The latest organizations to join forces with World Travel Awards and their hotel partner, Marriott Praia D’El Rey, in bringing the European leg of the world tour to Portugal include: TAP Portugal, Turismo Do Oeste, and Bom Sucesso. The World Travel Awards has been described by the Wall Street Journal as the “Oscars” of the international travel industry. This keynote event brings together hundreds of senior management and decision makers from Europe’s travel and tourism industry. It serves to reward organizations and individuals who have gone the extra mile to improve customer experience in the past 12 months.

Graham Cooke, president and founder, World Travel Awards, described the significance of each partnership for the long-established World Travel Awards program: “Our events would not be possible without the support of our valued partners all over the world who help us to pay tribute to those organizations that have excelled over the past 12 months.

“These latest partnerships mean that we are better placed to ensure that this important regional event is a truly memorable evening for everyone concerned. An association with the World Travel Awards has been known to bring long-term benefits, creating instant world-wide exposure, as well as endorsing such a positive message.”

Stuart Swycher, chairman of Beltico Group, owning company of the Marriott Praia D’El Rey, commented, “We are delighted to have been chosen to host this prestigious event and are looking forward to welcoming the travel industry’s key decision makers to Portugal’s Silver Coast in October.”

Graham Irwin, UK marketing manager, TAP Portugal, commented: “TAP Portugal (UK) is delighted to support and work closely with WTA, a UK-based organization promoting all that is great about the travel industry.

“While the travel trade is being knocked by its detractors, WTA is looking to promote the industry in a worldwide basis. With TAP’s own flight services between the UK and Portugal, and beyond to South America and Africa, the airline is happy to be associated with promoting a positive message about the industry.”

Sandra Neves, golf board director, Bom Sucesso–Design Resort, Leisure & Golf, commented: “Being a partner of the World Travel Awards is a step forward to achieving our goals for both the short and medium term. We endeavor to embrace good opportunities, such as partnering with this prestigious event to raise the standards at Bom Sucesso, Design Resort, [and] Leisure & Golf and to improve guest experience by going that extra mile.”

The World Travel Awards European ceremony is set to be an enjoyable weekend of high-level networking and quality entertainment, with the World Travel Golf Tournament taking place at Bom Sucesso on October 17, proving a unique opportunity for industry members to network with their fellow travel professionals in a relaxed setting.

The World Travel Awards Gala ceremony will take place during the evening. During this event, Europe winners will be announced and presented with their prestigious World Travel Awards trophies. There will also be a line-up of entertainment, including comedy from the well-loved international comedian Bobby Davro who will host the evening. Each European regional winner will be automatically put forward for the Grand Final, which will take place in London’s Mayfair on Sunday, November 8.

Longer-established World Travel Award partners include Europcar, Eurostar, Virgin Atlantic, Mitt 2009, Hacienda Tres Rios, ICC Durban, South Africa Tourism, Safar Travel, Illusions online, and Tourism and The Travel Foundation. Meanwhile, global media partners include: BBC World News, Breaking Travel News, Khaleej Times, eTurboNews, and Publituris.


More than 100 leading travel companies and organizations applied for nomination in this year’s World Travel Awards and 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, Switrzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and Wales, log on to

The European event in Portugal is part of a World Travel Awards Grand Tour with regional awards staged throughout the world, ending with a Grand Final at the five-star Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott hotel in London’s Mayfair on Sunday, November 8, 2009.