Cana, with its abundance of resorts and palm-lined beaches is going to be hard to beat as a value-for-money Caribbean island getaway.

Tampa is a perennial favourite. The warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, extensive beaches and sultry climate make it a must-visit destination for families wanting a relaxing break in the sun.


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