Considerably, on the fifth consecutive occasion, London has been chosen as the ‘World’s Leading Destination’ at the high-prestige ‘World Travel Awards (WTA)’. Although there was a stiff competition between the world’s so-called top-notch hospitable cities including New York, Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town and Sydney, the British capital amazingly bagged the award at the end. London’s accolade follows the last month’s phenomenal news that Britain is the world’s fourth most admired country, lagging behind the USA, Germany and France.
In the beginning of the year, tourist arrivals in the metropolis rose to 27 million, thanks to a few prominent events, which saw an influx of international tourists as well as to the excitement builds before the 2012 Olympics. In addition, the capital boasts arrays of world class tourist venues which spellbind visitors all around the year. Not to forget, Christmas which every year sees flocks of people from all around struggling to find accommodation in jam-packed London.
World Travel Awards is the biggest and the most prestigious awards programme in the world of travel industry. WTA rummages around excellence across every sector of the international travel and tourism industry and picks out only the elites from the widespread industry. Also known as “The Oscars of the Travel Industry “, the World Travel Awards is the supreme travel accolade. From last 17 years, WTA is constantly in action to elevate the standards of customer service and the travel industry’s overall performance.
After a substantial year-long hunt, the World Travel Awards settled on their award winners and honoured all the frontrunners in the capital’s Grosvenor House hotel in the spectacular Grand Final Ceremony. A few hotel groups having UK properties including the InterContinental Hotels and Resorts, JW Marriott, Holiday Inn Express, von Essen and Ritz Carlton were also awarded at the programme.
Without doubt, the World Travel Awards has escalated London’s prominence in the world travel and tourism industry by honouring it yet again. Even if the capital has owned numerous influential awards so far, this award has its unique importance.
Many people dream of a perfect getaway but never quite reach the point of obtaining their desired travel. Family, work schedules, financial situations, and even inaccessibility may prevent individuals from seeing the location of their dreams. Businesses are recognizing the bargaining power of award programs based upon fascinating destinations. These programs are more unique than a simple trip to New York City for a few days. They are designed around some of the most intriguing destinations in the world and in some cases include hard to access areas. Travel award programs allow a business to offer a big reward to persistent employees who meet goals designed around the betterment of the company. Individuals get an amazing opportunity to see something they may otherwise never get to see while at the same time increasing their own reputation within the company. Monetary compensations do not supply the long term effect delivered by an exclusive vacation destination. Intriguing locations encourage employees to meet new goals in an effort to receive these experiences each year.
Incentive Travel Industry: Skilled Planning Providers Increase Program Success
The incentive travel industry does more than simply keep top staff members motivated. It also raises the stakes for those employees who have been supplying less than desirable performance. As members of the staff hear about the travel reward provided from the previous year, they become motivated to obtain the same experience. The result is a harder working and highly motivated department or staff. Why are trip awards in demand over the traditional approaches previously taken by organizations? They provide a destination individuals will truly enjoy as well as an exciting itinerary full of distinctive experiences. Companies in this industry create a plan within business budget restrictions while offering a theme designed around the purpose of the program. The end result is a comprehensive event full of new opportunities with most of the workload being handled by the service provider at a set expense.
A business can deliver destinations located in Fiji, Tahiti, France, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Canada by working with an experienced provider in the incentive travel industry. These locations are not as easy for individuals to plan and offer a higher degree of motivation over a basic vacation in the states. A fully planned trip is beneficial to the business as well as to those who achieve company goals. The planning workload behind this incentive type can be very intense due to the combination of airline, stay, and itinerary items. A service provider makes it easier to book less ordinary destinations by setting up every aspect of the trip. They perform background research on company’s reason for creating a travel award program and then tailor the entire experience to match the defined purpose. Those who excel get to take the trip of a lifetime as a reward for their perseverance. Exciting locations provide the encouragement needed for employees to push themselves a little harder. It is often very difficult for a company to set up these unique destinations within their supplied budget. An experienced provider can negotiate pricing, dates, and other factors to make the reward program increasingly beneficial to a business.
Credit card issuers are finding it more and more difficult to compete for the business of you the consumer in recent years. To combat that rising difficulty, many issuers are offering rewards for using their card. These offers range from something as simple as lower interest rates to cash back bonuses to low or no annual fees to the ever popular airline mileage cards. When you put your mind to it, you can use credit card rewards to earn world travel and great discounts, and possibly even free.
With credit cards that offer free airline miles, free hotel stays, free entertainment and sports, and free gas cards, you could actually go on vacation virtually free of charge. With so many different cards offering so many different types of rewards, cardholders often fly free, eat free, stay in hotels free, and rent cars free of charge. Many business owners reap the benefits of the credit card rewards at a greater rate because they are able to use the rewards from their business purchases as well as their personal purchases.
The most popular of the rewards cards is the airline mile reward cards. Different issuing companies handle the rewards differently, but some will offer mile for mile rewards on airline tickets purchased and some will offer 1 reward point for every dollar spent. It will likely take a larger amount of reward points to purchase an airline ticket on this type of card, but this type is very popular among US consumers. Another popular reward card for travelers is the gas reward card which is gaining popularity because of the rising cost of gas. The other card that has seen a steady gain in popularity is the cash back bonus award cards. They offer a small percentage of every purchase paid back to you in the form of credit on your account, credit with certain merchants, or a check paid to you. All of these types of rewards cards are popular with world travelers because they are rewards that can be used on world travels.
The availability of rewards points per purchase can vary from card to card. Using credit card rewards to earn world travel can be a tricky situation. The airline mileage rewards are usually subject to blackout dates or other restrictions. Other rewards cards are subject to terms and conditions and their rewards may not be available overseas. Rewards from gas cards that include free gas may not be available outside the continental United States. Cards that offer free restaurant visits for rewards may only be available at restaurants on a specified list that may not include a restaurant in the area you are visiting. In order to make sure that your rewards can be used where you are wanting to use them, you should always check with your credit card issuer and make sure of the availability.
If you are a common credit card user and you have the right type of rewards program on your credit card, it could be easy for you to use credit card rewards to earn world travel.
It’s hard to believe the words “entertaining” and “airport” can co-exist in the same sentence. When I’m thinking about an entertaining place to kick-back and have some fun, an airport generally doesn’t come to mind. I think of hours of boredom, stale sandwiches, cramped seating and dodgy wi-fi that hasn’t been updated since the 90′s.
Luckily, an increasing number of airports are making an effort to liven up the pre-flight experience by providing a variety of wonderful, sometimes weird, distractions to keep travelers entertained.
The following are five of the world’s airports where entertainment and leisure are taking off:
5. Munich, Germany
Munich is famed for its Oktoberfest festival, and the airport brings a sample of this fun to thirsty travelers. A Bavarian-style tavern complete with its own brewery, live music and a traditional beer garden, serves over 110,000 gallons of homemade beer from its home in the airport terminal.
4. Sydney, Australia
Potted plants are a common adornment in many airport areas, but the Qantas First Lounge at Sydney International Airport is home to a 30-meter vertical garden, containing 8,400 plants. Business travelers can also hit the books in the airport’s business center and library.
Along with several awards for the world’s best airport in air service quality, Seoul-Incheon also offers a wide selection of fun activities and facilities. An ice rink, casino, spa and movie theatre are just a few of the cool distractions offered. Travelers can also take a 5-minute shuttle to tee off for a relaxing round on the airport’s 18-hole Incheon Club Golf course.
Nashville, Tennessee: Known throughout the world as Music City. Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash have all been fixtures of the city’s famed recording studios. Playing on its lively musical scene, Nashville Airport puts on regular live concerts for travelers. Four stages within the airport host upwards of 100 free events every year.
Singapore’s Changi Airport has been crowned the best in the world for the fourth time in 14 years at the prestigious World Airport Awards in Geneva. Realizing that travel can be stressful, the airport was designed to be an open, airy space with lots of greenery, outdoor access and comfortable seating.
The airport’s incredible amenities include a butterfly garden, rooftop pool, movie theatres, spas, onsite nature trail, interactive art gallery and a four-story slide for children! Free city tours are available to any passenger with a layover of five hours or more.
Engaging employees, increasing channel sales, and building customer loyalty through strategic incentives including incentive travel, meetings, events, conferences, prepaid incentive and reward cards, promotional products, and merchandise in conjunction with marketing, communications, and advertising.
Vibrant, diverse, colourful and captivating are just some of the adjectives that describe this beautiful city. Set at the edge of the cold Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Cape Floral Kingdom (a World Heritage Site) and adorned with a world-renowned landmark, Table Mountain, Cape Town offers visitors and locals a multifaceted experience. Its not surprising then that Cape Town has been awarded so many accolades:
· 3rd Best City In The World – US Travel And Leisure July 2008
· Best City In Africa & Middle East – US Travel And Leisure July 2008
· 4th Top City In The World – Conde Nast Readers’ Choice October 2008
· Best City In Africa & Middle East – Conde Nast Readers’ Choice October 2008
· 3rd Best City In The Top 10 World Food Cities – Lonely Planet Blue List 2008
· Best Destination, Africa – World Travel Awards May 2008
· Best City To Live In, Africa & Middle East – Mercer Quality Of Living Survey 2008
· One Of The “Places Of A Lifetime” – National Geographic Traveler, July 2008
· One Of The World’s Most Sustainable Cities – Ethisphere Institute, Sept 2008
· Boulder’s Beach: World’s Best Family Beach – UK Telegraph March 2007
· Cleanest City In SA – DEAT Annual Cleanest Metro Awards March 2007
· #1 Uk Long Haul Destination – UK Trends And Spends Survey 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007
· One Of The World’s 5 Bluest Sky Destinations – Expedia.co.uk July 2006
· Favourite Foreign City – UK Telegraph 2004, 2005
· Ideal Travel Destination – Markinor-Sunday Times Top Brands Survey 2005
· Africa’s Leading Destination – World Travel Awards 2008
· Best Tourism Investor City of the Year – AI Tourism Investor Awards 2009
Cape Town offers a diverse menu for everyone: from extreme outdoor adventure activities to the quiet indoors, from budget backpacker accommodation to ultimate 6 star luxury, from cultural to theatrical entertainment and vast gastronomic experiences accompanied by some of the best wines in the world. Cape Town is a destination that for a traveller requires an absolute minimum of 3 nights stay to be able to grasp its diversity.
Cape Town is a popular venue for many international sports events such as the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Race (109km road race), Two Oceans Marathon (56km), the start of the ABSA Cape Epic Mountain Bike Challenge (800km over 8 days with approx 16 000m of climbing!) and the start of the biannual Cape to Rio Yacht Race. Cape Town hosted the 2005 Rugby World Cup and 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup. Cape Town is also host to the 2010 FIFA World Cup taking place from 11 June to 11 July 2010. South Africans in general are great sport enthusiasts and Capetonians certainly play their part in this role.
Generally Capetonians are known by the locals of other South African cities to be very laid back and easy going. Compared to the bustling metropolis of Johannesburg for instance where life is upbeat, fast and social, things happen in order and on time. Well, mostly, we need to keep in mind that this is Africa after all! All in all, South Africans are known to be very friendly and welcome travellers from all over the world.
Cape Town is an excellent gateway to the rest of southern Africa and a visit here can be combined with world-renowned wildlife safari destinations such as Sabi Sands Game Reserve west of the Kruger National Park, the Okavango Delta in Botswana or the malaria free Eastern Cape game reserves. Amongst other travel options to combine with your visit to Cape Town is a desert wilderness experience in Namibia or a luxury tropical beach experience in Mozambique.
Having travelled extensively all over southern, east and north Africa and abroad (mostly Europe) I made my home in Cape Town. A home in a city I am very proud of and don’t intend leaving at any cost at this stage of my life.