Nairobi has been ranked the third best city in the world to visit in 2017 by United Kingdom travel publisher Rough Guides.
Paris, France, took the first position on the list of top 10 cities in the world to visit in 2017 while Iran’s Isfahan and Nairobi were second and third overall respectively.
Bristol, England, was placed fourth, Antwerp, Belgium, fifth, Medellin, Colombia sixth, Atlanta, US was seventh, Osaka, Japan eighth, Guadalajara in Mexico ninth while Palma, Mallorca completed the list of top 10 cities.
“Nairobi, Africa’s youngest, fastest-growing metropolis and the beating heart of the continent’s largest economy, has for too long been overlooked,” says the Rough Guides.
The travel publisher notes that en route to Kenya’s national parks and palm-fringed beaches, most visitors only make forays into the city for the traditional art markets, coffee stores and museums.
“Make time to explore further and you’ll find a dynamic urban landscape with cool restaurants, groundbreaking art projects and a burgeoning fashion scene,” Rough Guides urges travellers.
“Skip Nairobi now and you are missing out, big time,” remarked Rough Guides.
On the top 10 countries category, India was voted the best country in the world to visit in 2017 while Scotland and Canada were second and third respectively.
Uganda was fourth overall, Bolivia was fifth, Nicaragua was sixth, Portugal seventh, Finland eighth, Namibia was ninth while Taiwan completed the top 10 list.
In the top 10 budget destinations, Detroit (US) emerged the top destination for 2017 while Mexico and Transylvania, Romania were placed second and third respectively.
Cambodia was placed fourth, Greece fifth, The Albanian Coast sixth, The Philippines seventh, Texas Hill Country was eighth, Leipzig, Germany was ninth while Adelaide made the tenth position.
On the other hand, Myanmar was ranked top in the top 10 country list of reader’s choice while Nepal and Iceland were second and third respectively.
Italy was fourth, Mexico fifth, Sri Lanka sixth, Colombia seventh, Indonesia eighth, Ireland ninth and the United Kingdom closed the top ten list.
Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC) Coast executive officer Sam Ikwaye said Nairobi deserved the accolade because in the past two years, it has been putting the country on the world map for attracting high-profile conferences.
He added that Nairobi has attracted international hotel brands such as Radisson Blu, Kempinski Hotels, Crowne Plaza, Sankara, Hilton Garden Inn among others.
“Nairobi is also famous for having a national park, the world’s only game reserve found within a major city,” he said.
Nairobi’s strategic position, investment in infrastructure, beautification programmes, he added, are among the factors which have attracted international leisure and business travellers to the city.
He called on Mombasa to borrow a leaf from Nairobi to be able to attract international hotel brands and international conferences.
“For Mombasa to attract more visitors and investments, the county chiefs must rid the town of the sickening filth,” he said.
“There is need for the county government to give the town a facelift while the Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach must be upgraded to woo more beach enthusiasts,” he added.