Algarve is top for tourism

By DAISY SAMPSON [email protected]

Resorts in the Algarve have received top tourism accolades during the European stage of the 2010 World Travel Awards, known in the industry as the Oscars of tourism.

In the Algarve, it was Vila Joya in Albufeira that once again picked up the accolade of Europe’s Leading Boutique Resort.

Vila Joya has enjoyed many years of success, receiving the award for Europe’s Leading Boutique Hotel in 2005 and 2006 and the highly acclaimed World’s Leading Boutique Resort every year since 2006.

For the past 17 years, the World Travel Awards have been used by the industry to promote tourism and reward exceptional examples of companies and destinations from around the world.

The European award ceremony was held on October 1 in Antalya in Turkey with the gala ceremony welcoming directors of leading travel companies, government ministers and tourist board chiefs.

While the Algarve was primarily responsible for promoting Portuguese tourism, Lisbon was also flying the flag for Portugal being named Europe’s Leading City Break Destination.

The capital beat off stiff competition from Paris, Venice, Rome, London and Madrid. 

Lisbon has previously picked up the 2009 award for Leading City Break Destination, Leading Cruise Destination and Europe’s Leading Destination.

Meanwhile, in a section of the ceremony dedicated solely to Portugal, the Algarve again shone through as the premier region in the country for travel and tourism with four of the seven awards being given to Algarve businesses.

The Pine Cliffs Resort won the award for Portugal’s Leading Family Resort, while the Hilton Vilamoura won Portugal’s Leading Golf Resort, the Blue & Green Vilalara Thalasso Resort was deemed Portugal’s Leading Spa Resort and Hotel Quinta do Lago took the top award of Portugal’s Leading Resort during the ceremony.

Award winners were chosen by thousands of industry experts who voted online for their preferred top providers and according to Graham E. Cooke, the founder and president of World Travel Awards, winners not only receive prestige for the companies and destinations they also gain considerable commercial benefit.

“Because of its global reach and reputation, World Travel Awards is unique and regularly referred to as the Oscars of travel and tourism,” he said.

“What is so encouraging is the strength demonstrated by European travel and tourism in the face of adversity,” added Graham E. Cooke.

All the winners of the European level awards will now go on to compete in the World Travel Awards 2010 final to be held in London on November 7 with Vila Joya hoping to be recognised as the best in the world in its field.