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European Tour of World Travel Awards storms NewcastleGateshead

10 October 2007 - NewcastleGateshead/England

The World Travel Awards (WTA) celebrated the excellence of the European tourism industry, when they announced the winners of the Europe & Green Awards at a prestigious awards ceremony at the Newcastle Marriott Hotel Gosforth Park on Tuesday night. More than 50 trophies were given out.

As many as 300 guests from 19 countries from across Europe attended the glamorous event, which was hosted by impressionist and comedian Jon Culshaw, famous for his work on BBC's top-rated series "Dead Ringers". During the evening, awards were received by companies such as Europcar, which was voted "Europe's Leading Car Hire"; Lufthansa landed the award for "Europe's Leading Business Class Airline"; Marriott Hotels, Resorts & Suites picked up "Europe's Leading Hotel Brand" while Hotel Le Bristol Paris won the title of "Europe's Leading Hotel". A top award also went out to Swiss International Air Lines, voted "Europe's Leading Airline".

"North East England and especially Newcastle is an up and coming destination thanks to the region's regeneration in the last few years. Newcastle is surrounded by unspoilt countryside and coastal stretches in the UK, which is one of the reasons why so many people make the city a destination for their holiday," said Graham Cooke, President and Founder of the World Travel Awards. "Newcastle played an ideal host for our regional event, and we are now building to the crescendo of our Annual World Travel Awards Ceremony in Turks & Caicos at the end of the year."

Top industry turned up in force: Attending travel agents were Per Arne Villadsen, CEO of Berg Hansen, Lex Beins, CEO of CheapTickets.nl, Wesley Peterson, European Director of Air of Expedia.co.uk and Luca Patane, President of Uvet American Express. Hotel representatives included Pierre Ferchaud, President and General Manager of Hotel Le Bristol Paris, Mark Allvey, Global Sales Director of The Rocco Forte Collection. Attending airline representatives were Gudrun Gorner, Corporate Communications Executive of Lufthansa, Gregor Koncilja, UK Country Manager of Swiss International Air Lines as well as Titus Johnson, Country Manager UK of Air Berlin, to name but a few.

The star-studded event saw eight new awards in the newly-introduced "green" awards. AquaCity Poprad received one of them for "World's Leading Green Resort"; East Midland's Airport scooped "World's Leading Eco-friendly Airport".

WTA introduced the "green" categories earlier this year to reward those companies who excel in ecologically-friendly practices. "As a responsible authority for the travel industry, the World Travel Awards are keen to encourage creativity and leadership that will lead to a sustainable future." said Manon Han, Vice President of the World Travel Awards. "The introduction of the "green" awards has brought the awards to a different level and ultimately we want to help green-conscious travellers make a more informed decision on eco-friendly products and services."

The guests enjoyed an eclectic mix of entertainment and music throughout the evening. Disco group Boney M., famous for songs such as "Daddy Cool" and "Rivers of Babylon" had the audience dancing and singing with their brilliant and highly-entertaining performance. Media attendance of the regional ceremony was considerable with representatives of 15 institutions attending, including 7 Plus, NCJ Media, Exclusive Magazine, Sunderland Echo, Northern Echo, Living North Magazine, Evening Chronicle, Northumberland Gazette, ABTA Magazine, Sunday Sun and Northeast Press. As WTA's official media partner, BBC World will broadcast the event to over 280 million homes in over 200 countries and territories on FastTrack, one of the station's best known travel programs.

Voting for the Europe and "green" categories started in March of this year and ended in August. During this period ballots were completed, returned and processed using the online voting form. The winners of the Europe Awards will automatically be put forward as nominees in their respective global categories. The world winners will be announced at the grand final, the Annual World Travel Awards Gala Ceremony in the Turks & Caicos in the Caribbean on 12th December this year.

For the first time in 14 years, the World Travel Awards cover the various country and regional level awards by recognising award winners in their own territory. Chosen locations for this year's grand tour included Abu Dhabi for the Middle East & Africa Awards and New York for The Americas Awards. The next upcoming WTA awards ceremony will be held in Bangalore in India for the Asia, Australasia & Indian Ocean Awards.

The complete winners' list and pictures from the event are now available on the official WTA website www.worldtravelawards.com.

Notes to Editors:

The World Travel Awards were conceived in 1993 to acknowledge and celebrate excellence in the world's travel and tourism industry. Now in their fourteenth year, travel professionals and discerning travelers have come to regard the World Travel Awards as the very best endorsement that a travel product could hope to receive. With thousands of votes cast by travel professionals from 167,000 travel agencies, tour & transport companies and tourism organizations in over 160 countries across the globe, winning a World Travel Award has become one of the highest accolades a travel product or organization can achieve.

World Travel Awards are especially coveted as, uniquely, the votes are cast globally by fellow professionals. With trophies awarded in over 1,000 different categories, the World Travel Awards are undoubtedly the world's most comprehensive awards celebration. Attended by top executives of winning companies, the events are highly regarded and well-established as a forum that brings together all areas of travel and tourism in recognition of their achievements. WTA's sponsors include Turks & Caicos Islands, North East England, Amadeus, Nakheel, Emirates Palace, Beaches, Fortune Cookie, Etihad Airways, The Leela Palace Kempinski Bangalore, VLM Direct and Virtually-the-World.

www.worldtravelawards.com

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For further press information please contact Nadine Wenn at:

World Travel Awards Limited

T: +44 (0)20 7925 0000
E: [email protected]
12-16 Laystall Street
London EC1R 4PF

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