ATHENS: Last week Europe’s finest travel brands were unveiled at World Travel Awards Europe Gala Ceremony 2018 in Athens, Greece.
Winners at the red carpet gala evening included Hilton Hotels & Resorts (“Europe’s Leading Hotel Brand”), Madrid (“Europe’s Leading Meetings & Convention Destination”), Zurich Airport (“Europe’s Leading Airport”) and Norwegian Cruise Line (winner of “Europe’s Leading Cruise Line”).
Portugal beat off stiff competition to be named “Europe’s Leading Destination,” while Turismo de Portugal was voted “Europe’s Leading Tourist Board”.
Meanwhile the intriguing beauty of Madeira was acknowledged as the destination was named “Europe’s Leading Island Destination”.
The Convention Centre Dublin – voted “Europe’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre” – was also celebrating, as was Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul.
The former Ottoman Palace, now transformed into an opulent hotel, was presented with the trophy for “Europe’s Leading Hotel”.
Hundreds of the leading figures of Europe’s travel and tourism industry attended the ceremony, which was staged at the historic ZappeionMegaron Hall.
Graham Cooke, founder, World Travel Awards, said: “What an evening it has been here in the incredible city of Athens, Greece.
“We have had the privilege of recognising many of the leading hotels, airlines and hospitality providers from destinations across Europe and my congratulations to each of them.”
He added: “It was an honour to partner with HotelBrain, under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Tourism, City of Athens and Greek National Tourism Organisation – and we thank everyone here in Athens for their support in bringing WTA to their amazing city.”
Athens’ Zappeion Megaron Hall hosted the World Travel Awards Europe Gala Ceremony this evening
In the aviation sector, Aeroflot – Russian Airlines proved a multiple winner, collecting awards for “Europe’s Leading Airline Brand,” “Europe’s Leading Airline – Business Class” and “Europe’s Leading Airline to Asia,” following a year in which the flag carrier conducted a significant fleet expansion programme as part of its global development programme.
TAP Air Portugal, which is also investing heavily in fleet and service upgrades, was named “Europe’s Leading Airline to Africa”.
Lufthansa was voted “Europe’s Leading Airline” and Swiss International Air Lines named “Europe’s Leading Airline – Economy Class”.
Greece’s resurgent tourism economy was recognised with the Greek National Tourism Organisation winning “Europe’s Leading National Tourism Strategy & Campaign,” while LesanteBlu Exclusive Beach Resort was named “Europe’s Leading New Resort”.
The evening marked the second leg of the WTA Grand Tour 2018 – a series of regional events to acknowledge the world’s outstanding travel brands.
The tour began in April with WTA’s Middle East Gala Ceremony in Ras al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates. WTA is also staging ceremonies in Hong Kong, Montego Bay (Jamaica), Guayaquil (Ecuador), and Durban (South Africa), while the Grand Final will this year be hold in Lisbon (Portugal).