Ten of the greatest World Travel Leaders, from around the world, picked up their coveted award on Tuesday 5 November during the WTM World Travel Leaders Awards Ceremony.
The Awards give WTM London’s Official Media Partners – which represent key travel industry media around the world – an excellent platform to congratulate and recognise those companies and individuals that have made significant and ground-breaking contributions to travel and tourism over the last 24 months in their region or sector.
Three nominations from each of WTM London’s media partners were judged in September by a panel of senior industry experts including an independent body and a representative of WTM London.
One overall winner was awarded at the inaugural International Travel & Tourism Awards for Outstanding Contribution to the Industry.
G Adventures, nominated by Canadian Travel Press, are a global small group adventure specialist, and offer over 750 life-changing tours for individuals of all ages, interests and budgets in 100 countries, on all seven continents. Their award-winning trips support local communities while giving travellers meaningful experiences with the people, cultures, landscapes and wildlife in the destinations they visit. They focus on giving tourists the freedom and flexibility to explore on their own. G Adventures responsible approach to travel is demonstrated through its ‘G For Good’ social impact initiatives, which include travel guidelines for children, wildlife and Indigenous people as well as community tourism projects which travellers can experience on a trip.
“WTM is the highlight of the UK tourism sector’s calendar and to be recognised at the Travel Leaders Awards, amongst the industry’s finest, is a true honour. Travel is ever-evolving and it’s the incredible work, talent and passion from the across the team at G Adventures that allows us to continue to adapt and lead, offering more adventures to travellers and continuing to change lives around the world” commented Brian Young, Managing Director for EMEA,G Adventures.
Nicolaus Group, nominated for by L’Agenzia di Viaggi, was created in 2003. It came from an idea devised by the brothers Giuseppe and Roberto Pagliara and quickly became the reference point for Italian Travel Agencies and International Tour Operators. Nowadays Nicolaus is one of the leading Tour Operators in the Italian market serving destinations like Italy, Greece, Tunisia, Turkey, Egypt, the Maldives and Tanzania and developing medium and long-range luxury segments.
“Winning this award is not only an honour, but also a great thrill. In receiving it, I want to thank those who voted and all the people who, over the years, with their precious work have made the Nicolaus Group what it is today: our colleagues, the business partners and most of all the Travel Agencies that put their trust on us. A special thought and thanks also goes, naturally, to our customers, who choose to rely on us for their holidays. Every day, our mission is their satisfaction and their happiness: we mean to continue along our path of growth with new products and services, in order to offer them experiences of real joy and discovery” commented Giuseppe Pagliara, CEO, Nicolaus Group.
Minar Group, nominated for by Trav Talk, boasts of more than a million satisfied travellers. At Minar, we take “experiential travel” to the next level; whether you fancy food or fashion, our clients meet some of the best in the industry, have a one-on-one chat with them & expand their horizon. In short, we’re not the sight-seeing type, we’re the sight-feeling type.
“It’s an honour to be recognised on a global platform for our work. We hope to keep innovating & positively impacting all those attached to Minar” commented Mr. Gren Pacheco, Vice President-Sales, Minar Group.
Iberostar Group, nominated for by Hosteltur, is a 100% family-owned Spanish multinational company with more than 60 years history. Hospitality is the company’s core business, with a portfolio of more than 120 four- and five-star hotels located in 19 countries and a workforce of more than 32,000 employees.
“At Iberostar we are encouraging a movement to care for the oceans. Our Wave of Change campaign, implemented across our entire value chain, has become one of the core values of our brand identity. It works through three pillars: the elimination of single-use plastics, the responsible consumption of seafood and the improvement of coastal health. We focus our findings on a scientific basis and the, the action we take is developed through these principles and decisions are made as a result."
Jose Andres, chef, and founder, World Food Kitchen, nominated for by Travel Weekly US, founded the World Food Kitchen in 2010, the kitchen uses the power of food to strengthen communities through times of crisis and beyond. WCK has transformed the field of disaster response to help devastated communities recover and establish resilient food systems. As chefs, we know that good food provides not only nourishment, but also comfort, especially in times of crisis. By partnering with organizations on the ground and activating a network of food trucks and emergency kitchens, WCK provides freshly made, nutritious meals to survivors of disasters quickly and effectively.
“After WCK has led a food relief activation and the emergency is over, we sometimes make an ongoing commitment when we feel we can successfully address chronic food system challenges with our unique mix of talents and resources. Through locally-led approaches, our long-term programs advance human and environmental health, offer access to professional culinary training, create jobs, and improve food security for the people we served” commented Jose Andres, chef, and founder, World Food Kitchen
OYO Hotels, nominated by Travolution, is the world’s fastest-growing and third largest hotel company. Founded in 2013, OYO now has over 850,000 rooms across 23,000 hotels in more than 80 countries. OYO works with independent hotels to grow their business through its capabilities in technology, revenue management and operations, whilst enhancing the guest experience through investing in and transforming small- to mid-sized hotels.
“We are extremely honoured to win this award. It is testament to the hard work of our amazing team. We use the best talent and technology to improve the performance of hotels, and enhance the experience of guests. We act like it is still day one for us, and we are committed to getting better each and every day,” commented Jeremy Sanders, Head of OYO UK.
Ministry of Tourism – Egypt, nominated by TTN Middle East, will introduce a structural reform program; showcasing what Egypt has to offer with an overarching objective to have at least one individual from each Egyptian household working directly or indirectly in the tourism Creating opportunities through developing and executing policy frameworks is the essence of E-TRP with partnerships, capacity building and skills development placed as the cornerstones of this project. Beyond Egypt’s destinations and iconic landmarks, Egypt moves, astonishes and awakens the senses of visitors, through its people. #PeopletoPeople is this year’s campaign from the Egyptian nation that invites the lobal community to connect human-to-human and experience all this country has to offer.
Intrepid Group, nominated by TTG UK, is a collection of four tour operator brands and 23 destination management companies united by the vision of Changing the Way People See the World. For 30 years, Intrepid has been taking small groups to travel the local way, on real life experiences that give back to the places and people we visit. Intrepid Group has grown to now offer more than 2,700 trips to more than 120 countries and on all seven continents, and will carry 500,000 customers this year. As a certified B Corp, they are also part of a global community of companies redefining success in business to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy for the long-term.
“It’s fantastic to win the Travel Leaders Award – what a great testament to all the work we’ve been doing at Intrepid Group to help ensure travel is a force for good. Many thanks to all our industry partners for their support and to TTG for nominating us for this tremendous accolade” commented Michael Edwards, Managing Director for EMEA and The Americas, Intrepid Group.
Altice Arena, nominated by Publituris, is the biggest venue in Portugal and one of the largest in Europe. Member of ICCA – International Congress and Convention Association and of EAA – European Arenas Association, it is in the top ten of the Worldwide Ticket Sales TOP200 Arena Venues. Altice Arena has 20 years of experience, helping to produce over 2,000 events, with audiences from 50 different countries, receiving, per year, more than 1 million visitors.
Intourist, nominated by Tour Business, is the largest Russian DMC and one of the largest tour operators in Russia and the CIS. Intourist is the oldest Russian travel company, headquartered in Moscow and has offices in all major Russian cities. The company was founded in 1929 as a state monopoly with the purpose to manage all international tourism to and from the Soviet Union. Today Intourist serves more than one million customers every year.