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Turks & Caicos Islands prepare to host travel Oscars

Turks & Caicos Islands prepare to host travel Oscars Reigning Miss Bahamas, Anastagia Pierre, will host the event

The voting lines are closed, the trophies polished and the VIP guests starting to arrive as the Turks & Caicos Islands make the final preparations for the most important evening of the year for tourism in the region – World Travel Awards Caribbean & The Americas Gala Ceremony 2012.

The red-carpet evening will take place at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa on Friday.

Hundreds of senior travel decision-makers from across the Caribbean and The Americas are scheduled to attend the event, which will include a gourmet dinner and top entertainment, as well as the presentation of the prestigious awards.

The evening will serve as a glittering spotlight for the Turks & Caicos Islands.

The paradise nation is entering an exciting new chapter in its history, with tourism poised to play an even greater role in its economic evolution.

The likes of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Port of Falmouth, The Ritz-Carlton, Avis, Air Jamaica, Virgin Atlantic and Delta Airlines are among the brands nominated for the prestigious awards programme.

Rising Caribbean star and the reigning Miss Bahamas, Anastagia Pierre will be hosting the show with American actor and comedian Walt Willey.

More than 400 of the most important decision-makers in the region’s travel and tourism sector, as well as a host of international media, are set to attend.

WTA president Graham Cooke said: “We are delighted to host our Caribbean & The Americas Ceremony 2012 in Turks & Caicos, a paradise destination currently enjoying a surge in tourism arrivals due to its overwhelming natural attractions and quality hotels and resorts.

He added: “As the country’s largest private sector employer, Beaches exemplifies the importance of travel and tourism in Turks & Caicos in generating jobs and tourism revenue.

“The resort has also taken the family vacation concept to a whole new level in the Caribbean.”

The WTA awards programme, hailed as the ‘Oscars of the travel industry’ by the global media, highlights and rewards those travel brands that have made the greatest contribution to the industry over the past year.

Clockwise from left: Kingsley Been, deputy chairman, Turks & Caicos Tourist Board, Ralph Higgs, director, Turks & Caicos Tourist Board, World Travel Awards president Graham Cooke,  David Fenimore, public relations executive, Turks & Caicos Tourist Board, and Miss Bahamas, Anastagia Pierre

Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, chairman of Sandals Resorts International – operators of Beaches Resorts - is pleased to host this year’s WTA’s Caribbean and The Americas Gala Ceremony at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa.

“Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts strive to offer the best product and experience for our customers, and we are delighted to be in the company of those in the travel industry who share these values,” Stewart said.

“We are thrilled to be in the Turks & Caicos Islands showcasing our first-class services and amenities, which are key in creating luxury vacations.”

The Caribbean & The Americas Gala Ceremony 2012 marks the second leg of WTA’s Grand Tour, a global search for the world’s leading travel brands, which also includes regional heats in Dubai, Singapore and The Algarve, Portugal.

The winners of these legs will then go head-to-head at WTA’s Grand Final, which takes place at The Oberoi, Gurgaon, New Delhi, India on December 12th 2012.

Ralph Higgs, director of tourism, Turks & Caicos Tourist Board, said: “The Turks & Caicos Islands is an economy driven by tourism and as the host country of these prestigious awards, we are delighted that our country, our people and our culture will be on display for the world to see and enjoy.

“Our tourism product is one that is constantly evolving and we are cognizant of our place in the market which only makes us capable to soar to higher success.

“WTA honours excellence in the tourism industry around the world but what it also highlights is new, emerging markets for investment opportunities and the Turks & Caicos with its growing economy welcomes all of the nominees from around the world.”

World Travel Awards

WTA was launched in 1993 to acknowledge and recognise excellence in the global travel and tourism industry.

Now celebrating its 19th anniversary, it is regarded as the very highest achievement that a travel product could hope to receive.

There is more information on the official website.