And the Win­ners Are...

If win­ter comes, can awards sea­son be far be­hind?

Business Traveler (USA) - - TALKING POINT -

Win­ter is upon us, and the turn­ing of the new year. Jan­uary is the sort of month that just in­vites a chilly dis­po­si­tion – the warmth of the hol­i­day sea­son is past, yet the cold is ever present. Up here in the north­ern hemi­sphere, the days are still short, the shad­ows long, and even when the sun shines, it seems wan and dreary; day­light sav­ings time is yet months away.

In other words, I don’t know many peo­ple who will tell you that Jan­uary is their fa­vorite month.

In such a weari­some stretch of the cal­en­dar, it is only nat­u­ral to look for a bit of en­cour­age­ment and, yes, fun. So we cre­ate some ex­cite­ment around rec­og­niz­ing the ac­com­plish­ments of the past year, hoist­ing a glass to the fu­ture and hand­ing out some hon­ors to those who have made the top of the list.

So it is that – roll out the red car­pet and get the party started – awards sea­son has ar­rived, that an­nual post-hol­i­day splurge of recog­ni­tions and con­grat­u­la­tions. Em­mys, Tonys, Gram­mys, Golden Globes, Os­cars – in the en­ter­tain­ment world, the list may be longer than the red car­pet it­self.

In the travel business, too, awards are the or­der of the day at year’s end. At Business Trav­eler, we have one of the in­dus­try’s long­est run­ning, the Best in Business Travel Awards. This year marks our 26th an­nual out­ing hon­or­ing those com­pa­nies in the world of travel whom our read­ers have voted as the best in class.

Now we have added some­thing new to this year’s cel­e­bra­tion, as we present the first-ever award for the Business Trav­eler of theYear.

As far as we can tell, this is some­thing unique in the field of business travel – to honor in­di­vid­u­als whose jour­neys and sto­ries make a com­pelling con­tri­bu­tion to the greater nar­ra­tive for all of us who spend our lives do­ing business on the road.

The win­ners of the in­au­gu­ral Business Trav­eler of theYear Awards are Heather Wilson and Andy Abram­son. Both of them spend a lot of days (190plus) ev­ery year in all the old fa­mil­iar places; air­ports, ho­tels, restau­rants, rental car coun­ters, and on and on.You know the drill; you’re right there with them. In fact, that’s why th­ese two were cho­sen to re­ceive this honor. In a very real way, Heather and Andy are rep­re­sen­ta­tive of ev­ery business trav­eler, ev­ery­where, ev­ery day.

After all, it’s peo­ple like them – peo­ple like you – who are the back­bone of the en­tire travel in­dus­try, to the tune of more than a tril­lion dol­lars a year world­wide. It’s your business, and your de­mand for ex­cel­lence in the travel ex­pe­ri­ence, that drives all the Best in Business Travel Award win­ners to do all they do; to in­no­vate, to take risks, and to rise above.

The list of this year’s win­ners reads like a Who’s Who of global travel, and ev­ery company rep­re­sented is there be­cause you, our read­ers, say they should be. Com­plete cov­er­age of the awards starts on page 20, with all the win­ners in ev­ery cat­e­gory, and more about the Business Trav­el­ers of theYear and their sto­ries.

But, re­mem­ber, when the in­no­va­tors and dis­rupters, the movers and shak­ers in the travel in­dus­try gather in Hol­ly­wood for our own red car­pet event at The Best in Business Travel Awards, they’re rec­og­niz­ing more than the ac­com­plish­ments of their col­leagues and com­peti­tors. They’re hon­or­ing you, the business trav­eler. And we honor you, as well. In your trav­els, if you hap­pen to run into Andy or Heather out on the road, say hello, and con­grat­u­late them on this honor. And while you’re at it, give your­self a pat on the back, too.

You de­serve it. BT

— Dan Booth Ed­i­to­rial Di­rec­tor

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