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A History of the Travel Personality of the Year Award

A History of the Travel Personality of the Year Award

Each year the World Travel Awards celebrates the career of an outstanding individual form within the industry – a personality whose achievements lead the industry.

Winners in the 2010 Awards programme include “World Travel Personality of the Year” for HRH Prince Khalid Al-Faisal bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud and “Middle East Travel Personality of the Year” which went to His Highness Prince Bandar Bin Saud Bin Khalid.

“Woman of the Year” award went to Regine Sixt of Sixt car rental.

Other renowned faces who have previously won this covered award include Sir Richard Branson, chairman, Virgin Atlantic, Gordon “Butch” Stewart, founder and chairman of Sandals, Akbar Al Baker, chief executive of Qatar Airways and Beaches Resorts, senator the honourable Allen M. Chastanet, minister for tourism & civil aviation for the government of St Lucia.

CEO of Johannesburg Tourism Company, Lindiwe Kwele, is a past winner of African Travel Personality of the Year. Under her leadership, she has used tourism a catalyst for social betterment, as well as creating a year-round calendar of exciting social events and activities.

His Royal Highness Prince Khalid Al-Faisal bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud won World’s Leading Travel Personality at WTA 2010.

On presenting the award, Graham Cooke, president and founder, World Travel Awards, said: “As the World Travel Awards, our goal is to seek out those whose vision, courage and dedication is making tourism a force for good and a force for change.

“HRH Prince Khalid Al Faisal is the very embodiment of these qualities and we are honoured that he is the recipient of the ‘World Travel Awards 2010 Personality of the Year’.”

HRH Prince Khalid Al-Faisal bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud was born in 1940 – the son of His late Majesty King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. In May 2007 Prince Khalid Al-Faisal was appointed Governor of Makkah Province in western Saudi Arabia.

Lindiwe Kwele is a previous winner of the Travel Personality of the Year Award

His region includes Islam’s holiest city, Makkah, and Saudi Arabia’s principal commercial hub, main seaport and the Kingdom’s second largest city, Jeddah. Prince Khalid Al-Faisal holds the additional rank of Minister within the Royal Government of Saudi Arabia.

His Royal Highness continues to work hard to create the right conditions and atmosphere for artists, poets, writers, composers and musicians to flourish. In 2008 Prince Khalid Al-Faisal established the Cultural Council of Makkah which brought together the leading figures of the region. Among activities announced by the new council are a ten-year strategy for the development of the region and an annual prize for excellence in six categories - including two prizes for culture and the arts.

From 1971-2007 His Royal Highness served as Governor of Asir Province in south-western Saudi Arabia – a spectacular region which inspired Prince Khalid Al-Faisal both as an artist, a poet and a patron of the arts.

Among many projects previously founded by him are the Literary Club of Abha, the Abha Singing Festival, the Abha Prize for cultural excellence, and the Al-Miftaha Visual Arts Village situated in the ancient quarter of Abha.

In 1999 Prince Khalid Al-Faisal launched Painting & Patronage and is the Managing Director of the King Faisal Foundation. Prior to his appointment as Governor of Asir Province, His Royal Highness served as Director General of the Presidency of Youth Welfare.

Prince Khalid Al-Faisal has a degree in Political Economy from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

HH Prince Bandar Bin Saud Bin Khalid was voted Middle East Personality of the Year

Middle East Travel Personality of the Year

Born and raised in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, His Highness Prince Bandar travelled to the United States to study law and diplomacy at Harvard University.

Now, as Chairman of Al Khozama Management Company, he is widely credited for setting a new benchmark for excellence in Saudi Arabian hospitality, exemplified by such developments as the ground-breaking Al Faisaliah Centre in Riyadh.

He is also a founding member, as well as managing director, of the world-famous King Faisal Foundation – the charitable organisation that aims to ensure the spirit of the late King Faisal’s altruistic ambitions live on.

His particular interest within the Foundation lies in elevating the standards of hospitality within his Kingdom, as well as ensuring that the travel and tourism industry serves as a catalyst for social betterment.

Woman of the Year Award

Regine Sixt is one of the most prolific entrepreneurs in travel and tourism. Born and raised in Germany, she began her career at a local car rental company based in Munich. With her husband Erich Sixt, the CEO of Sixt AG, she has helped build the company into a global mega-brand, operating more than 230,000 cars across 3,500 locations and 105 countries.

Regine Sixt is the driving force behind the Sixt expansion throughout the world. She directs everything from the corporate identity to the performance at the airports.

In 2000, she launched her own children’s charity – Drying Little Tears. She supports and finances various projects for children. These include a kindergarten in the townships of Cape Town, an orphanage for kids whose parents died of Aids in Gabon, a school in Jerusalem and a children’s hospital in Ecuador.

Among many prestigious awards she has received over the years, she has just been honoured as the “Citizen of the World Award” of Israel, becoming the first German and the first woman ever to do so.

She also serves at many global advisory boards including ABTA, ASTA, USTOA, Travel Industry Club and Skal.

Head over to the World Travel Awards website for more information.