Hundreds gathered for a glittering event held at the beautiful Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort in the tropical paradise of St. Lucia, for the prestigious 9th Annual World Travel Awards Ceremony.
(Caption: Cheryl Rutenbourg, Vice President, Visa International) During an evening full of surprises, comedy and entertainment, the audience enjoyed an exquisite gala dinner, with lively performances from compare, actor and comic Bradley Walsh, Toni Awards winner Kristin Chenoweth, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas and Faith Brown, to name but a few.
Industry giants gathering to celebrate the success of being the very best were joined by VIPs such as St. Lucia’s Prime Minister, the Honorable Dr Kenny Anthony and Governor General, Dame Pearletter Louisy. And many hundreds of thousands worldwide watched the ceremony on the exclusive webcast.
(Caption: Governer General, Dame Pearletter Louisy)
Winner of the Travel Personality of the Year, 2002 went to Rossi Ralenkotter, Las Vegas Convention & Visitor’s Authority, who now joins the likes of Richard Branson and Right Hon. Gordon ‘Butch’ Steward, O.J. in the World Travel Awards Travel Personality Hall of Fame.
The online voting system at www.worldtravelawards.com once again enabled over 500,000 frontline agents and 80,000 travel agencies worldwide the opportunity to let the world know who they think are the World’s Very Best in the Travel Industry, further enhancing the value of the World Travel Awards as the professional’s choice.
A six figure marketing campaign included paid listings positioning with search engine and directories Overture, Google and Espotting, an e-mail campaign to 45,000 travel professionals worldwide, media placement on leading travel portals including Travelocity, Sabre, TravelNow and a special banner campaign on the website’s of companies that were nominated for an Award.
Technological innovation at the 9th World Travel Awards included the launch of the new World Travel Awards website, the most comprehensive in the Awards’ nine year history. Key features included a streaming video of the previous years ceremony, a live web cam link and virtual tours of the luxurious venue in Sandals Grande St Lucian Resort & Spa in St Lucia as well as live news updates on the night of the event, all of which received a magnificently warm response from the global audience.
Developed by interactive agency Fortune Cookie the new site was specially designed to allow for easy access by individuals with partial sight and other disabilities - a rare functionality in today’s online world. The World Travel Awards site was additionally the first Awards site in the world to have successfully attained accreditations from web accessibility validators Bobby and W3C.
A live presentation of this website was exhibited at the official signing of the World Travel Awards ceremony, where Tourism Minister Phillip J Pierre joined officials of the World Travel Awards Limited to launch what has been described as the “Oscar Event” of the World Tourism and Travel Industry. The World Travel Awards contract signing was witnessed by members of the local media and local tourism representatives, officially established St.Lucia’s commitment to host the 9th Annual World Travel Awards.
In conjunction with the World Travel Awards, a three-day media- grabbing program, inspired by the World Travel Awards and its renowned headline team, diligently supported by the island’s tourism board and Sandals Resorts, provided St Lucia with the platform from which to promote and develop marketing and business opportunities via three major international events.
(Caption: Robin Morgan, Travel Editor The Times, Graham Cooke, World Travel Awards, Lym Pemberton, Villa Nova)
Beginning Thursday 24th October at Sandals St Lucia Golf Resort & Spa the World Travel Internet Conference presented topics of e-dimension and innovative ideas and website presentations to inform businesses within the travel and tourism trade of global web development.
The Internet Conference, sponsored by Cable and Wireless, brought together some of the world’s top travel technology experts and international delegates, who gathered in the magnificent Sandals La Toc, St Lucia, to listen to a selection of inspiring individuals address current issues that have transpired from the far-reaching impact that the Internet has had on the travel industry.
On the morning of the World Travel Awards, Friday 25th October a shot-gun tee off begun the start of a twelve month international golf tournament with the winning St Lucian team becoming guests of the Martinique Tourism Board, an all expenses paid final game taking place at the Empress Josephine championship course.
This exciting 3-day program, attended and enjoyed by many of the distinguished guests, will be a hard act to follow and has left everyone guessing what surprises the World Travel Awards 2003, celebrating its very own 10th anniversary, will bring.
The World Travel Awards was conceived in 1993 to acknowledge and celebrate excellence in the world’s travel and tourism industry. Following its ninth year, travel professionals and discerning travelers have come to regard the World Travel Awards as the very best endorsement that a travel product could hope to receive.
The World Travel Awards is highly regarded and established as a forum that brings together all areas of travel and tourism in recognition of achievements. The event also provides formal and informal networking opportunities for leading decision makers and business professionals in the travel industry.