500 leading lights from the travel industry partied the night away with the stars of Broadway and Hollywood in the Grand Ballroom at The Plaza Hotel Monday night. They were celebrating the tenth anniversary of the World Travel Awards
, the “Oscars” of the travel industry.
From Hollywood and Broadway attendees and performers included GLENN CLOSE, BEN VEREEN, JERRY ORBACH and JESSE L. MARTIN (‘Law & Order’) LOUISE PITRE (“Mamma Mia”) DEBORAH GIBSON, MICHAEL CAVANAUGH, JILL NICKLAUS, HOLLY CRUICKSHANK (“Movin Out”) BEBE NEUWIRTH (‘Chicago’, ‘Frasier’), JOHN STAMOS. Hosting the show was ‘Seinfeld’ star JOHN O HURLEY (J Peterman).
The world-class hospitality included a champagne *censored*tail reception, gala dinner followed by a unique show and of course the real stars, the Awards themselves.
As this year’s host city, New York picked up two Awards including World’s Leading Hotel and North America’s Leading Airport. Commenting on the event, Mayor Bloomberg said “We’re delighted to host this prestigious ceremony. I congratulate all of tonight’s winners for their tremendous efforts on behalf of travel and tourism.” The Mayor pointed out the vital role that tourism plays in New York City and cities around the world and stressed that “it is important that we recognize the very best the industry has to offer.”
Leading decision makers and thought leaders from the world of travel picking up Awards included Gordon “Butch” Stewart, Chairman of Sandals Resorts International (Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Group, World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company), Barbados Minister for Tourism, Noel Lynch (Caribbean’s Leading Destination). Other winner’s included Travelocity, (Worlds Leading Travel Internet Site), Pegasus Solutions, (World’s Leading Hotel Reservation Service)
Datalex (World’s Leading Internet Booking Engine Technology Provider), Sabre, (World’s Leading GDS/CRS System)
Collecting his award, Jens Thraenhart, director of Internet strategy at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, commented: “It’s a great honour to be recognized as the best hotel website and we are in the process of ree-launching our website and making it even more user-friendly and providing a better experience for Fairmont customers”.
Tedd Evers, Director, Caribbean & Europe Partner Marketing - Travelocity told Internet Travel News: “We are very privileged at Travelocity to have won an award. Travel has been very competitive in the last couple of years and we are losing market share, but it’s good that people still believe in Travelocity and we are going to be working hard to make sure that we deserve this.”
Established in 1993 to acknowledge and celebrate excellence in the world’s travel and tourism industry, World Travel Awards has become one of the most important nights in the travel industry calendar. With thousands of votes cast by travel professionals from 80,000 travel agencies in over 200 countries, winning a World Travel Award has become one of the highest accolades a travel product could ever hope to receive.