The best in tourism and travel honored by 2009 World Travel Awards in London

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The Independent Online

The 16th annual World Travel Awards Grand Final were held in London on November 8 in a gala event to highlight the best brands, destinations and service providers in the world's travel and tourism industry.

The awards have been described by The Wall Street Journal as the "Oscars" of the global travel industry. The winners were selected from thousands of votes cast by professionals from 183,000 travel, tour and transport companies and tourism organizations in over 160 countries.

The crème de la crème have been previously awarded this year on a regional level - for the regions of Africa, the Americas and the Middle East - concluding with the Asian market on November 7.

Selected Winners

                  Hotel Brand:       InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
            Landmark Hotel:       Grand Hyatt Shanghai
                     New Hotel:      InterContinental Residence Suites, Dubai Festival City
        Island Destination:       Mauritius
   Travellers Credit Card:       Visa
              Leading Beach:       Bondi Beach, Sydney
                Beach Resort:       Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai
             Leading Resort:       Forte Village Resort, Italy
                 Cruise Brand:       Royal Caribbean
        Cruise Destination:       Jamaica
                    Golf Resort:      Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic
Honeymoon Destination:      St. Lucia
                   Theme Park:      Universal Orlando, Florida
                Travel Agency:      Regency Travel & Tours, Qatar
 Travel Booking Website:
              Leading Airline:       Etihad Airways (also Best First Class)
      Transatlantic Airline:       Virgin Atlantic Airways
                        Car Hire:       Europcar

The World Travel Awards were launched in 1993 to acknowledge and recognize excellence in the world's travel and tourism industry.

The full list of winners is available at: