The prestigious World Travel Awards will be held this month in London are the Oscars of the travel and tourism industry. Business Editor, Lindsey Turnbull assesses the competition and reports on Cayman’s chances of bringing home a much-lauded award.
The World Travel Awards began 15 years ago, and has been making steady and significant, long term impact on the global tourism industry. Promoting an excellent customer experience provides real advantage to a tourism industry business, and as such, winners of a World Travel Awards know that they hold a much coveted reinforcement of their excellence. At its core, the World Travel Awards aim has been to encourage world-class competition, stimulate innovation and creativity as well as ensure that travelers receive exceptional value.
The awards have been described by Wall Street Journal as the Oscar of the global travel and tourism industry thus winning an award is extremely significant for the region’s travel and tourism industry.
The final award ceremony for nominees within the Caribbean region take place on 7 November at Grosvenor House in London and are followed the next day by the final award ceremony for all the competing regions globally. Out of 30 plus general categories listed, the Cayman Islands has just two nominations in this year’s World Travel Awards, while competitors within the region have numerous mentions.
The Ritz-Carlton Suite at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman have been nominated as one of the region’s best suites, along with Diamond at Eden Rock, St Barts; Four Bedroom Villa at One&Only Ocean Club, Bahamas; Grace Bay Penthouse Suite, Grace Bay Club, Turks & Caicos; Penthouse Three Bedroom Ocean Front at The Regent Palms, Turks & Caicos; Presidential Suite, The Somerset, Turks & Caicos and The Grand Penthouse, Grand Isle Resort and Spa Hotel Exuma Island, Bahamas.
Stingray City has been nominated for the award of the Caribbean’s Leading Tourist Excursion, which also includes the likes of ATV Adventure, St Lucia; Cave Tubing, Belize; Dominica Waterfall Hike and Dunn’s River Falls, Jamaica.
The WTA has also nominated three hotels in the category of Cayman Islands’ Leading Boutique Hotel (all, interestingly enough located on Little Cayman): Little Cayman Beach Resort, Pirates Point Resort and the Southern Cross Club.
There is also a section dedicated to the Cayman Islands’ Leading Resort, which includes the Caribbean Club; Britannia Villas Resort; Grand Cayman Beach Suites; The Meridian
The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman and the Westin Casuarina Resort & Spa.
However, returning to the general categories, Cayman is not mentioned in the top destination for the Caribbean, which lists Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Jamaica, St John, US Virgin Islands, St Martin, St. Lucia, Tobago and Turks & Caicos as nominees.
It is also not mentioned in the top cruise port. Nominees include: Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Montego Bay, Jamaica, Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Turks & Caicos Islands.
Cayman is not even mentioned in the long list of the Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination, which includes: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Araba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Grenada, Jamaica, Nevis, St Barts, St Lucia, St Martins,
St Vincent & The Grenadines and Turks & Caicos.
Cayman is also not mentioned in the Caribbean’s Leading Beach category, the Leading Cruise Destination, the Leading Honeymoon Destination or the Leading Marketing Campaign.
North America Awards
Miami recently topped the best US destination at the World Travel regional awards for the North and Central America region, which took place last month, in which more than 500 travel organisations were nominated. The event, which attracts senior management and decision makers from across the region, was held at the Hacienda Tres Rios, in Mexico, in partnership with Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau, Yucatan Holidays, Yucatan Travel, RCI and Vive Mexico. Other winners from various sectors included: Cozumel, Europcar, Anthony Travel, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Mexicana.
In the North American categories, American Airlines won North America’s Leading Airline, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts took four awards including Canada’s Leading Golf Resort, Canada’s Leading Ski Resort, Canada’s Leading Business Hotel and North America’s Leading Golf Resort.
The Leading Hotel Brand for North America went to Marriott Hotels & Resorts, and North America’s Leading Destination went to Miami.
In the Central America categories, Mexicana triumphed as Central America’s Leading Airline, while Parador Boutique Resort & Spa picked up Central America’s Leading Hotel award. Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau picked up Central America’s Leading Destination award.
Each winner will be automatically put forward for the spectacular WTA Grand Final which will take place at the five-star Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott Hotel, in London on 8 November.