Musing on Award Ceremonies 2

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
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    The latest in the series of World Travel Awards dinners was the global ‘finals’ held at the Grosvenor House in London’s Park Lane on Friday night. I have to confess to a frisson of disappointment, as we did not share tables with Miss World Competitors as we did in the Asian heats held in the same venue last year.This may be why this year there were empty tables in the ballroom, or maybe the guests had heard it was to be hosted by ex- Southend goalkeeper turned comedian Terry Alderton. He seemed to think insulting people was the way to get a laugh. Certainly, the South African and German guests on my table were thoroughly offended by his compeering. Having asked if there were any German guests in the room, he started imitating air raid sirens and machine gun fire. He then went on to insult Italian, South African and other guests and was unable to pronounce many of the names of the winners.

    Winners there were of course in what is sometimes proclaimed the Oscar ceremony of the Hotel world. Of course, where this leaves the ESleep Event’s uropean Design Awards is debatable. Hotels and hotel groups win on the vote of 186,000 industry professionals the organisers claim, in distinct difference to the dozen or so industry worthies that select the winners for the Sleep European Design Awards, or the MKG Hotel Awards in France, or the Golden Key Awards in the US, or the —enough enough! Remember though, you have to enter to win anything.

    On this evening there were 79 awards made. Can you believe this organisation that in order to whittle down the shortlist for the global finalists, stages dinners and award ceremonies in 10 countries? There are over 1,000 categories voted on by the 186,000 travel trade representative, hoteliers etc.. A huge constituency of voters provides the base for a truly global participation in the awards, and a huge efficiently globally run elimination contest that makes the poor presentation of this year’s finals a real disappointment – a black tie event where even the organiser can’t be bothered to wear a black tie?

    As for who won (I’m sure you are dying to know), well there were 79 awards made on this evening, by the end of which it was all a little hazy – well, you try keeping up with South African and Germans who are drinking to drown their annoyance with the comedian. Not that South Africans ever need an excuse of course. Where did the extra bottles come from Ralf?

    A link to the full winner list is attached. The British hotel related winners were
    • Von Essen as Best Boutique Hotel Group
    • Intercontinental with the World’s Best Budget Brand in Holiday Inn Express,
    • London as World’s Best Destination (although one attendee commented “travelling on the Tube in rush hour was like being on a slave ship”),
    • P&O Ferries as the World’s Best Ferry Operator
    • Intercontinental was the World’s Best Hotel Brand
    • Yorkshire won the World’s Best Marketing Campaign
    • Excel is apparently the World’s Leading Meeting and Conference Centre
    • Unbelievably the really boring BBC World News Channel won the Leading TV Channel for Travellers.

    Daniel Fountain / 10.11.2010

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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