World Travel Awards – the international initiative to recognise and reward excellence in travel and tourism – has unveiled the 2020 winners of its global titles.
Winners include Maldives, which cemented its reputation as the definitive secluded sanctuary to win ‘World’s Leading Destination’ for the first time.
Portugal also performed strongly, with Madeira voted ‘World’s Leading Island Destination’, Lisbon named ‘World’s Leading City Break Destination’ and the Algarve picking up ‘World’s Leading Beach Destination’.
Russia’s imperial splendour was recognised with the award for ‘World’s Leading Cultural Destination’, and its cities emerging with top honours: Moscow was voted ‘World’s Leading City Destination’ and Saint Petersburg collected ‘World’s Leading Cultural City Destination’.
Greek Ministry of Tourism/GNTO was voted ‘World’s Leading Tourist Board’.
In the hospitality sector, Armani Hotel Dubai fended off a tough field to emerge as ‘World’s Leading Hotel’, while Sardinia’s Forte Village Resort claimed the trophy for ‘World’s Leading Resort’.
The blissfully remote Amanpulo, Philippines was named ‘World’s Leading Dive Resort’, and the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort took ‘World’s Leading Luxury Island Resort’.
Vietnam’s InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort gained recognition for its eco-credentials with ‘World’s Leading Green Resort’.
Royal Penthouse @ Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai was named ‘World’s Leading Hotel Penthouse’.
In the newcomer categories, Address Sky View, with its mesmerising panorama of Dubai’s skyline, secured ‘World’s Leading New Hotel’, while the barefoot chic paradise Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa picked up ‘World’s Leading New Resort’.
Brand winners include Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (‘World’s Leading Luxury Hotel Brand’), Sandals (‘World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company’) and Frasers Hospitality (‘World’s Leading Serviced Apartment Brand’).
In the aviation sector, Etihad Airways lifted ‘World’s Leading Airline’, whilst ‘World’s Leading Airport’ went to Dubai International Airport.
Aeroflot – Russian Airlines was voted ‘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.
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, 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.”
He added: “The World Travel Awards 2020 programme 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.”
Other winners include Madrid (‘World’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination’); Royal Caribbean International (‘World’s Leading Cruise Brand’); Jamaica (‘World’s Leading Cruise Destination’); Beaches (‘World’s Leading All-Inclusive Family Resort Brand’); and Hertz (‘World’s Leading Car Rental Company’).
Breaking Travel News caught up with Hertz, Academservice, Emerald Maldives Resort, Dark Sky Association and Royal Brunei Airlines to find out how it feels to have won.
We also got the thoughts of Harry Theocharis, minister of tourism for Greece, and Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, minister of tourism for the Philippines.
Finally, Breaking Travel News spoke to Thoyyib Mohamed, managing director of the Maldives Marketing & PR Corporation following a historic win for the destination.
For a full list of winners, take a look here.
Take a look below for the live ceremony from Grand Final host Moscow earlier today:
World Travel Awards
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.