Last week at Virtuoso Travel Week, the luxury travel network recognized Portugal as the Hottest Destination of 2018. The award was given in front of an audience of 1,700 members of the luxury travel industry, representing travel agents, hotels, airlines and cruise lines from all over the world.
Virtuoso bestowed some 20 awards from best river cruise line, to the best-curated travel partner or the most innovative lifestyle partner. Portugal, represented by the National Tourism Office, took the hottest destination title having just celebrated a record-breaking year for international visitors travelling to the country. In addition, the Six Senses Douro resort was named Best of the Best 2018 for Sustainable Tourism Leadership, and Tours For You was nominated for Best Virtuoso Voyages Experience 2018 for their Lisbon tour.
Portugal’s proximity—just around a five hours’ flight from New York—and year-round mild climate contribute to making it the Hottest Destination but the country is also popular for its warm and welcoming people, numerous award-winning golf courses and resorts, and value.
David Kolner, Senior Vice President, Global Member Partnerships; Terrie Hansen, Senior Vice President, Marketing; Carolin Belcher, German National Tourist Office, Sales Manager West Coast; George Vella, Head of Sales North America, German National Tourist Office; and Angela Roditi, Vice President, Alliances
Elsewhere in Europe, the German National Tourist Office (GNTO) took home the award for Virtuoso’s Top Destination of the Year Award. George Vella, head of sales North America, received the award during the Tourism Board Awards Alliance Partner Lunch, where only a selection of the network’s 1,700 partners are in attendance.
Albert Herrera, senior vice president, global product partnerships at Virtuoso, says: “GNTO’s achievements, including their thorough knowledge and superior service, coupled with the value they place on the travel advisor relationship, have helped Virtuoso become the industry-leading network it is today. As one of our exclusive award winners, the GNTO is enhancing Virtuoso’s reputation as a trailblazer in luxury travel, providing the network with a competitive edge in the products and benefits we offer savvy travelers round the world.”