Batumi was the perfect host for Europe’s VIP travel event of the year. The destination is making the headlines as 2023’s “go-to” destination with its blend of unique heritage and culture married to a pioneering future vision underpinned by ambitious investment plans in tandem with environmental conservation, emerging technologies and innovation.
Tourism royalty convened in this year’s most talked about European destination for a spectacular three-day event to celebrate World Travel Awards 30th anniversary. All eyes were on Batumi, Georgia for Friday night’s centrepiece World Travel Awards (WTA) Europe Gala Ceremony 2023 as the world discovered the continent’s hottest brands and travel products.
Portugal made the headlines by claiming the ultimate accolade for ‘Europe’s Leading Destination’. Madeira also made it onto the winner’s podium after picking up ‘Europe’s Leading Island Destination’. Spain’s adrenaline capital Huesca La Magia was named ‘Europe’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination’, putting the city in Aragon at Europe’s top table.
In the hospitality sector, Istanbul’s Çırağan Palace Kempinski was voted ‘Europe’s Leading Hotel’, whilst Sardinia’s Forte Village took ‘Europe’s Leading Resort’. The Convention Centre Dublin claimed ‘Europe’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre’. Brand winners included Kaizen Hoteles, which collected ‘Europe’s Leading Independent Hotel Group’.
In the newcomer categories, Armenia’s Seven Visions Hotel, The Dvin took the coveted title for ‘Europe’s Leading New Hotel’, whilst Greece’s Domes Noruz Kassandra was hailed ‘Europe’s Leading New Resort’, Lisbon’s new Earthquake Center, Quake, was named ‘Europe’s Leading New Tourist Attraction’.
Graham Cooke, Founder, WTA, says: “It has been a privilege to host our 30th anniversary celebrations in Batumi for an historic event that will last long in everyone’s memory. One of the rising stars of world tourism, this remarkable city has played a starring role in welcoming the figureheads of our industry. Our winners represent stellar examples of tourism excellence, and I congratulate each and every one for helping to raise the collective benchmark to even greater heights”.
Capital of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara, Batumi enjoys an enviable all-season climate on the shores of the Black Sea, with a backdrop of the incredible snow-capped Ajara Mountains.
Tornike Rijvadze, Chairman, Government of Ajara Autonomous Republic, says: “We are honoured to have hosted the 30th anniversary World Travel Awards Europe Gala Ceremony in Batumi, Georgia. It is our privilege to have welcomed tourism leaders from around the world. We are proud to have had you here with us, grateful for the opportunity to build together a greater future for our tourism industry and delighted to share with you the very best of Georgian hospitality.”
The breadth and depth of Georgia’s fast-growing travel and tourism economy was reinforced with several key awards. Batumi was rightly recognised as ‘Europe’s Leading All Season Destination’, Batumi Botanical Garden’s unique flora and beauty were recognized with the vote for ‘Europe’s Leading Botanical Garden’. Other winners included Martvili Canyon (‘Georgia’s Leading Tourist Attraction’); Kolkheti National Park (‘Georgia’s Leading National Park’); Le Méridien Batumi (‘Georgia’s Leading Hotel’); Crowne Plaza Borjomi (‘Georgia’s Leading Resort’); Hilton Batumi (‘Georgia’s Leading Conference Hotel’); Sheraton Batumi Hotel (‘Georgia’s Leading Luxury Hotel’); Golden Tulip Design Tbilisi (‘Georgia’s Leading Design Hotel’); Presidential Suite @ The Grand Gloria Hotel (‘Georgia’s Leading Hotel Suite’); Europcar (‘Georgia’s Leading Car Rental Company’); Travelfy (‘Georgia’s Leading Tour Operator’); and Voyager 365 (‘Georgia’s Leading Travel Agency’).
In the aviation sector, Air France was named ‘Europe’s Leading Airline’, whilst Zurich Airport was voted ‘Europe’s Leading Airport’. Lufthansa collected ‘Europe’s Leading Airline – Business Class’ and Virgin Atlantic won ‘Europe’s Leading Airline – Economy Class’. Europe’s Leading Airline Lounge went to THE LOFT by Brussels Airlines and Lexus @ Brussels Airport.
Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.