The tourism industry’s highest accolade, The World Travel Awards, will be held in Dubai this year on May 5, 2009. The event, which has been hailed as the “Oscars of the Travel Industry” by the Wall Street Journal, will celebrate the travel and tourism industry’s best practices by recognizing achievements from over 100 travel and tourism brands from across the Middle East.
This year’s event promises to be the most hotly contested ever as leading players address the global downturn by raising their standards even higher. The World Travel Award recognizes leading airlines, hotel operators, hotel developers, tourism boards, travel media, destination marketing campaigns, MICE businesses, and several other companies that make a difference in the quality of travel and tourism.
The World Travel Awards, established 16 years ago, encourages travel and tourism organizations to set new boundaries for customer service, value, and innovation in their quest to create the ultimate travel and tourism experience. Winners are decided by votes received from agents and travel professionals from around the world.
Commenting on the choice of Dubai for the Middle East ceremony, the president of the World Travel Awards, Graham Cooke commented: “By hosting the event here, we are clearly making a statement – that the travel and tourism industry believes in Dubai and we stand firmly behind it, even in these difficult times. In less than a decade, Dubai has created a world-class destination. This city is known over the world for its innovative tourism offerings and world-class service that have set the benchmark for the industry worldwide. Therefore, it is fitting that we will host our Middle Eastern regional ceremony here again.”
Speaking on behalf of the host city, Mr. Eyad Ali Abdul Rahman, executive director, media relations and acting director, business development at Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), said: “It is an honor to have such a prestigious ceremony hosted in Dubai, which remained a destination of choice for the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) industry. The World Travel Awards are an icon of the travel and tourism industry, and we are proud that the best of the industry will be in Dubai to receive their awards. The hosting of this award clearly reflects the continued world confidence in Dubai and its vibrant tourism industry, especially in these economically-challenging times.”
Last year’s World Travel Award winners included Etihad, Dubai, Jumeirah, Royal Jet, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Rotana, Orient Tours Sharjah, and Regency Travel & Tours Qatar and was attended by over 800 senior travel and tourism executives.
The Middle East ceremony, hosted at the Monarch Dubai, kicks off the World Travel Awards Grand Tour 2009 with seven events across seven continents including Durban, South Africa (Africa Ceremony); Singapore (Asia, Australasia & Indian Ocean Ceremony); Riviera Maya, Mexico (North & Central America Ceremony); Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (South America Ceremony); Óbidos, Portugal (Europe Ceremony); and culminating with the Grand Final in Jamaica.