Portugal was one of the big winners at World Travel Awards’ Europe Gala Ceremony 2017.
On a night of night of high drama in host city St. Petersburg, Portugal was voted Europe’s Leading Destination with Turismo de Portugal scooping the prize for Europe’s Leading Tourist Board.
Meanwhile the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira was hailed Europe’s Leading Island Destination.
Also among the winners was Geneva and St. Petersburg.
Switzerland’s second-largest city claimed the title of Europe’s Leading City Break Destination while St. Petersburg - famed for its winding network of canals and pretty pastel palaces - picked up the award for Europe’s Leading City Destination.
The glittering event took place in the Marble Hall, Russian Museum of Ethnography with hundreds of hospitality leaders from across the region, in attendance.
World Travel Awards founder, Graham Cooke, said: “It has been an honour to visit Russia for the very first time.
“We have recognised the leading lights of European tourism tonight and I wish to offer my heartfelt congratulations to all of our winners.
“St. Petersburg proved a wonderful host for our Europe Gala Ceremony and I am sure the city will go on to take its rightful place as a top rank tourism destination.”
In the aviation sector, Aeroflot walked away with the trophy for Europe’s Leading Airline Brand, while Zurich Airport was recognised as Europe’s Leading Airport.
The ceremony, part of the World Travel Awards Grand Tour 2017, was compered by Aleksandr Malich and Marina Kim – two of the most sought after hosts on Russian Television.
Winners from the event will go forward to complete in the World Travel Awards Grand Final, this year taking place at the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa in Vietnam on the evening of December 10th.
The Convention Centre Dublin - voted Europe’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre - was also celebrating, as was Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul.
The former Ottoman Palace, now a five star hotel, was presented with the trophy for Europe’s Leading Hotel.
Elsewhere Porto Zante Villas & Spa was named Europe’s Leading Beach Hotel while voters selected the Conrad Algarve as Europe’s Leading Luxury Lifestyle Resort and La Clef Tour Eiffel Paris as Europe’s Leading Serviced Apartments.
A full list of winners from the World Travel Awards Europe Gala Ceremony can be seen here.