The finest travel brands in the world have been unveiled at a star-studded gala ceremony in Muscat, Oman. The elite of the travel industry gathered for the World Travel Awards (WTA) Grand Final Gala Ceremony 2019 at the landmark Royal Opera House Muscat to find out who amongst them had been crowned the finest in the world.

Winners at the red carpet reception included Etihad Airways, named ‘World’s Leading Airline’, Armani Hotel Dubai voted ‘World’s Leading Hotel’, whilst Dubai collected ‘World’s Leading Business Travel Destination’. The paradise island of St. Lucia was the recipient of ‘World’s Leading Honeymoon Destination’, Kenya scooped ‘World’s Leading Safari Destination’, whilst Moscow fended off stiff competition to emerge as ‘World’s Leading City Destination’.

The evening marked the climax of the WTA 26th anniversary Grand Tour 2019 – an annual search for the finest travel and tourism organisations in the world, with the winners of WTA’s six regional ceremonies going head-to-head for the coveted World titles.

Graham Cooke, Founder, WTA, said: “It has been an honour to bring WTA to Oman for the first time in our 26-year history. What an incredible evening it has been here in the magnificent capital of Muscat. We have had the privilege of recognising the world’s leading hotels, destinations, airlines and travel providers and my congratulations to each of them.”

In the aviation sector, Aeroflot capped a year of strong passenger growth by winning both ‘World’s Leading Airline Brand’ and ‘World’s Leading Airline – Business Class’, whilst Singapore Changi Airport was named ‘World’s Leading Airport’.

Oman Airports was named ‘World’s Leading Airport Operator’. Since the opening of its new terminal, Muscat International Airport has witnessed significant shifts in its approach to high-level service and travel experiences. Meanwhile Oman Air’s continuing ascendency was acknowledged with it winning ‘World’s Leading Airline – First Class’.

The strength of Portugal’s tourism economy was reflected with several victories, including ‘World’s Leading Destination’, whilst capital Lisbon was named ‘World’s Leading City Break Destination’.

Hospitality winners included Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (‘World’s Leading Luxury Hotel Brand’); Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Oman (‘World’s Leading Palace Hotel’); Tower Club at lebua (‘World’s Leading All Suite Hotel’); Fraser Hospitality (‘World’s Leading Serviced Apartment Brand’); Hotel de la Coupole MGallery by Sofitel, Vietnam (‘World’s Leading Design Hotel’); and InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, Vietnam (‘World’s Leading Luxury Beach Resort’).

The leading travel industry figureheads and decision-makers of the global travel industry attended what marked WTA’s inaugural ceremony in the beautiful Sultanate of Oman.

Sheikh Aimen bin Ahmed Al Hosni, Chief Executive Officer, Oman Airports said: “Hosting the WTA Grand Final Gala Ceremony has enabled us to bolster our support for the Oman Aviation Group to strengthen the tourism and transport sectors and achieve the strategic goals of Oman 2040. Having approached international markets and strengthened our relationships with key players in the travel and tourism sectors over the years, we felt it our responsibility to support and host international events of such magnitude here in Muscat. Our sponsorship of this grand event further enables us to attract global travel and tourism brands to visit Oman and see first-hand its true beauty and potential.”

Regional ceremonies on the WTA Grand Tour 2019 included Montego Bay (Jamaica), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Mauritius, Madeira (Portugal), La Paz (Bolivia), Phu Quoc (Vietnam). The winners of these regional ceremonies have progressed to the Grand Final in Oman when the winners of the prestigious World categories will be unveiled.

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