World Travel Awards (WTA) capped its year-long search for the world’s most successful travel and tourism brands with its glittering Grand Final Gala Ceremony in Doha, Qatar on 11 January 2012.

The show was held in partnership with Qatar Tourism Authority at Katara Cultural Village, Doha’s ground-breaking new arts and exhibitions complex.

W Doha

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Safak Guvenc from W Doha received World's Leading Hotel & Residences award

The evening marked the culmination of a year-long search for the very best travel and tourism brands in the world, and featured the winners from WTA’s five 2011 regional heats competing head to head.

India saw off the likes of London, New York, Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro and Sydney to win the blue riband “World’s Leading Destination” award in a year in which international arrivals edged closer to the target of one billion travellers by 2016.

Etihad Airways continued its meteoric rise by being voted “World’s Leading Airline” for the third year in succession, following a milestone year that saw the UAE flag carrier continue its journey as the fastest growing airline in history. Meanwhile Abu Dhabi’s sparkling new Jumeirah at Etihad Towers won the nod against the likes of Mandarin Oriental Paris, The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, The Park Hyderabad, Hotel Missoni Edinburgh and W Hotel London to pick up the coveted “World’s Leading New Hotel” title.

It was also an evening of celebration for Qatar, with Doha being voted “World’s Leading Business Travel Destination”, Qatar Airways named “World’s Leading Airline Business Class”, and Regency Travel & Tours winning “World’s Leading Travel Agency”.

Qatar Tourism Authority Chairman, Mr. Ahmed Al Nuaimi, said: “We are delighted to be honoured as the ‘World’s Leading Business Destination’ by our peers in the global hospitality industry. This is a great achievement and solidifies Qatar’s premier position as a great place to do business as well as one with first class leisure, sporting and cultural attractions”.

Hailed as “The Oscars of the Travel Industry” by the Wall Street Journal, WTA is recognised worldwide as the ultimate travel accolade. Its 2011 Grand Tour featured regional heats in Dubai (UAE), Antalya (Turkey), Sharm el Sheikh (Egypt), Bangkok (Thailand) and Montego Bay (Jamaica).

Turkish award winners at this year’s World Travel Awards Grand Final are:
World’s Leading All Suite Hotel & Spa:    Hotel Les Ottomans, Turkey
World’s Leading Design Hotel: Adam & Eve at Belek,
TurkeyWorld’s Leading Fully Integrated Resort: Cornelia Diamond Golf Resort & Spa, Turkey
World’s Leading Hotel Spa: Mardan Spa, Mardan Palace, Antalya, Turkey
World’s Leading Luxury Resort: Mardan Palace, Turkey