The votes have been counted, the trophies polished and the VIP guests starting to arrive as the Algarve makes the final preparations for the most important evening of the year for travel and tourism in the region – World Travel Awards Europe Gala Ceremony 2012.
The red-carpet evening takes place at Conrad Algarve this evening, with hundreds of senior travel decision-makers from across Europe attending.
The evening is set to serve as a glittering spotlight for the palatial Conrad Algarve, a contemporary resort, set in a prime location on the doorstep of the famous Ria Formosa Natural Park.
The likes of Europcar, Kempinski Hotels & Resorts, Lufthansa and easyJet are among the brands nominated for the prestigious awards programme.
Entertainment includes British operatic sensation Natasha Marsh, electric violin duo Fuse and Portuguese choreographer Colin Veira.
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.
Ahead of the red-carpet ceremony, guests are also participating in the WTA Europe Golf Classic tournament which is being played on the region’s finest championship course, the South Course Quinta do Lago.
The WTA organisers highlight the contribution the significance of hosting the event in the Algarve.
WTS president Graham Cooke said: “We are delighted to host our first ceremony in the Algarve, a decision which reflects the vital role of tourism in the region and its overall contribution to the Portuguese economy.
“The Algarve is also one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world, and the new Conrad Algarve has set a new precedent for luxury in the region.
“Our Europe Ceremony will provide a perfect forum to showcase its facilities to travel’s top decision-makers.”
The five-star resort enjoys a prime location at Quinta do Lago, the home of world-class golf courses and beautiful beaches.
Joachim Hartl, hotel manager, Conrad Algarve, added: “We are extremely proud to be partnering with World Travel Awards and look forward to welcoming guests to our hotel on the evening.
“This exclusive new property sets the benchmark for luxury accommodation and flawless service in the Algarve and we promise guests a truly unforgettable luxury experience.”
WTA’s Europe Gala Ceremony 2012 marks the third 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 Turks & Caicos.
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.
António Pina, Algarve Promotion Bureau and Algarve Tourism Board president, said: “It is with enormous pride that the Algarve hosts such a prestigious event as World Travel Awards.
“This will provide a unique opportunity to promote the region as a first-class destination, with its exceptional facilities and an enviable climate like no other country in Europe.
“The Algarve boasts a beautiful coastline, a selection of the world’s finest golf resorts and luxury hotels, all supported by a wealth of leisure facilities and high-class restaurants.
“We are delighted and grateful to the organization, to have chosen the Algarve for such a memorable event.”
WTA’s local media partner for the event is Publituris, Portugal’s leading travel trade publication since 1968.