Annual World Travel Awards Gala Ceremony 2001

13 June 2001 - Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur

Held in the luxurious surroundings of the Shangri-La hotel in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, this year's awards were by in excess of 500 attendees from the very cream of the travel industry, and many hundreds of thousands worldwide on our exclusive webcast.

The World Travel Awards were set up in 1993 to celebrate excellence in world's travel and tourism industry. In the years since then, dedicated travel professionals and their clients have come to regard the World Travel Awards as the best endorsement that any travel product could receive.

The 8th World Travel Awards consisted of 152 categories, and despite the many categories the voting was extremely successful - indeed, it was a record-breaking year! Over 25,000 agencies from 182 countries participated in the online voting, further enhancing the value of the awards as the professional's choice. More and more people now recognise the global significance of achieving World Travel Award winner's status.

A collective of the ministers and directors of tourism worldwide deliberated and decided on who should receive the award for Travel Personality of the Year 2001. Their choice was unequivocal and highly popular as Virgin's Richard Branson stepped into World Travel Awards' very own Hall of Fame.

From his humble beginnings as the boss of an indie musical label, to the energetic, populist and visionary travel pioneer he is today, Branson serves as an inspiration to many in the travel Industry as someone who not only innovates, but listens to his customers and then delivers. A popular choice on the night, eagerly embraced by everyone present.

The main bulk of the Awards produced many surprises and many new records. British Airways, Kuoni, Las Vegas Convention & Visitor's Authority, Sandals and Starwood Hotels & Resorts reinforced themselves as undisputed Champions by running away with their World's Best Awards. While newcomers like Burj Al Arab and Intrav can expect raised profiles on receipt of their Awards for World's Leading All-Suite Hotel and World's Leading Luxury Specialist Tour Operator. A popular choice on the night with the local audience was Cathay Pacific (Asia/Pacific's Leading Airline), Hong Kong (Asia/Pacific's Leading Destination) and Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts (Asia/Pacific's Leading Hotel Group).

The World Travel Awards gala night is also a tremendous night of entertainment! Ably compered by Paula Malai Ali, star of MTV, the audience thrilled to the mind-bending artistry of Asia's no. 1 illusionist magician, Anselm Roy, and swooned to George McCrae's live rendition of his No.1 hit "Rock Me Baby". Chart stars, The Real Thing kept the hits coming and the crowd danced into the early hours of the morning inspired and invigorated.

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