After a challenging year for travel and tourism, the brands that have demonstrated the greatest strength in adversity are to pick up top honors at World Travel Awards 2010 Grand Final, being held at Grosvenor House hotel in London on Sunday, November 7.
Awards to watch include “World’s Leading Airline,” which features a heavy Asian and Middle Eastern contingent, reflecting how the two regions are leading aviation out of the recession. Nominees include Cathay Pacific, Etihad Airways, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, and Malaysia Airlines.
A host of VIPs will be attending the gala ceremony, including His Royal Highness Prince Khalid Al Faisal of Saudi Arabia, who will be picking up “Leading Personality of the Year” for his development of religious tourism in the Holy City of Makkah and for his pioneering philanthropic work for the King Faisal Foundation.
Meanwhile, German businesswoman Regine Sixt, president of Sixt, will be collecting “Woman of the Year” for her pivotal role steering the car rental giant through the downturn.
Other VIPs confirmed to attend include David Scowscill, president and CEO, WTTC; Sally Chatterjee, CEO, Visit Britain; HE Chumpol Silapa-Archa, minister of tourism and sports, Thailand; Fiona Jeffery, chairman, World Travel Market & Just a Drop; Alec Sanguinetti, CEO and director general, CHTA; Josef Forstmayr, president, CHA; Tan Sri Dr.Mohd Munir bin Abdul Majid, chairman, Malaysia Airlines; Dato’ Lee Choong Yan, president and COO, Resorts World Genting; Hon. Ed Bartlett, minister of tourism; Jamaica andAdam Stewart, CEO, Sandals Resorts International.
The power of celebrity – come good times or bad – is also being acknowledged with a new category. Arnold Schwarzenegger, David Beckham, Kevin Spacey, Usain Bolt, Rafael Nadal, Kevin Costner, and Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickenson are among the favorites to win “Face of Travel 2010,” which recognizes the celebrity endorsement that has made the biggest contribution to the travel industry over the past year.
Hailed as “The Oscars of the Travel Industry” by the Wall Street Journal, the World Travel Awards is recognized globally as the ultimate travel accolade.
The WTA Grand Final marks the climax of a year-long search to find the very best travel companies in the world and follows heats in Dubai, Johannesburg, Antalya, Delhi, and Jamaica. These regional winners will now go head to head on Sunday as they bid to be recognized as the very best of the best in travel.
WTA nominations featured 5,000 companies in 1,000 categories across 162 countries. The winners were selected by thousands of industry professionals and consumers worldwide who have been voting online.
Other brands competing on the night include the likes of Armani Hotels, Ritz-Carlton, Mandarin Oriental, and Versace.
Graham Cooke, president and founder, World Travel Awards, said: “Our industry is under no illusions that 2010 has been one of the toughest on record. Yet these turbulent times have also seen the true leaders of travel turn adversity into opportunity. And winners on the night will all share this vision, entrepreneurial spirit, and inner strength to succeed.”
Established 17 years ago, World Travel Awards is committed to raising the standards of customer service and overall business performance throughout the international industry.
Consumers are increasingly using the list of winners as a reliable guide and means of reassurance when choosing their holiday. Companies and destinations that make it on to the winners’ podium receive extensive commercial benefits and global coverage.