From the man­ag­ing editor

Travel Bulletin - - CONTENTS - Bruce Piper

Awards are the lifeblood of the mar­ket­ing strat­egy for many travel in­dus­try sup­pli­ers, with the Travel Daily Group re­ceiv­ing an un­end­ing pro­ces­sion of press re­leases from hoteliers and air­lines breath­lessly an­nounc­ing a win in some scheme or other. We tend to take most of th­ese with a grain of salt – and with good rea­son, as ev­i­denced by a con­tro­versy sur­round­ing the heav­ily pro­moted World Travel Awards. The World Travel Awards touts its cre­den­tials as “the Os­cars of the travel in­dus­try” and claims that more than 600,000 peo­ple world­wide are “el­i­gi­ble to vote”. There are hun­dreds of cat­e­gories which are an­nounced at a se­ries of re­gional gala din­ners across the globe. How­ever be­ing part of the awards is sim­ply a mat­ter of self-nom­i­na­tion by sup­pli­ers, and be­com­ing a fi­nal­ist or a win­ner is an opaque process, with no clar­ity as to how many peo­ple ac­tu­ally vote, lead­ing to ques­tions as to whether win­ning a World Travel Award re­ally means any­thing at all. A case in point was the 2015 World Travel Awards which saw ICC Ber­lin win the ti­tle of Europe’s Lead­ing Meet­ings & Con­fer­ence Cen­tre – an in­ter­est­ing choice, given that the venue had been closed and in­ac­tive for more than twelve months, and is cur­rently un­der re­de­vel­op­ment as a cen­tre for Syr­ian refugees. Hawaii-based travel e-news­let­ter etur­bonews, for­merly a spon­sor of the awards, high­lighted a range of anom­alies as­so­ci­ated with the pro­gram, not­ing that many of the award win­ners also hap­pened to pur­chase pro­mo­tional pack­ages with the World Travel Awards. The most re­cent World Travel Awards cer­e­mony, which took place at the Maza­gan Beach & Golf Re­sort in Morocco, also coin­ci­den­tally saw Moroc­can Min­is­ter of Tourism, Dr Lah­cen Had­dad, recog­nised for Out­stand­ing Con­tri­bu­tion to the Travel & Tourism In­dus­try. And there was lit­tle sur­prise when the Maza­gan prop­erty host­ing the cer­e­mony hap­pened to be named the “World’s Lead­ing Beach & Casino Re­sort”. etur­bonews has urged sup­pli­ers to “be care­ful be­fore in­vest­ing money to se­cure awards… travel awards, when they are le­git­i­mate, should not cost a com­pany or or­gan­i­sa­tion money and manda­tory mar­ket­ing fees”. Travel Daily and trav­elbul­letin have a pol­icy of not ed­i­to­ri­ally pro­mot­ing any award wins un­less they are part of a ro­bust frame­work in­volv­ing trans­par­ent vot­ing and judg­ing. For­tu­nately the strong pro­cesses be­hind AFTA’S an­nual Na­tional Travel In­dus­try Awards, of which we are proud to be the of­fi­cial me­dia spon­sors, mean NTIA ac­co­lades are truly mean­ing­ful rather than just win­dow-dress­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.