#Together: Industry insights into the COVID-19 recovery. « Find out more »

AA, Hyatt and New York's St Regis Scoop Top Travel Prizes

8 September 2008 - London

North and Central America’s leading travel and tourism brands have been awarded this country’s highest accolade – by thousands of agents and travel professionals across the world.

At a star-studded evening on 6 September, World Travel Awards North American and Central American Ceremony unveiled an honours list of world class travel companies.

American Airlines took North America’s Leading Airline, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, North America's Leading Hotel Brand and the legendary St Regis Hotel in New York walked off with Leading Hotel. For his outstanding contribution to the travel industry Dr. Robert Billington of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council Inc was awarded the Travel Personality award.

In Canada's Alberta province, The Hyatt Regency, Calgary won Canada's Leading Hotel and the opulent and secluded Fairmont Banff Springs took both the Leading Resort and Leading Spa Resort awards.

Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort, again in Costa Rica, was presented with the title of Central America's Leading Golf Resort and Las Ventanas Al Paraiso, situated on the tip of Mexico's Baja Peninsula walked away with Leading Spa Resort.

The evening, held at Walt Disney's World Swan and Dolphin Orlando, Florida, revealed an international roll call of global appreciation for the North American travel industry.

World Travel Awards, established 15 years ago and described by the Wall Street Journal as the 'Oscars' of the global industry, encourages greater quality, value and, above all, exceptional customer experience spanning every sector and region worldwide.

Votes were received from agents and travel professionals throughout the world.

The ceremony was sponsored by Eurostar, the 186mph high-speed train service linking London with Paris and Brussels via the Channel Tunnel under the sea.

Some of the top senior industry management were attending the presentation including Michael Davies, Head of International Sales, Eurostar; and Cheryl Hudak President and CEO of the American Society of Travel Agents; Ross and Trish McTavish founders of Canada’s largest independent travel agents; Louise De Grandpre and Michael Merrithew from Merit Travel Group; Jorge Tellez from Central American Cancun Convention Bureau; Hotel Parador’s Diego González; Peter Vittori the Regional Sales and Marketing Manager of American Airlines.

More than 100 Central American, 160 North American and 100 Canadian organisations were nominated in almost 60 categories respective of their region, including airlines, airports, hotels, car hire, destinations, resorts, spas and travel agencies.

The event is part of World Travel Awards Grand Tour, culminating with the final in December, which this year is being held in Turks & Caicos.

"Winners of the World Travel Awards North American and Central American Ceremony are every special brands, dedicated to being the best in aspect of the customer experience", said Graham E Cooke, founder and president.

"Their success here at a country-wide and global level means they will further improve their international profile as well as reach out to new customers."

"Increasingly, we are finding that consumers are checking who have won World Travel Awards to ensure that they get top advice and assistance in making the right choices as well as, of course, total peace of mind when booking their trip."

Walt Willey of the hugely successful, long-running ABC day-time drama 'All My Children' was the evening host. Willey shared the stage with his fellow colleague from of 'All My Children', Ricky Paull Goldin who was one of the award presenters. Melora Hardin, star of NBC's smash-hit fly-on-the-wall programme 'The Office' and Gretta Monahan of 'Rachel Rae' were part of the presenters' line-up as well.

The event forms part of a World Travel Awards Grand Tour with regional awards staged throughout the world, ending with a Grand Final at Turks & Caicos in the Caribbean on 12 December 2008.

A complete downloadable list of winners from the World Travel Awards North America and Central America Ceremony 2008 is available here.


Notes to Editors

About World Travel Awards

  • The World Travel Awards were launched in 1993 to acknowledge and recognize excellence in the world's travel and tourism industry.

  • Now celebrating its 15th Anniversary, the awards are regarded as the very highest achievement that a travel product could ever hope to receive.

  • Attended by senior executives from major travel companies, operators and destinations, WTA events are universally respected as providing established, top-level networking opportunities, regionally and globally.

Log on to www.worldtravelawards.com for regular updated information

For further press information contact
Jane Larcombe
T: +44 (0)1892 785071
E:[email protected]

Find us on


Subscribe to the World Travel Awards newsletter to keep up to date with our latest news.

Vote Now

Our other awards

World Cruise Awards World Culinary Awards World Golf Awards World MICE Awards World Ski Awards World Spa Awards World Travel Tech Awards