More than 183,000 registrations to vote have been made online since the 2009 voting got underway five months ago, 16,000 more than 2008. The record number is conclusive evidence that World Travel Awards – now in its 16th year – has become the “Oscars” of the global industry.
Over the past 18 months, World Travel Awards has made huge strides to improve not only the volume of votes but also the entire judging procedure. “World Travel Awards is a unique benchmark for industry quality and business excellence in every region and sector,” said Graham E. Cooke, founder and President. “It’s essential that the awards are fair, balanced and transparent. The global industry and the thousands of operators, hotels, and destinations nominated for World Travel Awards can be assured that the regional winners and the overall winners of the final are a true and accurate reflection of the wishes of voters.
“The increase in registered voters, despite a global recession, demonstrates the vital role of performance delivery in a challenging and highly competitive marketplace.”
Organizers point to the introduction of regional awards, greater awareness of World Travel Awards and what they stand for, and more effective communication with the industry as significant factors in the increase in votes. World Travel Awards has become the industry’s champion to drive up standards within the industry and to ensure that travel companies consistently exceed expectations. This has led to growing numbers of consumers monitoring World Travel Awards winners for additional peace of mind when booking travel or a vacation.
Voters are urged to take into consideration not only their personal dealings with a company or organization but also underlying issues such as consistent business success, total understanding of visitor needs, and high customer satisfaction levels.
John Varkey Kailath, tours manager, Omeir Travel Agency, part of the Omeir Bin Youssef Group, the UAE’s largest travel management company, has recently registered to vote. He commented: “This is the best way to show appreciation to industry partners by voting for their efforts to maintain quality and highest standard of service consistently for our clients. WTA seems to be excellent to cover votes and awards in all categories.”
Karin Hogben, managing director, Wollongong Travel Centre in Australia, explained: “I feel it is important to have industry award schemes as they provide industry recognition. These awards also provide goals for others.
World Travel Awards enable industry leaders to be recognized on a global level. Without voting, this would not be possible.”
Lois Howes, president, Sterling Travel, based in the UK and specializing in business travel and event management agreed. He said: “it is very important for travel professionals to recognize industry leaders. Those of us who vote for our favorites share our knowledge with those who might not know a particular airline, hotel, or tourist board and thus give guidance down the line. The consumers gain knowledge from these votes. The recognition keeps everyone trying harder and lets those who want the best to know where to look.”
The North American and Central American Ceremony on September 21 is at the new resort of Hacienda Tres Ríos, near Cancun, Mexico. Winners of the European Awards are announced at the Marriott Praia D’El Rey Golf & Beach Resort near Obidos in Portugal on October 17. This is followed on November 7 by the presentation of the Caribbean, Asia, Australasia, and Indian Ocean Awards at Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott hotel in London.
The final, also at the Grosvenor House on Sunday, November 8 and taking place immediately before World Travel Market, will also unveil winners of the Travel Technology sector.
Nominees for the world awards are now online at www.worldtravelawards.com, and registered travel professionals can cast their votes for their preferred organizations.
ABOUT WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS
• The World Travel Awards were launched in 1993 to acknowledge and recognize excellence in the world’s travel and tourism industry.
• Now celebrating its 15th anniversary, the awards are regarded as the very highest achievement that a travel product could ever hope to receive.
• Thousands of votes are cast by travel professionals from 183,000 travel agencies, tour and transport companies, and tourism organizations in over 160 countries across the globe.
• Votes are cast globally by fellow industry professionals in 919 different categories.
• Attended by senior executives from major travel companies, operators, and destinations, WTA events are universally respected as providing established,
top-level networking opportunities, regionally and globally.
Log on to www.worldtravelawards.com for regular updated information.