Cape Town - Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden has done SA proud by clinching the top 2015 International Garden Tourism Award.
Announced on the South African National Biodiversity Institutes (SANBI) Website, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden clinched the Garden of the Year award for 2015, in the International Garden Tourism Awards presented by the International Garden Tourism Network (IGTN) in Toronto, Canada.
The accolade comes on the back of the recently announcement that the Garden's Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway, affectionately known as the Boomslang, has been voted the most beautiful object in SA.
Curator of the must-visit attraction Philip le Roux was delighted to receive this news, saying “We strive to offer visitors a unique experience at Kirstenbosch."
“As the flagship garden of the South African National Biodiversity institute (SANBI) we are proud to be recognised at these prestigious awards. Our garden offers many unusual experiences and showcases the diverse Cape Floral kingdom in a very accessible way. The addition of the Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway has added to the attractions of the garden and, more recently, Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom acknowledged that Kirstenbosch is one of the country’s most important tourist attractions.
We are also very proud to announce that we exceeded one million visitors in one year for the first time in the Garden’s history in 2014. This represented an increase of 27% on the previous year.”
According to the statement garden tourism sees more than 250m visitors worldwide and forming a significant part of the world’s fourth largest industry.
The Awards were inaugurated in 2011 and Garden Tourism Awards are presented annually to organisations and individuals who have distinguished themselves in the development and promotion of the garden experience as a tourism attraction.
Dr Richard Benfield, author of Garden Tourism, and Chair of the IGTN, “It is estimated that there are 250 million garden tourists worldwide and significantly more if garden festivals, events and garden shows were included. Canada has been a leader in the development and promotion of garden tourism and these awards highlight the world’s most dynamic garden experiences and Garden Tourism’s limitless potential.”
A total of nine awards were announced by the IGTN, with other countries honoured for their garden toruism including Japan, UK, Thailand, Brussels, British Columbia, Dubai, Netherlands, USA.