The World Travel Awards, an international initiative to identify and reward excellence in travel and tourism has unveiled its global title winners of 2020.
Maldives leads global winners at World Travel Awards
For the first time in the history of islands, Maldives won the trophy for ‘World’s Leading Destination’ which is one of the most prestigious categories of World Travel Awards. Maldives is a country of islands in the Indian Ocean, that spreads across the equator. The country’s unique geography mesmerizes the visitor and coral reefs are the foundation of the islands. These tiny jewel-like islands are fringed with smooth white sand surrounded by the shallow waters. In spite of the big challenges faced by the travel industry this year Maldives has received such an honoured recognition with the phenomenal testimony of love from the tourists around the globe and also the tremendous contribution and constant efforts made by the travel industry stakeholders and partners to ensure the safety of tourists during the pandemic.
Portugal also played dominantly, with Madeira voted ‘World’s Leading Island Destination’ which has been winning this trophy since 2013, only losing it in the year 2015 to Sardinia. Madeira is called Portugal’s “pearl of the Atlantic”, it is quiet and splendid.
Lisbon, the spectacular capital of Portugal was named ‘World’s Leading City Break Destination’. Lisbon is a historical city of balconies and sceneries built in a succession of terraces up the slopes of a range of low rolling hills. It is one of the most alluring and lively cities of Europe.
Algarve, the beautiful Southern coastline of Portugal, clinched ‘World’s Leading Beach Destination’. The region is blissful with marvelous golden beaches, sea caves, steep cliffs and bright climate. It is a surfer’s paradise, the oceans are mostly calm and warm almost in every shade of blue.
Russia’s magnificent grandeur was recognized with the award for ‘World’s Leading Cultural Destination’ and its cities emerging with top honours. Moscow was voted as the ‘World’s Leading City Destination’ and Saint Petersburg collected ‘World’s Leading Cultural City Destination’ trophy. The Russian culture is very profound and extraordinary. Moscow is the “heart of Russia” and a hidden cultural treasure. The remains of the Soviet state are scattered all around the city. Saint Petersburg’s city is Russia’s “window on Europe”. It is a center of UNESCO World Heritage Site. Architecturally, it ranks as one of the most elegant and harmonious cities of Europe.
The Greek Ministry of Tourism/GNTO was voted the ‘World’s Leading Tourist Board’. Greece was the cradle of Western Civilization, the birthplace of democracy, Olympic Games, and its ancient history and magnificent temples.
In the hospitality sector, Armani Hotel of Dubai fended off a tough field to emerge as ‘World’s Leading Hotel’, this hotel has been envisioned by fashion icon Giorgio Armani. It is situated in Dubai’s iconic skyscraper, Burj Khalifa with a private entrance and occupies 11 floors. It has a deluxe spa and a direct access to the Dubai Mall. Armani Hotel provides subtle dining options in each of its 7 restaurants. Whilst Sardinia’s Forte Village Resort claimed the trophy of ‘World’s Leading Resort’ category. The resort is situated in the south of beautiful Sardinia and overlooks an expanse of pristine white sand beaches.
The ecstatic remote Amanpulo in Philippines was named as the ‘World’s Leading Dive Resort’. It is a private island decorated by white sand beaches, blissfully marooned in the middle of the Sulu Sea. The calm, clear seas are ideal for kite surfing, while divers can explore the coral reef, teeming with marine life just 300metres offshore.
The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort took ‘World’s Leading Luxury Island Resort’ trophy. These luxury resorts are situated between lush rainforests and white-sand beaches overlooking the fascinating picturesque waves of the Indian Ocean.
Vietnam’s InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort gained the recognition for its eco-credentials by being named as ‘World’s Leading Green Resort’. It is nestled in the heart of Son Tra Peninsula Nature Reserve in Danang City.
Royal Penthouse at Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai was named ‘World’s Leading Hotel Penthouse’. The Royal Penthouse is secluded on the top floor of the luxurious beachfront resort. A private lift whisks guests to their 850sqm haven with sweeping views over the Arabian Gulf.
In the newcomer categories, Address Sky View with its captivating panorama of Dubai’s skyline, secured the ‘World’s Leading New Hotel’. The hotel has a wide scenic viewpoint gracing Dubai’s skyline with two resplendent towers conjoined at the summit by an architecturally fabulous Sky Bridge, in the heart of Downtown Dubai.
Whilst the barefoot chic paradise Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa picked up ‘World’s Leading New Resort’ trophy. This all-inclusive resort is surrounded by 1.5 km of soft white sand, on a lush private 20 hectares island and features 120 villas with breathtaking views.
Brand winners include Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (‘World’s Leading Luxury Hotel Brand’). It is an international luxury hotel and resort company headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Four Seasons operates more than 100 hotels and resorts worldwide. Sandals (‘World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company’), Sandals are the very pinnacle of rich Caribbean all-inclusive vacations and Frasers Hospitality won (‘World’s Leading Serviced Apartment Brand’).
In the aviation sector, Etihad Airways lifted the ‘World’s Leading Airline’, whilst ‘World’s Leading Airport’ went to Dubai International Airport. Aeroflot – Russian Airlines was voted the ‘World’s Leading Airline – Business Class’, Emirates as ‘World’s Leading Airline – Economy Class’, with ‘World’s Leading Airline – First Class’ scooped by Oman Air.
Votes were cast by travel industry professionals and the public, with the nominee gaining the most votes in a category named as the winner. Graham Cooke, founder of the World Travel Awards, said: “Our world winners represent the best in global travel and tourism and my congratulations to each of them. They have all demonstrated remarkable resilience in a year of unprecedented challenges. The World Travel Awards 2020 program received a record number of votes cast by the public. This shows that the appetite for travel has never been stronger. With hope and the tourism bounce on the horizon, our industry can look forward to a resurgent and bright future.”
For the full list of global winners, click here.
World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry.
Today, the World Travel Awards brand is recognized globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.
Each year, World Travel Awards covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognize and celebrate individual and collective success within each key geographical region.
For more information about World Travel Awards, visit the official website.