Top travel brands and executives flew in from all over the world recently to stay at the new Conrad Algarve Hotel in Quinta do Lago, Portugal, the host resort for the World Travel Awards (WTA).
Some of travel’s biggest names were there – Lufthansa, Kempinski Hotels & Resorts, DFDS Seaways, Disneyland Paris and Norwegian Cruise Line all scooped Awards at WTA’s Europe Ceremony 2012.
VIPs, senior tourism figures and international media travelled to Portugal from 35 countries to attend the event which was held in partnership with Conrad Algarve and Turismo do Algarve.
Britain scored a big win when London fended off some of Europe’s most popular cities – including Venice, St Petersburg, Stockholm, Madrid, Prague and Paris – to be crowned the winner of the title of “Europe’s Leading City Break Destination”.
The “Leading Hotel” award went to Paris’s legendary Hotel Le Bristol which just pipped the Hotel Cipriani (Venice), The Dorchester (London), Four Seasons Hotel Milano and Grand Hotel Europe (St Petersburg) to claim the title of “Europe’s Leading Hotel”.
Turkey’s pioneering tourist campaigns did not go unnoticed. The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism was named “Europe’s Leading Tourist Board”. Meanwhile, various individual award highlights included “Europe’s Leading Luxury Hotel” (Mardan Palace), “Europe’s Leading Luxury Resort” (Cornelia Diamond Golf Resort & Spa) and “Europe’s Leading New Luxury Hotel” (Angel’s Peninsula).
Hospitality veteran and founder of Hoar Cross Hall, Stephen Joynes MBE was honoured with a “Lifetime Achievement Award”, and the English county of Yorkshire received a special award for “Innovation in Marketing”.
The WTA awards are known as the ‘Oscars of the travel industry’ and the annual celebration recognises travel brands that have made the greatest contribution to the industry over the past year.
Graham E. Cooke, President & Founder, WTA, underlined the depth and quality of the travel and tourism sector across Europe.
He said: “During times of economic austerity world-class brands come into their own, and the winners at our Europe Ceremony represent the cream of the continent. These organisations will undoubtedly fare strongly in our Grand Final, which takes place in New Delhi, India on 12th December 2012.”
Mr Cooke added: “The ceremony has also served as a fitting spotlight for the Algarve, reflecting the vital role of tourism in the region and its overall contribution to the Portuguese economy. The Algarve is also one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world, and the new Conrad Algarve has set a new precedent for luxury.”
The luxury resort enjoys a prime location at Quinta do Lago, the home of world-class golf courses and beautiful beaches.
Joachim Hartl, Hotel Manager, Conrad Algarve, commented: “Congratulations to all who were successful this evening. As the latest luxury hotel to open in the Algarve we are proud to host Europe’s tourism elite during the awards and to showcase our exquisite property. By focusing on the individual, Conrad Algarve offers guests style and exceptional service in the alluring Algarve region of Portugal – a must-visit destination for those seeking a sophisticated, modern retreat.”
Antonio Pina, President, Algarve Promotion Bureau & Algarve Tourism Board, said: “It was with enormous pride that Algarve hosted such a prestigious event as World Travel Awards. This was a unique opportunity to promote the region as a first-class destination, with exceptional facilities and an enviable climate like no other country in Europe. We are delighted and grateful to the organization to have chosen Algarve for such a memorable event.”
WTA’s Europe Ceremony 2012 is the third leg of the WTA Grand Tour. It’s an annual global search for the world’s leading travel brands, which also includes regional heats in Dubai, Singapore and Turks & Caicos. The winners of these legs will then compete against each other at the final event, the WTA Grand Final which takes place at The Oberoi, Gurgaon in New Delhi, India on 12 December 2012.