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Night of the Year for Europe's tourism industry

Night of the Year for Europe's tourism industry ( Europe’s top destinations and leading travel companies will gather under one roof on Friday, October 1 at the Rixos Premium Belek, Antalya, Turkey.

All will be hoping to walk away with the most sought-after achievement in the travel and tourism industry - the World Travel Awards Europe Gala Ceremony trophies.

The awards, described by the Wall Street Journal as the “Oscars" of the global travel and tourism industry, has helped improve quality, value, and customer service over the past 17 years.

Nominees include some of the most respected and successful travel names in the business including Europcar, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, Hilton Hotels, Lufthansa, Hertz, Mardan Palace, Tui Travel, Four Seasons Hotels&Resorts, and The Rocco Forte Collection.

The evening, attended by the region’s major company CEOs, tourist board chiefs, association leaders, and government ministers is set to be a spectacular affair.

Entertainment for the evening comes in the form of the world-famous “Fire of Anatolia" dance act. This stunning cast of 45 dancers step, stomp and swirl to traditional folk music from the Black Sea to the Balkans. Traditional Turkish dancing with a collaboration of ballet and modern dance, the performance is backed by swirling Turkish music and drumming. Fire of Anatolia also holds the Guiness World Record for the fastest dance performance with 241 steps per minute.

Hosting the event is Seda Akgul, a familiar face on Turkish TV including TV8. Other entertainment on the night includes The Magic Drifters.

European nominees are among 5,000 nominated companies across more than a 1,000 categories, including airlines, cruise companies, destinations, resorts, and hotels in 162 countries.

The highly-contended title for Europe’s Leading Airline sees Air France, Alitalia, British Airways, Iberia, KLM, Lufthansa, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Swiss International Airlines, TAP Portugal, and Turkish Airlines fighting it out for the coveted title.

Meanwhile, competition is rife among the countries up for Europe’s Leading Destination. The contenders are Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Crete, Dublin, Dubrovnik, Istanbul, Lisbon, London, Pafos, Paris, Prague, Rome, Tallinn, Venice, Vienna, and Vilnuis. Italy has the highest odds being the only country to have two destinations nominated.

Going head to head for the title of Europe’s Leading Marketing Campaign are:, “Where you book matters;” Spanish Institute of Tourism, “Spain, a country to share;” STA Travel, iPhone campaign; The Hans Brinker Budget Hotel Amsterdam, “The Worst Hotel in the World;” Thomas Cook, 2010 Marketing Campaign; Visit London, “Only in London;” Visit Denmark&Expedia, Joint Campaign; and, “Welcome to Yorkshire.”

But it’s the struggle between hotels, large and small, that are likely to see the fiercest competition.

Battling it out for the highly-sought-after title of Europe’s Leading Hotel are Aquapura Douro Valley, Portugal; Castel Monastero, Italy; Ciragan Palace Kempinski, Istanbul, Turkey; Donbass Palace Hotel, Ukraine; Dubrovnik Palace Hotel Conference Centre&Spa, Croatia; Grand Hotel Lienz, Austria; Hotel Le Bristol Paris, France; Hotel Ritz Paris, France; Lešić Dimitri Palace, Croatia; The Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt, Ireland; and White Pod, Switzerland.

Leading the way in hotel sustainability, the following nominees are all eager to gain the coveted title of Europe’s Leading Green Hotel: Apex City of London, England; AquaCity Poprad, Slovakia; Ariston Hotel, Italy; Bedruthan Steps Hotel, England; Chateau Mcely, Czech Republic; Choupana Hills Resort&Spa, Madeira; Hotel FOX, Denmark; Ice Hotel, Sweden; Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge, Sweden; Radisson SAS Hotel, Edinburgh, Scotland; and Strattons, England.

In addition to overall Europe categories, there are awards for 57 countries including: Andorra, Belgium, England, France, Greece, Iceland, Monaco, Poland, Slovakia, Turkey, and more.

Travel industry professionals throughout the world have been voting online for their preferred companies and organisations during the past four months. Voting has now closed and votes counted ready for the big night.

Consumers increasingly use the list of winners as a reliable guide and means of reassurance when choosing their holiday. Companies and destinations that finish up on the winners podium, receive extensive commercial benefits and global profile.

For a full list of nominees for Europe log on to .

Rixos Premium Belek, the leading resort hotel in Belek’s Ileribasi district, will be hosting the event. Main sponsors include Turkish Airlines and World Mobi.

Winners of the Europe Gala Ceremony go through to the final of the World Travel Awards in London on Sunday, November 7, immediately prior to World Travel Market.

Lauren Brady T: +44 020 7872 5643 E: W:

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