Known as the ‘Tourism Oscars’, the World Travel Awards, a global initiative to recognise and reward excellence in travel and tourism, has announced its Europe 2020 winners to coincide with its inaugural Europe Winners Day.
1. The awards
Portugal fended off stiff competition to emerge as ‘Europe’s Leading Destination’, whilst the imperial splendour of Moscow was acknowledged with awards for ‘Europe’s Leading City Destination’ and ‘Europe’s Leading Heritage Destination’. Italy also had a strong showing in the newcomer categories.
Awards in the hospitality sector included:
- Çırağan Palace Kempinski, Istanbul – ‘Europe’s Leading Hotel’
- Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas, Greece – ‘Europe’s Leading Beach Resort’
- Forte Village Resort, Sardinia – ‘Europe’s Leading Resort’.
- Palazzo Doglio – ‘Europe’s Leading New Hotel’
- Lefay Resort & SPA Dolomiti – ‘Europe’s Leading New Resort’
2. How the winners were chosen
The results follow a year-long search for the world’s top travel, tourism and hospitality brands. 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, World Travel Awards, says: “Our winners represent the very best of Europe’s travel and tourism sector and my congratulations to each of them. They have all demonstrated remarkable resilience in a year of unprecedented challenges.”
He adds: “The World Travel Awards 2020 programme received a record number of votes cast by the public. This shows that the appetite for travel and tourism has never been stronger and bodes well for the industry’s future as the global recovery begins.”
Madeira was again recognized by the World Travel Awards (WTA) as the best island destination in Europe for the seventh time! 🔝👏🏆#visitmadeira #visitportugal #worldtravelawards #bestisland #bestdestinations #beautiful https://t.co/jTIYoJgFyf pic.twitter.com/JnEkHexZFC— Lux Madeira (@LuxMadeira) November 2, 2020
3. Success for Portugal
Not only did Portugal take home the prize for ‘Europe’s Leading Destination’ for the fourth consecutive year, but in addition to this the country won 21 awards and it’s islands also enjoyed excellent performances. Madeira was voted ‘Europe’s Leading Island Destination’ and Azores named ‘Europe’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination’. The city of Porto claimed the award for ‘Europe’s Best Destination “City Break”, Lisbon won ‘Best European Cruise Destination’ and the Algarve again won the ‘Best European Beach Destination’.
In a statement released by the Ministry of Economy and Digital Transition, Secretary of State for Tourism, Rita Marques said, “It is with particular pride that we received this award, in this atypical year”, adding, “It is yet another proof of international confidence in our destination and an acknowledgment that Portugal’s attributes remain intact and ready to be discovered by all who wish to visit us, always respecting the rules defined by the authorities”. She also assured that, “health, protection and trust are unquestionable synonyms of the national tourist offer”.
On the 27th November the awards of the world edition will be announced, and this year, as well as several hotels and resorts, initiatives and entities such as the Dark Sky Alqueva project, the Passadiços do Paiva and the air carrier TAP are also recognised.
4. Other winners
The spotlight also shined on the seaside resort of Batumi, Georgia, named ‘Europe’s Leading Emerging Tourism Destination’. Other winners include Madrid (‘Europe’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination’); The Convention Centre, Ireland (‘Europe’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre’); Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona (‘Europe’s Leading Business Hotel’); Resort Valle dell’Erica Thalasso & SPA, Italy (Europe’s Leading Green Resort’); Dark Sky Alqueva, Portugal & Spain (‘Europe’s Responsible Tourism Award); Sani Resort, Greece (‘Europe’s Leading Family Resort’); Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa, Greece (‘Europe’s Leading Boutique Resort’); The Langham, London (‘England’s Leading Luxury Hotel’); and Adare Manor (‘Ireland’s Leading Hotel’).
For a full list of winners visit here.
5. History of the awards
WTA was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. Today, the WTA brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.
Each year, WTA covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognise and celebrate individual and collective success within each key geographical region. WTA gala ceremonies are widely regarded as the best networking opportunities in the travel industry, attended by government and industry leaders, luminaries and international print and broadcast media.