Portugal picks up three world tourism ‘Oscars’  

Algarve resorts receive top awards at WTA 2011

Portugal once again did well at the World Travel Awards (WTA), scooping up gongs for the best boutique resort and leading airline to Africa and Latin America.

Vila Joya has been named World’s Leading Boutique Resort 2011 for the sixth consecutive year by the WTA, beating competition from locations such as Jamaica, Thailand, The Cook Islands and Fiji. Vila Joya also won the Europe’s Leading Boutique Resort 2011 category.

National carrier TAP Portugal received two awards for the World’s Leading Airline to Africa and another in the same category for South America.

The airline had stiff competition at this year’s event held in Qatar, with competition from heavyweights like British Airways, Delta Airlines, Emirates, South African Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways.

On a national level, The Sheraton Algarve Hotel Pine Cliffs resort received an award as Portugal’s Leading Family Resort 2011, which it has held for three years, and also received nominations for Europe’s Leading Resort and Portugal’s Leading Golf Resort.

The Hilton Vilamoura won Portugal’s Leading Resort 2011 and nearby Hotel Quinta do Lago won Portugal’s Leading Spa Resort 2011 as well as having a long list of nominations in other categories.

In all, Portugal had clocked up nine nominations in this year’s WTA: apart from TAP and Vila Joya, other nominations included Choupana Hills (Best Island Boutique Resort); Longevity Wellness Resort Monchique (Best Clinical Spa and Wellness Centre); Lisbon (Best Cruise Ship Port and Destination) and Visit Portugal (Best Tourist Board Site).

In the category of World’s Leading Destination 2011, Lisbon was nominated but the award went to India. London won this category in 2009 and 2010.

As to the other winners worldwide that picked up around 150 awards, these included Lufthansa (Best European Airline), easyJet (Best Low Cost Airline) and Burj Al Arab (Best Hotel).

The Grand Final Gala ceremony of the WTA took place in Doha, Qatar on January 11.

The World Travel Awards have been going for 19 years and are divided up into regions. Regional Galas are held throughout each year and the competition culminates with a Grand World Gala.

Voting for the awards takes place online and is open to everyone, although a vote from a tourism professional is worth double the vote from a member of the general public.  

The World Travel Awards serve to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry.

More information on world and European winners can be found at www.worldtravelawards.com.