And the Winners Are...
If winter comes, can awards season be far behind?
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