Ukrainian airline flight attendants ditch skirts and heels for loose suits and sneakers

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26 October 2021

Alexandrina Denysenko, a senior flight attendant with seven years of experience, says she sometimes does not get a spare minute to sit down during a flight and dreams of resting her swollen legs after spending hours wearing heels.

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Qatar Tourism launches new campaign and continues its goal to welcome six million visitors by 2030

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Tuesday 26 October 2021

DOHA – Qatar Tourism has launched a new international multi-media campaign to drive forward the country’s tourism goals and cement its ambition to welcome more than six million visitors a year by 2030. The campaign features nine unique, engaging key chain characters designed to introduce travellers to the destination, which will roll out across 15 international core markets.

Under the tagline, ‘Experience a World Beyond’, Qatar Tourism will launch its latest development via a TV-led, multi-media campaign, featuring the voice of Indonesian singing sensation, Raisa. Six key chain characters introduce travellers to the variety of experiences that Qatar offers, with a further three, friendly local characters representing Qatari tour guides.

The global campaign is inspired by the insight that today, more than ever, international travellers want to engage in authentic experiences that will enrich their lives, rather than pose for the perfect Instagram picture. It brings to life that Qatar is an accessible introduction to the Middle East, blending cosmopolitan modernity and beautiful landscapes with Arabic traditions, cuisines and cultures.

Leading hospitality and travel safety is also at the heart of the campaign, as Qatar was named the world’s safest country by Numbeo’s 2020 Safety Index. Amongst the increasingly competitive Middle Eastern tourism industry, the uniquely friendly and familiar campaign is designed to stand out from the crowd, helping raise mass awareness of the country and its undiscovered potential.

The new advertising campaign reflects Qatar’s commitment to expanding its tourism proposition, in line with Qatar’s National Vision 2030. Qatar has already welcomed over two hundred thousand in-bound travellers since the country’s borders re-opened in July 2021.

A new website launched by Qatar Tourism, visitqatar.qa, is available in five languages and supported by a recently launched Personalised Travel Companion mobile app, designed to showcase the world-leading destination.

Qatar’s new tourism strategy puts the visitor at the heart of all new programmes and initiatives and will leverage the peninsula’s variety of existing experiences, while capitalising on a wave of new hotels, theme parks, shops and major leisure projects that have recently opened, or are set to launch, in the lead-up to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM.

To drive significant growth in annual international visitor arrivals, Qatar Tourism has appointed travel representative agencies in the eight key source markets in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, DACH (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland), Russia, China, India and the United States of America, as well as the addition of in-market sales managers in Australia and Turkey.

To aid knowledge and development for travel agents, Qatar Tourism’s travel agency training platform, TAWASH, has also been refreshed with a new interface design, content and training modules. The training platform supports Qatar’s mission to become a leader in Service Excellence. Designed to offer an improved learning experience, the upgraded programme functionality includes features such as interactive maps and knowledge check quizzes, alongside a new module structure to deliver an agile learning solution.  

Agents can receive a ‘Qatar Expert’ certificate, which can be upgraded to ‘Qatar Specialist’ through completion of additional elective options. Learners who have already completed the former programme will automatically receive the ‘Qatar Expert’ level.

With the goal of raising tourism to 12% of GDP by 2030, Qatar will grow and improve assets and attractions, including the addition of 105 new hotels and serviced apartments to its extensive growing portfolio. The strategy will enhance the end-to-end customer experience and deploy a tailored marketing strategy to target point-to-point and stopover visitors.

Chief Operating Officer of Qatar Tourism, Berthold Trenkel, said: “As we work towards realising Qatar’s mission of becoming a world-class tourism destination, our international markets team will be the driving force in engaging key travel trade in key regions.

Our aim is to promote Qatar’s new value proposition to tour operators, online travel agencies and consumers. We welcome international travellers to the country to experience Qatar’s rich cultural heritage, unique hotels and resorts, incredible outdoor activities, beaches and multi-cultural culinary scene. In Qatar, visitors will truly Experience a World Beyond.”

Qatar is renowned for its warm hospitality and commitment to excellence, exemplified by its award-winning carrier Qatar Airways, which is the only airline to be voted World’s Best Airline six times by Skytrax. This is further complimented by the airline’s home and hub, Hamad International Airport, which was voted World’s Best Airport in 2021 by Skytrax. Such accolades further reinforces the country’s warm and hospitable reputation as it looks forward to welcoming tourists to the State of Qatar through a seamless journey.

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Foodie? Here are 6 street food destinations you should visit

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What’s cooking? World recipes

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Forget gourmet restaurants, the best way to sample a destination’s cuisine is through its street food offerings, writes Clinton Moodley.

Mexico

Tamales, a traditional Mesoamerican dish steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf, is undoubtedly one of the popular dishes in Mexico. Travellers can find it at food vendors or restaurants across the country. Other popular options include tacos, quesadillas, tostadas, empanadas, nachos, fajita and tortas.

Thailand

Thailand is famed for its food markets and street vendors. When the destination fully reopens, you will find street vendors prepare meals in front of you, with plenty of options to choose from. Popular food includes pad thai, kaao laad kaeng (curry on rice), mango sticky rice and Thai iced tea.

Morocco is distinguished by its Berber, Arabian and European cultural influences. The street food scene is flourishing. Harira, known as the national soup of Morocco, is one of the traditional meals you must try. The tomato-based soup is made with chickpeas and lentils.

There’s also the merguez, a grilled red, spicy mutton or beef-based sausage and sardines served with parsley and paprika. Morocco is the largest canned sardine exporter. For those with a sweet tooth, try their chebakia.

The pastry dough, created to look like a rose, is deep fried and poured with a syrup of honey and rosewater, finished with sesame seeds. Be sure to explore the streets of Fez, known as Morocco’s culinary capital.

South Africa

South African cuisine combines African, Asian and European elements. For the best street food experience, explore Durban. Indulge in a bunny chow, hollowed-out bread filled with a curry of your choice: mutton, chicken or beans.

Also, try the amagwinya (vetkoek), a deep fried savoury dough filled with mince or cheese. Many vendors serve this comfort food at street corners, but restaurants serve “gourmet” versions with additional combinations. Other notable mentions include koeksisters, boerewors, biltong and kota.

Bali

Bali is another Asian destination that thrills foodie travellers. Besides its spectacular views and array of temples, Bali is a destination packed with flavour. Popular street food items include sate (satay), a south-east Asian dish of seasoned, skewered and grilled meat; bakso, an Indonesian meatball with hot broth; and pisang rai, a boiled banana wrapped in rice flour and rolled in coconut.

India

India is known to offer some of the best street foods and the majority of them are vegetarian-friendly. Among their traditional meals is bhelpuri, a mixture of puffed rice, potatoes and roasted peanuts and pani puri, a crisp, hollowed puris with potato, moong and chickpeas.

Also try aloo tikki, a deep fried dish made with mashed potato, lentils and cottage cheese. For those with a sweet tooth, sink your teeth into a jalebi smothered in a sugary syrup. No trip is complete without trying some chai tea prepared by a chaiwala. Visit Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai for the best street food offerings.

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The Edition to Debut in Reykjavik This November

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October 26, 2021

The Reykjavik Edition is opening in preview on November 9, 2021. The 253-room hotel has a lineup of bars, signature restaurant and nightclub, and introduces a new kind of modern social wellness concept. 

The hotel is designed in partnership with local architecture firm, T.ark and New York-based studio Roman and Williams with the guidance of ISC (Ian Schrager Company). On a harborside perch, against mountain views, The Reykjavik Edition is adjacent to Harpa, the landmark concert hall and conference center, and just minutes from Laugavegur, the main shopping street in downtown Reykjavik. The clean lines of the hotel have been angled to make the most of the views and its lively harborside setting with a double-entrance lobby accessible either from the pedestrian Harpa plaza, or the Harbor. The latter is similar to The Times Square Edition, featuring a canopy. Its underside is illuminated by 12,210 glass LED nodes.

In the hotel’s lobby, basalt stone is prominent, appearing on the flooring, which has been laid with an intricate pattern inspired by Icelandic geometry, besides a sculptural reception desk. The lobby bar beverage menu focuses on global wines by the glass and classic cocktails with an Icelandic twist. The lobby lounge has a central open-flame fireplace, surrounded by seating and a collection of custom-made furniture in intimate seating groups, such as the Jean-Michel Frank-inspired armchair in white shearling and Pierre Jeanneret-inspired chairs in black velvet.

Accessible from the lobby, the ground floor is also home to Tides, a restaurant with a private dining room and a café with homemade baked goods, and Tölt, an intimate bar that takes its cues from The London Edition’s Punch Room. Tides, which has an outdoor terrace and its own waterfront entrance, is helmed by Gunnar Karl Gíslason. 

Breakfast is a mix of clean juices, pastries, fruit, cereal and skyr (Icelandic yogurt) supplemented by an à la carte menu of hot dishes and a selection of open-face sandwiches. For lunch and dinner, Gíslason serves modern Icelandic cuisine with a focus on seasonal local products mainly cooked over an open fire. Alongside an extensive wine list, guests can expect dishes such as a vertical salad topped with fried oyster mushrooms, aged soy sauce and roasted almonds; whole Arctic char stuffed with lemon, dill and garlic butter; baked Atlantic cod, grilled potatoes, mixed herbs and butter; and lamb shoulder braised and slowed grilled, pickled onions mint and apples. There is also a weekend brunch menu and for three nights a week, The Counter, overlooking the open kitchen, will serve an eight-course tasting menu with wine pairings for up to 10 people. Those looking for something more casual can pop into the bakery and café for a coffee and a selection of crowberry scones, sourdough or rye bread sandwiches for dine-in or take-away.

On the opposite side of the lobby, Tölt, named after the unique fifth gait Icelandic horses are best known for, is a cozy bar, designed with three intimate nooks where guests can enjoy a menu of cocktails inspired by Icelandic culture using local Icelandic spirits. The Roof is located on the hotel’s seventh floor and offers panoramic mountain, North Atlantic Ocean and old town vistas. It is a versatile space that can be divided by a glass door for private events. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors open onto a large wraparound seasonal outdoor terrace, scattered with comfortable seating and a large fire pit. Here, the casual vibe is supplemented by a small menu of comfort foods like grilled flatbreads, toasted sandwiches and fresh salads.

Each of the hotel’s 253 guestrooms and suites have their beds facing floor-to-ceiling windows, while some feature an outdoor terrace. The bathrooms with custom handmade white ceramic tiles made in Italy are furnished with a white marble vanity, matte black accessories and fittings alongside custom Le Labo toiletries of Edition’s exclusive scent. From its prime corner spot on the sixth floor, the one-bedroom Penthouse Suite, with its own private terrace has harbor, Harpa and mountain views that are complemented by bright interiors, an oversized bathroom and a central fireplace.

The lower ground floor is home to Sunset, opening later this year, a cool underground night spot with a sound system and theatrical lighting that illuminates a dark and edgy black concrete interior with a black cast concrete bar. Sunset can be divided into three spaces with access from the hotel and Harpa square. Along with a cocktail menu and an ongoing roster of events, the club will play host to top DJs and performers. There is also a private entrance.

The Spa has three treatment rooms, along with a hammam, steam room, sauna and plunge pool, which offers hydrotherapy; there is also a central lounge with a spa bar, which serves a healthy menu of post-workout Viking shakes, champagnes and moss vodka infusions alongside snacks like volcano bread with black lava salt. This can be enjoyed in the Geothermal water splash pool together with the 60-minute Sundown Spa treatment, which includes a body massage and a cool onyx scalp massage. The Spa is located directly opposite Sunset. 

Also on the lower ground floor is a gym, which has strength training, weight and cardio equipment.

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Emerald Faarufushi Resort & Spa to Debut in 2022

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October 26, 2021

The Emerald Collection, a luxury resort group behind Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa, has announced its expansion with the acquisition of Emerald Faarufushi Resort & Spa. Set on a seven-hectare private island in the Raa Atoll, and framed by an extensive lagoon of 100 hectares, Emerald Faarufushi Resort & Spa will open on May 1, 2022 and is currently in the process of affiliating with The Leading Hotels of the World.

The island has 80 villas, split into six different categories: Beach Villas (10), Family Villas with Pool (10), Beach Villas with Pool (17), Water Villa with Pool (39), Superior Water Villa with Pool (3) and one Presidential Villa located on the beach. 

The resort will have five restaurants and two bars to choose from, as part of its signature “Deluxe All-Inclusive” packaging. The signature Italian restaurant, Mediterraneo, and Eclipse Bar are both located on the resort’s jetty, with the former serving Italian dishes, and the latter serving cocktails and aperitifs.

The resort also houses Emerald Spa, hidden amongst the vegetation. It comprises eight air-conditioned spa suites elevated among the palm trees, where the design and oval roofs resemble eco-friendly spaceships. There is a steam room, a manicure and pedicure corner, a yoga pavilion, plunge pools, a spa boutique, and an immersive relaxation area. The spa menu draws from Balinese tradition and includes a host of relaxing body massages and detoxifying facials. Designed with sports- and fitness-lovers in mind, Emerald Faarufushi Resort & Spa has one large tennis court and one paddle court in the marina, along with an air conditioned Gym & Sports Centre with Technogym equipment.

Emerald Faarufushi Resort & Spa will offer extensive water sports facilities and diving at the five-star Diving Centre, where guests can achieve PADI licence. A dedicated Dolphin Kids’ Club is under construction and will comprise complimentary indoor and outdoor facilities for children aged three to 12.

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British Airways extends successful trial of digital health pass Verifly

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October 26, 2021 – British Airways has announced that following the successful trial of mobile health pass, VeriFLY by Daon, and its subsequent rollout across its network, it has signed a long-term agreement with Daon.

  • British Airways and American Airlines were the first airlines to trial mobile digital health pass, VeriFLY by Daon
  • Over 500,000 customers have successfully used the pass to make sure they have the right documentation ahead of their flights
  • British Airways has extended its relationship with VeriFLY following the rollout of the technology across its network, with particular focus on the US ahead of its opening to UK and European citizens from November 8
  • The airline is on track to ensure that the whole of its route network is covered by a functionality that allows customers to have their documents checked before travel by the end of the year
  • British Airways is working with VeriFLY to ensure that customers connecting with other carriers, can use the platform to certify their documentation

 

The airline has worked closely with Daon to make travel as frictionless and smooth as possible for its customers. Travellers can upload any Covid-19 related documentation required for their destination, including vaccination records, negative Covid-19 results and government documents, straight into the VeriFLY mobile app so that they are verified before travel. This will let customers know if they have met the appropriate Covid-19 entry requirements for their destination before leaving for the airport, avoiding any uncertainty.

As well as ensuring a customer has the correct documentation for their journey, British Airways has further developed the technology to allow customers using VeriFLY to check in online on BA.com. Boarding passes can be downloaded ahead of arriving at the airport and customers travelling with hand luggage can head straight through security without the need to visit a desk once they arrive at the airport, further increasing the capability for contactless travel.

The airline initially started trialling VeriFLY in February 2021 on selected routes and has seen over 500,000 customers successfully verified before travel. VeriFLY is now available on all flights to North, South and Central America the Caribbean, Middle East, South Africa, Cayman Islands, Egypt and European destinations including Bulgaria, France, Croatia, Ireland and Switzerland, as well as on the majority of flights into the UK.

British Airways is working closely with Daon to make the customer experience even easier. Most recently it has extended the capability to read QR codes that appear on documentation such as a vaccination certificate or the UK passenger locator form, making document submission simple.

Anthony Allcock, British Airways’ Chief Information and Digital Officer, said: “We started working with Daon at the beginning of this year with one simple objective – to make it as simple as possible for our customers to understand and conform with different country entry requirements when they fly with us. Since then, we have worked with Daon to make it even easier, allowing customers to unlock online check in and automate approvals for digital documentation such as vaccination certificates or the Government’s passenger locator form, helping reduce complexity.  

“We know our customers rely on us to help them through their journey and we will continue to ensure our travel verification processes are the most advanced, reliable and easy to use as we help get the world moving again, especially as we prepare for US borders to reopen on  November 8.”

Tom Grissen, Daon CEO, said: “British Airways and American Airlines were the first global airlines to truly understand what their customers would need to successfully navigate the ever-changing government travel requirements related to COVID-19. By making VeriFLY available early on, British Airways travellers have had the advantage of a seamless and confident travel experience. We are delighted to see our partnership with British Airways grow stronger. Other organisations and airlines have followed their lead.”  

For multiple customers travelling on one booking reference, they can use one smart phone to upload all documentation. The airline is also working closely with other airlines on the role that VeriFLY plays in multi sector journeys.

All data uploaded to VeriFLY or through www.ba.com is not retained by either organisation and is purged post travel, unless a government requires specific information to be temporary kept for attestation or contact tracing, in which case it will be safeguarded for a limited time strictly in line with GDPR laws.

For all other countries that British Airways flies to, customers can verify their COVID-19 documents through ‘Manage My Booking’ on ba.com and once verified they will be able to check-in online. Destinations include Hong Kong, Nigeria, Ghana, Singapore, India, Maldives and Pakistan, as well as a handful of European destinations

 

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Egypt prepares for huge celebration to promote Luxor as open museum city

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October 26, 2021 –  Egypt has been preparing for a huge celebration to promote Luxor city as a major tourist destination.

Madbouly’s remarks came during his visit to Luxor to inspect a number of projects being implemented in the tourism, service, and development fields.

The prime minister said that the large projects that the state is currently implementing to revive a number of archaeological areas in Luxor will make this city an open museum that attracts the attention of tourists from all over the world.

The Prime Minister inspected the excavations under part of the building of the Church of the Virgin Mary, in which the Ministry of Antiquities found three distinct rams including one of the most magnificent statues of rams found in this site.

Madbouly and his accompanying delegation also inspected the Karnak Temple, where he listened to an explanation from Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Khaled El-Anani, about the development work in the temple.

El-Anani explained that the Karnak Temples Visitors Center had been comprehensively developed, in terms of renewing paints and lighting, and floors.

The Prime Minister directed the completion of the works of renovating the tiles in the courtyards associated with the temple.

Madbouly also witnessed the restoration work of a ram’s head that was discovered as well as the restoration of a number of columns in the Karnak Temple.

El-Anani indicated that the restoration team also restored the largest known statue of King Tuthmosis II in front of the eighth edifice in the Karnak temple. The restoration work will be completed before the end of October.

El-Anani has also explained that the project to discover and prepare the Road of Rams in Luxor is one of the most important archaeological projects undertaken by the state in order to transform Luxor into the largest open museum in the world, by linking the temples of Karnak, Luxor, Mut and the ruins of ancient Thebes. 

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Delta fast-tracks NYC growth with 8,000 more seats daily

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October 26, 2021 –Delta fast-tracks NYC growth with 8,000 more seats daily

The airline’s capacity increase also restores nonstops to the top 40 U.S. markets from JFK and LGA. With domestic consumer travel back to 2019 levels, Delta is focused on restoring capacity safely and reliably as business travel picks up with volumes not seen since the pandemic began.

The airline’s capacity increase also restores nonstops to the top 40 U.S. markets from JFK and LGA.
 

 

 

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Abu Dhabi signs John Cena for new tourism campaign

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Monday 25 October 2021

Not to be outdone by rivals up the road in Dubai, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi Tourism) has hired John Cena for a new tourism campaign.

The work encourages travellers to book a trip to the United Arab Emirates’ capital.

Following the teaser video launched last week, the full film sees Cena abandoning his travel plans after reading about Abu Dhabi on his flight – highlighting exactly why the ‘Time is Now’ to visit.

Literally diving into everything the destination has to offer, Cena parachutes out of a plane and lands on the roof of the iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi.

The video showcases the birds-eye view of Cena’s journey through Abu Dhabi’s beautiful landscapes, world class attractions and legendary entertainment scene.

From dune bashing in the desert to unwinding on its pristine beaches, taking in its vibrant and contemporary art and culture scene, or exploring an array of family fun attractions and theme parks – there is a world of possibility to discover during a trip to Abu Dhabi.

The film has been released following the announcement that Abu Dhabi is welcoming all international vaccinated travellers and those travelling from Green List countries back to the Emirate, without the need to quarantine.

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World Travel Awards reveals Europe winners

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Monday 25 October 2021

World Travel Awards – the leading authority that recognises and rewards excellence in travel and tourism – has revealed its Europe 2021 winners.

Greece, with its resurgent travel and tourism economy, was voted ‘Europe’s Leading Destination’, Portugal’s Algarve was named ‘Europe’s Leading Beach Destination’, and the Azores took ‘Europe’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination’.

The imperial splendour of Moscow was acknowledged with the award for ‘Europe’s Leading City Destination’.

The fascinating city of Batumi, Georgia was declared ‘Europe’s Leading Emerging Tourism Destination’.

Saint Petersburg won ‘Europe’s Leading City Break Destination.’

In the hospitality sector, Çırağan Palace Kempinski, Istanbul was voted ‘Europe’s Leading Hotel’, Sardinia’s Forte Village Resort lifted ‘Europe’s Leading Resort’.

Italy also featured in the newcomer section, with the cutting-edge medical retreat Palazzo Fiuggi named ‘Europe’s Leading New Hotel’.

One&Only Portonovi, nestling on the shores of Montenegro’s sparkling Adriatic coast, was recognised as ‘Europe’s Leading New Resort’.

Sani Resort, Greece claimed ‘Europe’s Leading Family Resort’.

The results follow a year-long search for the world’s top travel, tourism and hospitality brands.

Votes were cast by travel industry professionals and the public, with the nominee gaining the most votes in a category named as the winner.

Graham Cooke, founder, World Travel Awards, said: “Our winners represent the very best of the Europe’s travel and tourism sector and my congratulations to each of them.

“They are all playing starring roles in leading the travel and tourism recovery.”

In the aviation sector, British Airways picked up ‘Europe’s Leading Airline’ as well as ‘Europe’s Leading Airline – First Class’, Air France was voted ‘Europe’s Leading Airline – Business Class’, with Lufthansa named ‘Europe’s Leading Airline – Economy Class’.

Zurich Airport scooped ‘Europe’s Leading Airport’.

Other winners include Europcar (‘Europe’s Leading Car Rental Company’); InterContinental Hotels & Resorts (‘Europe’s Leading Hotel Brand’); Turismo de Portugal (‘Europe’s Leading Tourist Board’); Madrid (‘Europe’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination’); the Convention Centre, Ireland (‘Europe’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre’); Cannes (‘Europe’s Leading Festival & Event Destination’); and Dark Sky Alqueva, Portugal & Spain (‘Europe’s Responsible Tourism Award).

More Information

World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry.

Today, the World Travel Awards brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.

Each year, World Travel Awards covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognize and celebrate individual and collective success within each key geographical region.

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