Is investing in Real Estate in South Africa still safe?

JOHANNESBURG, Aug. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- South Africa is now among the hottest destinations of international travelers as it took away several top titles in a worldwide vote by readers of the leading travel magazine Travel & Leisure.

The 2004 World's Best Awards recognized readers' favorite hotels, cities, islands, tour operators and safari outfitters, airlines, cruise lines, and car-rental agencies.

South African properties swept the World's Best Hotels category, with five of the top 10 highest rated hotels in the world. The Singita Private Game Reserve in Sabi Sands, which lies on the edge of the Kruger National Park, was voted the best hotel in the world, heading the list of the top 100 properties.

Local newspaper The Citizen said on Tuesday that this is the second time a South African property has won the prestigious honor-Mala Mala Game Reserve won in 1997.

Mala Mala, ranked the 7th this year, and Londolozi Private GameReserve, ranked the 4th, are close to Sabi Sands.

Cape Town was voted as the best city in Africa and the Middle East. Australia's Sydney is regarded as the world's best city for travelers.

South Africa's Micato Safaris also led the World's Best Tour Operators and Safari Outfitters list.

It is the ninth year for the magazine to conduct the survey, which received more than 425,100 votes, according to the magazine's website

"These awards represent the most valuable endorsement a destination can benefit from, the word-of-mouth recommendation from travelers who have personally enjoyed what we have to offer,"Prudence Solomon Inzerillo, president of SA Tourism, was quoted assaying.

Travel & Leisure's editor-in-chief Nancy Novogrod said it was noteworthy that six of the highest rated hotels this year were in Africa, reflecting an enormous shift in interest toward the continent.

Other top honors were taken by Bali as the World's Best Island, Singapore Airlines as the best international airline, Hertz as thebest car-rental agency, Crystal Cruises as the best large-ship cruise line and Silversea Cruises as the best small-ship cruise line. Enditem

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