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Repeat business is key to surviving downturn, says travel chief

Repeat business is key to surviving downturn, says travel chief

Building unparalleled customer relations and repeat business are the crucial tools to riding out the worst economic downturn for 60 years, according to a senior travel industry leader.

“Encouraging returning business by offering the very best customer service that attracts consumers to book again and again is one of the most effective means of maintaining and growing a travel business in challenging times,” said the President of the World Travel Awards, Graham E. Cooke.

(Pictured above: Graham Cooke, President & Founder, World Travel Awards, with Lindiwe Mahlangu, CEO, Johannesburg Tourism Company, and Miss Africa at the 2009 World Travel Awards Africa Ceremony)

Mr Cooke was making the comments whilst launching the 2009 World Travel Awards North & Central America Ceremony, which takes place on 21 September at the new luxury Caribbean resort of Hacienda Tres Ríos, near Cancun, Mexico.

Described by the Wall Street Journal as the ‘Oscars’ of the travel industry, the awards celebrate those travel brands that are pushing the boundaries in every aspect of business activity, creativity and customer satisfaction, and showing the world how it is done.


Winners at the event are decided by votes received from agents and travel professionals in North and Central America, and throughout the world.

Cooke said that they had chosen to stage the spectacular awards at Hacienda Tres Ríos (picutred left) specifically to underline an additional message. “Sustainable tourism is integral to a promising future for the industry and right from the outset Hacienda Tres Ríos set out to establish a clear environmental policy.”

“Over the past 16 years these awards have been built on fostering the very highest quality in every aspect of travel and tourism, but this year has taken on an even greater significance.

“Challenging times mean getting the best out of staff, sharpening the offering and making even more effort to go that extra kilometre.”

Just how this can be delivered with exceptional flair and skill will be demonstrated in September by the winners of this year’s awards, who, regardless of the economic climate, have shown successful customer-based business strategies for a profitable future,” he added.

The event in Mexico is part of a World Travel Awards Grand Tour with regional awards staged throughout the world, ending with a Grand Final at the five-star Grosvenor House in London’s Mayfair in November.

For more details about nominations visit

For the new Hacienda Tres Ríos visit