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21 October 2009 -

Virgin Atlantic Airways, Europcar, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and Marriott Hotels were the big winners in the European edition of the World Travel Awards held last week in Portugal.

The awards, referred to commonly as the travel and tourism Oscars were staged at the sumptuous Marriot Praia D’El Ray Hotel and saw host the Marriott group take home top gong for Europe’s Leading Hotel Brand along with Lisbon being awarded Best European Travel Destination.

In airline categories Europe’s Leading Airline was won by Lufthansa with Easyjet winning the budget carrier honour while Zurich was named Best Airport. The Kempinski Hotel in Munich was voted Best Airport Hotel.

Carlson Wagonlit took top honour as Europe’s Leading Travel Management Company. Tui Travel TLC was Best Travel Operator while Vaijes Iberia was named Europe’s Leading Travel Agency.

Europcar was once again named Europe’s Best Hire Car operator.

The World Travel Awards have become increasingly recognised as the benchmark for service excellence and in recent years more and more companies have vied for the array of titles. Organisers claim that award winners are instantly afforded global brand recognition and increased customer loyalty. This year saw close to 1500 companies nominated in the 177 categories and awarded those who managed to consistently offer excellent despite the tough economic climate.

The UK awards saw The Berkeley in Knightsbridge win Best Hotel, while the Hilton London Park Lane and Grosvenor House also went home winners. The Gleneagles Hotel was voted Scotland’s Best Hotel and Resort. The Celtic Manor Resort scooped the top prizes in Wales while The Clarence was named Best Hotel in Ireland.

By Helen Young



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