This year marked the 23rd edition of the annual World Travel Awards. The ceremony, which calls itself the Oscars of the travel world, handed out dozens of awards to the destinations, hotels, airlines, and more that made jet-setting in 2016 spectacular.
World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. Each year the organisation hosts a series of regional gala ceremonies around the world to recognise success stories in each key geographical region. Today, the World Travel Awards brand is known globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.
A top honoree this year is the Maldives, which took World’s Leading Beach Destination and World’s Leading Dive Destination. The island nation is also home to the winners of World’s Leading Private Island Resort (COMO Cocoa Island) and World’s Most Romantic Resort (Baros Maldives).
Peru scored a major victory as World’s Leading Culinary Destination. This is its fifth consecutive year taking that title, beating out other culinary giants like China, France, India, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Thailand and the United States. We’re craving ceviche just thinking about it.
Hong Kong, Belfast, and Saint Petersburg earned three of the top honours for cities. Vibrant Hong Kong was named World’s Leading City Break Destination, while Saint Petersburg scored World’s Leading Cultural Destination and Belfast’s Titanic Belfast was crowned World’s Leading Tourist Attraction.
For outdoor adventures, it’s hard to top Chile and Kenya. The former’s incredible scenery earned it the title of World’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination, while the latter’s wildlife made it a shoe-in for World’s Leading Safari Destination.
Check out some of the big winners above and view a comprehensive list of all winners here. You’ll want to have your bucket list ready for this one.