World Travel Awards

What do Dukes Hotel, Welcome to Yorkshire and Virgin Atlantic have in common? They were the few English brands that picked up gongs at the World Travel Awards in Doha, Qatar recently. Sat Bal (30 Jan 12)

Yorkshire’s Hull Freedom Festival


The World Travel Awards (WTA) search for excellence in travel and tourism culminated in the glittering Grand Final Gala Ceremony in Doha. Global brands included American Express, Starwood Hotels, Singapore Changi airport, Lufthansa, India’s Raj Palace and Spain’s Fairplay Hotel & Golf Spa. The event was staged in partnership with Qatar Tourism Authority, at Katara Cultural Village, Doha’s ground-breaking new arts and exhibitions facility.

The coveted World’s Leading Destination accolade and blue riband was won by India with strong opposition from cities such as London, New York, Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro and Sydney.

Brad West accepts the award for Virgin Atlantic
Brad West accepts the award for Virgin Atlantic

But English companies had their night too with Virgin Atlantic Airways scoring a hat-trick with World’s Leading Airline to North America, World’s Leading Airline to the Caribbean and World’s Leading Airline Inflight Entertainment. Ultimately it was Etihad Airways which hung onto World’s Leading Airline for the third year in succession.

Elsewhere it was great to see Dukes hotel in London win Ultimate Service Award in Hospitality particularly with the likes of Mandarin Oriental Paris and The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong looming. Red Carpet hasn’t stayed at Dukes but we’re not surprised that it’s been honoured after our dining experience at its restaurant Thirty Six.(See tag at foot of article)

WTA Debrah Dhugga, General Manager, Dukes Hotel
WTA Debrah Dhugga, General Manager, Dukes Hotel

Given the illustrious company in the WTA list and all the marketing campaigns that are launched daily around the world we thought that the north of England scored an amazing coup to win World’s Leading Marketing Campaign for Welcome to Yorkshire. It beat oft-listed countries such as Brazil, India, South Africa and Spain and, at home, defeated competition from Visit London and Visit Scotland.

Peter Dodd, Marketing director at Welcome to Yorkshire takes the honours
Peter Dodd, Marketing director at Welcome to Yorkshire takes the honours

Host city Doha also celebrated with its World’s Leading Business Travel Destination while Qatar Airways was named World’s Leading Airline Business Class.

What they said:

“We are delighted to be honoured as the World’s Leading Business Destination by our peers in the global hospitality industry. This is a great achievement and solidifies Qatar’s premier position as a great place to do business as well as one with first class leisure, sporting and cultural attractions.”   Mr. Ahmed Al Nuaimi, Qatar Tourism Authority Chairman,

“The past year has continued to challenge every strata of travel and tourism. However our Grand Final winners have all demonstrated their world-class pedigree over this period, and are currently spearheading the global recovery of travel and tourism. In doing so they are also reinforcing our industry’s role as one of the mainstays of the global economy.” Graham Cooke, President and Founder, World Travel Awards

Established 19 years ago, the WTA’s stated aims are to raise service standards and overall business performance throughout the international tourism industry. Its huge list of nominations featured more than 5,000 companies in 1,000 categories across 162 countries with winners selected by more than 210,000 industry professionals and consumers worldwide.

WTA partnered with tourism marketing firm Phenomena to bring the ceremony to Qatar.

Log on to www.worldtravelawards.com/winners for list of WTA winners.

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