Seychelles has beat off competition yet again as it scooped for the fourth time the prestigious Travel + Leisure 2021 World’s Best Award as the top island destination in Africa & the Middle East.
Reclaiming the Number 1 spot (which it also held in 2019), Seychelles, an acclaimed pristine paradise set in the Indian Ocean and “the eighth wonder of the world” as one Travel + Leisure reader characterised it, praising it for its “exquisiteness”, emerged top in its category, scoring 88 points.
Seychelles is followed by Zanzibar and Mauritius in second and third position respectively.
This year’s standouts are as far-flung as ever, the magazine said, announcing the results of the survey which allows readers to reflect on their travel experiences and suggest a renewed appreciation for places that offer unparalleled natural beauty and in many places, fewer crowds.
Honorees of the awards typically inspire travellers as they seek the most rewarding experiences around the world.
Boasting lush tropical vegetation, powder-white beaches, a beautiful, exotic setting and clear turquoise waters, Seychelles is also well-known for its perfectly preserved natural sites such as the Vallée de Mai, one of the 115-island archipelago’s two Unesco World Heritage sites dedicated to humanity, its unique flora and fauna and its marine parks, all of which captivated Travel & Leisure’s readers.
Commenting on the award, Bernadette Willemin, director general for marketing of Tourism Seychelles, mentioned that receiving such a significant recognition is an honour for the destination.
“Being named the 2021 World’s Best Island in Africa and the Middle East once again is a delight for our small destination. It is reassuring for the industry at large to know that our visitors do not only recognise the natural beauty of our islands but also the entire experience that makes us unique and definitely ‘Another World’.”
The exotic destination’s nomination results from the annual survey conducted by Travel + Leisure, which allows readers of the New York-based travel magazine to rate their travel experiences around the globe. Readers weigh in on top hotels, islands, cities, airlines, cruise lines, spas, and more, rating islands on the following characteristics: natural attractions and beaches, activities and sights, restaurants and food, people and friendliness, and overall value. Seychelles tied at Nr 24 with Sri Lanka in the magazine’s top islands in the world awards.
This year’s World’s Best Awards survey was open for voting from January 11 through to May 10, 2021, as destinations around the world were lifting Covid-19 restrictions.