Annual World Travel Awards Gala Ceremony 1997

2 December 1997 - New York

New York

World Travel Awards celebrated a whole host of world exclusives at its fourth annual awards show. This year voting was the stronger than ever before. In association with DHL World-Wide Express, voting forms were distributed to IATA/IATAN Travel Agencies in 181 countries around the world. (Compared to 50 countries last year).

For the first time, Internet users were invited to cast their vote, attracting a phenomenal response. Banners were placed on the top travel Internet sites and hot-linked to the Official World Travel Awards Internet Site (www.worldtravelawards.com). Publisher Justin Cooke estimated that in excess of 2 million impressions were received before voting closed on June 21.

The World Travel Awards is the world's most comprehensive Travel Award ceremony. A total of 69 Awards were presented with categories ranging from World's Leading Airline (British Airways) to World's Leading Destination (Orlando). Particular highlights included a moving and inspiring speech from Fairmont Hotels President as he accepted his Executive of the Year Award and Gordon 'Butch' Stewart receiving a total of 4 awards (Sandals & Air Jamaica).

The evening commenced with a glittering champagne reception, followed by a sumptuous dinner, spectacular show and night of a thousand stars. The event was recorded live for television audiences around the world. Acts and presenters included Movie Stars Carol Connors (Rocky), Stella Stevens (Poseidon Adventure), Comedian Freddie Roman and numerous other celebrities from the stage and screen.

Guests were then led back to The Plaza's Terrace Room for the VIP Party with a full casino and star prizes to be won. For those wishing to leave early there were carriages at midnight, but for the rest of the travel glitterati the celebrations went on into the early hours.

The Awards themselves were once again worthy of their recipients. Weighing over two kilos and a recognised symbol of worldwide excellence, the illustrious World Travel Award Atlas Statuette is cast in solid bronze by Garrard of London - The Crown Jewellers.

The equally famous World Travel Awards Winners Shield has now become a familiar face on the global advertising and marketing campaigns of previous award winners. The Shield, which is sent to all winners, can also be downloaded from this site.

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