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Beckham, Arnie and Spacey nominated for face of travel

Arnold Schwarzenegger, David Beckham, Kevin Spacey, Usain Bolt, Rafael Nadal, Kevin Costner and Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickenson are among the favourites to win the World Travel Awards “Face of Travel 2010”.

The winner will be announced at this year’s WTA Grand Final 2010, which takes place at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Sunday 7 November.

The new “Face of Travel” award acknowledges the celebrity endorsement that has made the biggest contribution to the travel and tourism industry over the past year.

Highlights include Usain Bolt’s “One you go you know” campaign and its role in boosting Jamaica’s tourism profile. David Beckham serving as ambassador for England’s 2018 World Cup bid has earned him the nod for boosting his nation’s tourism profile. Meanwhile Iron Maiden frontman and airline pilot Bruce Dickenson has also been nominated for his new job as marketing manager of Astraeus Airlines.

Other nominees include ex-footballer/ex-popstar couple Jamie and Louise Redknapp and their hit ad campaign, which led to a surge in summer bookings for Thomas Cook.

(Rafael Nadal receives “World Tennis Player of the Year” from Tony Prince of the World Sports Awards)

Rafael Nadal is also a hot favourite, having fronted a hugely-successful campaign highlighting the sport tourism credentials of his native Balearic Islands. The Majorcan tennis ace will be hoping to follow up last year’s success when he won “World Tennis Player of the Year” at the World Sports Awards.

Hailed as “The Oscars of the Travel Industry” by the Wall Street Journal, the World Travel Awards is recognised globally as the ultimate travel accolade.

Other awards up for grabs on the evening include “World’s Leading Hotel” with the likes of Dubai’s Burj Al Arab, Australia’s Palazzo Versace, as well as the new Armani Hotel Dubai among the favourites.

The WTA 2010 Grand Final marks the climax of a year-long search to find the very best travel companies in the world, and follows heats in Dubai, Johannesburg, Antalya, Delhi and Jamaica. These regional winners will now go head to head on 7 November as they bid to be recognized as the very best of the best in travel.

The runners and riders

(Above: Usain Bolt in “Once you go, you know” commercial for the Jamaica Tourist Board)

(Above: Kevin Spacey has given American Airlines a lift)

(Above: Golden couple Jamie & Louise Rednapp lift an otherwise flat summer for Thomas Cook)

(Above: An Austrian and an Englishman - the faces of Californian tourism)

(Iron Maiden legend Bruce Dickenson - the new marketing manager of Astraeus Airlines)