Nearly 1,500 European travel companies, destinations, hotels, resorts, and airlines have been nominated in the prestigious World Travel Awards 2009.
The awards are described by the Wall Street Journal as the “Oscars” of the global travel and tourism industry.
Winners gain considerable commercial and profile benefits with growing numbers of consumers using World Travel Awards to assist them in making their ultimate holiday and travel choices.
The final list for Europe, nominated by travel agents and industry professionals worldwide, ranges from airlines and cruise lines to destinations, resorts, and hotels. Winners will be announced at the Marriott Praia D’El Rey Golf & Beach Resort in Portugal, near Obidos on October 17.
“European operators are up against stiff competition in the regional awards,” said Graham E. Cooke, World Travel Awards president.
“Judgment is not only based on industry professionals’ own personal perception and dealings with a company at all levels, but also on every aspect of staff training, operation, and delivery of customer value and satisfaction.
“The global economic recession has meant that the work of World Travel Awards in encouraging the very highest standards of excellence, [and] the complete travel and holiday experience is even more relevant today than ever.
“Today many travelers make their holiday decisions with the help of the Internet, as well as with travel agents, sometimes using airlines that didn’t even exist 15 years ago and choosing good-value, quality accommodation that was largely unattainable before every hotel and resort had its own website.
“They make particular use of last-minute deals with a huge amount of ever-growing choice. They know what they want – and that is the best for their budget.
“Travelers have never been more discerning or more aware of expectations, and the travel industry has to be super sensitive to new ways of working and a huge change in culture.
“We hope that we can help companies compete in a fast changing world.”
The Nominations – Europe
More than 100 leading travel companies and organizations applied for nomination in this year’s World Travel Awards, and this was supplemented by nominations from travel professionals.
There are more than 170 categories for Europe.
Air France, BMI British Midland, British Airways, Iberia, KLM, Lufthansa, SAS Scandiinavian Airlines, and Swiss International Airlines have all been nominated in the key category of Europe’s Leading Airline.
A total of 13 of the very best hotels in the region are in the running for the title of Europe’s Leading Hotel. They are: Ciragan Palace Kempinski, Istanbul, Turkey; Donbass Palace Hotel, Ukraine; Dubrovnik Palace Hotel, Croatia; Grand Hotel Wien, Vienna, Austria; Hotel Arts, Barcelona, Spain; Hotel Cipriani, Venice, Italy; Hotel de Palais, Biarritz, France; Hotel Le Bristol, Paris, France; Kemer Resort Hotel, Kemer, Turkey; Mandarin Oriental Hotel du Rhone, Geneva, Switzerland; and Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park and The Dorchester, both in London, England.
Mature and rapidly-emerging European destinations are juggling for position to take the coveted title of Europe’s Leading Destination. They are:
Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Crete, Dublin, Dubrovnik, Istanbul, Lisbon, London, Pafos, Paris, Prague, Czech Republic, Rome, Tallinn, Venice, Vienna, and Vilnius in Lithuania.
There’s also keen competition to find Europe’s Leading Cruise Line. In the running are: AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, Hapag Lloyd Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O Cruises, Peter Deilmann Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruise International, and Silversea Cruises.
For the full list of nominations for Europe, including Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mediterranean, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Scotland, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and Wales, log on to www.worldtravelawards.com .
The European event in Portugal is part of a World Travel Awards Grand Tour with regional awards staged throughout the world and ending with a Grand Final at the five-star Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott hotel, in London’s Mayfair on Sunday, November 8, 2009.