Annual World Travel Awards Gala Ceremony 2003

10 October 2003 – New York

New York

500 leading lights from the travel industry partied the night away with the stars of Broadway and Hollywood in the Grand Ballroom at The Plaza Hotel Monday night. They were celebrating the tenth anniversary of the World Travel Awards, the premier global awards event of the travel industry.

From Hollywood and Broadway attendees and performers included BEN VEREEN, JERRY ORBACH and JESSE L. MARTIN ("Law & Order") LOUISE PITRE ("Mamma Mia") DEBORAH GIBSON, MICHAEL CAVANAUGH, JILL NICKLAUS, HOLLY CRUICKSHANK ("Movin Out"), BEBE NEUWIRTH ("Chicago", "Frasier"), SAM MOORE of Sam and David, JOHN STAMOS. Hosting the show was "Seinfeld" star JOHN O HURLEY (J Peterman).

The world-class hospitality included a champagne cocktail reception, gala dinner followed by a unique show and of course the real stars, the Awards themselves.

As this year's host city, New York picked up two Awards including World's Leading Hotel and North America's Leading Airport. Sri Lanka [Tourist Board] did enter into discussions regarding a bid for 2003. However NYC was successful in their bid, however wishing Sri Lanka luck for future bids. "Commenting on the event, Mayor Bloomberg said "We're delighted to host this prestigious ceremony. I congratulate all of tonight's winners for their tremendous efforts on behalf of travel and tourism." The Mayor pointed out the vital role that tourism plays in New York City and cities around the world and stressed that "it is important that we recognize the very best the industry has to offer."

Leading decision makers and thought leaders from the world of travel picking up Awards included Gordon "Butch" Stewart, Chairman of Sandals Resorts International (Caribbean's Leading Hotel Group, World's Leading All-Inclusive Company), Barbados Minister for Tourism, Hon Noel Lynch (Caribbean's Leading Destination). Other winners included Las Vegas (World's Leading Destination, World's Leading Tourist & Convention Bureau), Virgin Atlantic Airways (World's Leading Airline), American Airlines (North America's Leading Airline), Emirates (Middle East's Leading Airline), Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide World's Leading Hotel Group) and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (North America's Leading Hotel Group).

Gordon "Butch" Stewart commented: "It is fantastic that Sandals has won the world's best ten years in a row now. We are extremely proud."

Chairman and Founder of World Travel Awards, Graham Cooke commented: "This is about travel, the thing that everybody aspires to. This is better than the academy awards because travel is really the stuff that people are the most interested in, they want to know the best places to go. This really is a collection of the best of the best".

Established in 1993 to acknowledge and celebrate excellence in the world's travel and tourism industry, World Travel Awards has become one of the most important nights in the travel industry calendar. With thousands of votes cast by travel professionals from 80,000 travel agencies in over 200 countries, winning a World Travel Award has become one of the highest accolades a travel product could ever hope to receive.

The impressive World Travel Award itself is cast and hand-finished in Bronze by distinguished fine jewellers, Jarvis of St. James.


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