Seychelles was named the top island destination in Africa and the Middle East in the Travel + Leisure’s 2016 World’s Best Awards. Readers rated islands on their natural attractions and beaches, activities and sights, food, friendliness, and overall value.
The survey is held every year. Readers are asked to weigh-in on travel experiences around the globe, to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise lines, spas, and airlines among others.
Boasting white and pristine sandy beaches, Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, came out on top of the readers’ list, with one survey respondent saying, “These are the most beautiful islands I’ve had the pleasure of visiting.” Seychelles Tourism Board official, David Germain, said, “Achieving the distinction of top island in Africa and the Middle East is a tremendous honor for the Seychelles, recognizing that the region has much to offer in terms of world-class island experiences.”
Other key factors for Seychelles’ top position were proximity to other regional destinations, as the country’s main island of Mahé is now connected to Dubai by twice-daily Emirates flights, as well as regular regional connections to the African mainland.
The editor of Travel + Leisure said, “The Seychelles is an idyllic destination with pristine beaches, incredible luxury resorts, and abundant wildlife, so it’s no wonder Travel + Leisure readers selected it as number one among islands in its region this year.”
Mauritius was voted the second best island destination; Zanzibar was third.