MADEIRA-PURTUGAL : The elite of the travel industry assembled for the World Travel Awards Europe Gala Ceremony on the breath-taking Atlantic island to find out who among them would be crowned best of the best.
Winners at the red-carpet reception included the enchanting city of St. Petersburg, Russia, voted Europe’s Leading City Destination. Meanwhile, Portugal reinforced its credentials as the country for everyone by emerging as Europe’s Leading Destination.
Madrid was named Europe’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination, while the captivating mix of Belle Époque and contemporary splendour helped Batumi, Georgia, lift the title of Europe’s Leading Emerging Tourism Destination.
Hundreds of the leading travel industries figureheads from across the continent attended the ceremony at Belmond Reid’s Palace, an historic hideaway set in verdant gardens overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Graham Cooke, founder, World Travel Awards, said: “Our inaugural ceremony in Madeira has proved an incredible success.
“We have had the privilege of recognising the leading destinations, hotels, resorts, airlines and travel providers from across Europe and my congratulations to each of our winners.”
Madeira also made it onto the winner’s podium after picking up the title of Europe’s Leading Island Destination.
Commenting on the victory, Paula Cabaço, regional secretary for tourism and culture, Madeira, said: “We could not be happier with this distinction.
“Receiving this prize, at home, the first time we host the World Travel Awards Europe Gala Ceremony, has an even more special flavour.
“This is the result of the work we have carried out to bring Madeira to the European market.
“There is no doubt that we are the best island in Europe and with this campaign we leave the doors open for everyone to come and see and live Madeira!”
The ceremony concluded with a magnificent firework display to mark the opening of the Atlantic Festival, a series of events during Madeira’s summer season.
World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry.