Revealed -- the triumphs that have changed the way we travel

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The Independent Travel

The World Travel Awards has named Space Tourism as the greatest travel triumph of the past decade February 10, ahead of the low-cost flying revolution and the emergence of citizen travel publishing through TripAdvisor.

The group polled industry insiders to compile the list, which also recognizes the "Dubai goldrush," emergence of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) economies and online check-in as triumphs that changed the way we travel. However, the launch of Space Tourism is deemed to have changed the landscape the most - Virgin Galactic plans its first passenger flights to space in 2011.

More than 300 people have signed up for trips on board Virgin Galactic, the company's president Will Whitehorn confirmed February 11 at a business travel trade show in London. Their orbiter, SpaceShipTwo, is currently undergoing flight tests in preparation for the first flights next year. A ticket to space costs $200,000 (€145,440).

In second place, the World Travel Awards recognized the launched of TripAdvisor in 2002 as a seminal moment for the industry. TripAdvisor, now the world's largest travel review site, allows travelers to post reviews of establishments and destinations they have visited. It has become a giant of the industry, to the discomfort of some hoteliers that criticize the reliability of the reviews posted and the susceptibility of the system to fraud. Nevertheless, its popularity shows no sign of slowing - over 36 million people visit the site every month to add to its database of reviews.

The list has been released ahead of the entry deadline for the 2010 World Travel Awards this weekend. The awards are among the biggest in the industry, with votes cast by over 183,000 agencies in 162 countries.

Travel Triumphs - the things that changed the decade:

1. Dawn of space tourism (2001)
2. Citizen publishing and the launch of Tripadvisor (2002)
3. Low-cost flying revolution (2000 onwards)
4. Dubai Goldrush (2002)
5. Emergence of BRIC economies (2000 onwards)
6. Online check-in (2000)
7. Superjumbo Airbus A380 inaugural flight (2007)
8. Mid-haul - has become the new short haul as we travel further afield
9. Ocean bling and Oasis of the Seas (2009)
10. Launch of Youtube (2005)

List compiled by World Travel Awards