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World Travel Awards highlights importance of travel and tourism in alleviating Europe's debt crisis

World Travel Awards highlights importance of travel and tourism in alleviating Europe's debt crisis ( World Travel Awards has emphasized the vital role of travel and tourism in re-establishing macro-economic stability across Europe.

The leading awards program, hailed as the “Oscars of the travel industry" by The Wall Street Journal, cited the example of Greece and how its tourism economy is enjoying double-digit growth despite the on-going debt crisis. It noted that tourism in Greece makes up 18 percent of the economy, accounting for one in five jobs.

The announcement comes ahead of the forthcoming World Travel Awards 2011 Europe Ceremony, which will see the leading travel and tourism brands from across the continent compete for the most influential accolade in travel.

The glittering ceremony returns to Turkey’s tourism jewel of Antalya for the second year running, and takes place at the luxury Cornelia Diamond Golf Resort & Spa on September 2, 2011.

After months of intense voting, Europe’s travel leaders will find out who will win the prestigious World Travel Awards. Nominees include some of the most respected names in travel including British Airways, Ritz Carlton, Conrad Hotels, Orient Express, Europcar, and Lufthansa.

Graham E. Cooke, President and Founder, World Travel Awards, underlined why travel and tourism is playing an even greater role as renewed debt fears sweep across Europe.

He said: “During times of economic uncertainty world-class brands come into their own, continuing to grow market share and raising their standards to new heights. World Travel Awards winners see struggle not as sign of weakness, but as an opportunity for growth and renewal and a chance to put their business model through the ultimate test.”

“Turkey has proven one of the tourism miracles of the global downturn, and hosting our Europe Ceremony will provide an excellent opportunity for the top decision-makers in European travel to experience its world-class facilities first hand.”

More than 2,000 companies across Europe, spanning more than 250 categories, including airlines, cruise companies, destinations, hotels, and resorts will battle it out for the coveted trophies.

Hosting a World Travel Awards event delivers a number of benefits for the host, including a year-long campaign of promotion to both the trade and public. Meanwhile organizations that make it on to the winners’ podium receive extensive commercial benefits and global coverage.

With the cream of European travel set to attend, the ceremony also offers excellent opportunities for high-level networking.

The Europe Ceremony marks the second heat of World Travel Awards 2011 Grand Tour, and follows the opening leg in the Middle East, hosted at Armani Hotel Dubai in May. Other regional legs will follow in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt; Bangkok, Thailand; and Montego Bay, Jamaica. These winners will progress to the grand final in Doha, Qatar.

The event partners include Cornelia Diamond Golf Resort & Spa, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Jamaica Tourist Board, Mauritius Tourist Board, Conrad Hotels,, Armani Hotel Dubai, Emaar Hospitality Group, Dusit Thani Bangkok, Sandals Resorts, Sports Authority of Thailand, Savoy Sharm el Sheikh, and WeClickMedia. The media partners include ABTA Magazine, eTurboNews, Focus on Travel News, TravelDailyNews, Agenzia di Viaggi, Breaking Travel News, and National Geographic Traveller.

Tickets for the World Travel Awards 2011 Europe Ceremony can be booked via .

MEDIA CONTACT: Anton Santos, T: +44 (0)20 7925 0000, E: , W:

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