LONDON (eTN) – The culmination of the 2009 World Travel Awards – described by the Wall Street Journal as the “Oscars” of the global travel and tourism industry – takes place on the eve of this year’s World Travel Market in London.
The most spectacular final in the 16 year history of the Awards will feature ALL 120 Miss World 2009 contestants from the most prestigious of all international beauty pageants.
Reigning Miss World, Russian Kseniya Sukhinova and runner’s-up Trinidad and Tobago’s Gabrielle Walcott and India’s Parvathay Omanakuttan will be amongst the line-up presenting the awards.
The unprecedented two-day event will be staged over the weekend prior to World Travel Market on Saturday and Sunday 7 and 8 November at Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott Hotel in the heart of Mayfair.
The Asia, Australasia, Indian Ocean, South America and Caribbean regional finals will take place on the Saturday, building to the global final on Sunday.
“World Travel Market is the largest and most important business to business event for the international travel and tourism industry and the most appropriate place and time for us to honour and showcase the ultimate pursuit of excellence throughout every sector and region worldwide,” said Graham Cooke, President and Founder of World Travel Awards.
“In these difficult economic times, one of the difficulties for travel and tourism is developing performance indicators that convincingly represent long-term prospects. The temptation, particularly at the moment, is to focus on short-term profitability measures and to reduce resource and investment in new product and brand development that have longer term pay offs.
“The awards critically and objectively compare all aspects of competition and customer expectation.
“We ask key questions to understand the level of quality delivery and the role of innovation.
“We examine the value of a travel product. We ask whether it really delivers superior performance and how it compares with competitors. We asses a company’s ability to stand out from a crowd as a shining example of best business practice in every aspect of the customer promise.”
Self nomination, supplemented by nomination from travel professionals, has reached an all-time high this year with World Travel Awards receiving a 23% rise”, said Cooke, “Meanwhile we have also seen another milestone this year with a 10% increase in registrations to vote since April – which brings the total number of registered voters to 183, 000.
“The weekend events draw to a close the 2009 World Travel Award ceremonies in Africa, Central America, South America, North America, Europe and the Middle East.
“Winning one of the World Travel Awards is the very highest accolade a travel company or organisation can hope to attain”, added Cooke.
“It says far more to consumers about its culture, creativity, business acumen and intrinsic value than any sales and marketing campaign can ever hope to achieve. Travellers have come to rely on the World Travel Awards as a global guide of choice; they want to know what is the very best they can afford to buy, regardless of whether they are planning a holiday or travelling on business.”
Cooke explained that although the underlying principles of the awards is to drive up standards of customer satisfaction and increase the level of sustainable travel industry business, the two day event promises to also take the record in high glamour stakes.
“Many of the Miss World finalists have been Bond girls”, he said, “with casting directors always taking a look at the Miss World portfolio. We have the very latest contestants representing almost every country in the world.
“It’s going to be a weekend like no other in London – beauty, entertainment, excitement heightened with a sense of international industry expectation and hope.”