Travel Weekly honors 2014 Readers Choice Awards winners

Lifetime achievement awards

Travel Weekly presented two Lifetime Achievement Award winners. This award pays tribute to individuals whose efforts have led to extraordinary results within an organization and who have also made significant contributions to the industry as a whole.

This year, the recipients were:

• Richard Kelley, chairman emeritus, Outrigger Enterprises Group
• Geoffrey JW Kent, founder, chairman and CEO, Abercrombie & Kent

Travel Weekly honored the winners of its 12th annual Readers Choice Awards at a gala dinner and ceremony Tuesday at the Plaza Hotel in New York.

Winners were selected in 67 categories in the airline, car, hospitality, rail, GDS, agent education, tour, cruise, destination and theme park sectors. The awards are presented to suppliers considered by Travel Weekly readers who led the way in product and service during the past year.

In the first round of voting, Travel Weekly readers were invited to write in the names of any company they believed best exemplified a particular category. Leading vote recipients were identified as finalists, and voting on finalists took place this fall

"Travel is on course to become the largest industry in the world, with more than 1 billion people crossing international borders every year." said Arnie Weissmann, Travel Weekly's editor in chief. "Somebody has to counsel, transport, entertain, enlighten and house all these travelers, and the Readers Choice Awards winners are the very best at doing just that."

Readers Choice AwardsWeissmann added that the number of industry voters passed the 9,000 mark for the first time. "Among our readers are travel counselors, industry marketing executives and the CEOs of the world's largest travel companies -- a group uniquely qualified to evaluate a very crowded field of potential nominees."

The following is a list of this year's Readers Choice winners: (For the complete list of nominees, click here.)

Best in Airlines

Domestic: Delta Air Lines
International: Virgin Atlantic
Business/First Class: Emirates
Top Airline Overall: Delta Air Lines

Best in Car Rental

Domestic: Hertz
International: Hertz

Best Rail Vacation

• Rocky Mountaineer

Best Travel Agent Educational Program

• OneSource Academy -- Princess Cruises

Best GDS

• Sabre

Best Theme Park

• Walt Disney World

Best in Hotel Chains

Domestic: Marriott International
Asia: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
Caribbean: Sandals Resorts
Europe: InterContinental Hotels Group
Mexico: Secrets Resorts & Spas
Hawaii/South Pacific: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
All-Inclusive: Sandals Resorts
Luxury: Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts
Upscale: Westin Hotels & Resorts
Mid-Priced: Hampton Inn
Boutique: Karisma Hotels & Resorts
Sales & Service: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

Best Las Vegas Hotel
• Bellagio Las Vegas

Best Resort Worldwide
• St. Regis Bora Bora

Top Overall Hotel Group
• Marriott International

Best in Tour Operators

Domestic Packaged: Delta Vacations
Domestic Escorted: Tauck
International: Globus
Africa: Abercrombie & Kent
Asia/Pacific: Globus
Canada: Tauck
Caribbean: Gogo Worldwide Vacations
Europe: Trafalgar Tours
Hawaii: Pleasant Holidays
Mexico: Apple Vacations
Luxury: Abercrombie & Kent
Sales & Service: Travel Impressions
Escorted Overall: Globus
Packaged Overall: Travel Impressions

Best in Cruise Lines

Domestic: Royal Caribbean International
Alaska: Princess Cruises
Caribbean: Royal Caribbean International
Europe: Celebrity Cruises
Hawaii/Pacific: Norwegian Cruise Line
Under 1,000 Berths: Crystal Cruises
Premium: Celebrity Cruises
Luxury: Seabourn Cruise Line
River Cruising: Viking River Cruises
Sales & Service: Royal Caribbean International
Overall: Royal Caribbean International
Best World Cruise Itinerary: Holland America Line
Best Family Experience: Disney Cruise Line

Best in Cruise Ships

River Cruising: Viking Longship Magni, Viking River Cruises
New: Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Cruise Line
Premium: Celebrity Reflection, Celebrity Cruises
Luxury: Queen Mary 2, Cunard Line
Overall Individual: Allure of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International

Best in Destinations

Africa: South Africa
Asia/Pacific: Tahiti
Canada: Vancouver
Caribbean: Dominican Republic
Central/South America: Costa Rica
Europe: Ireland
Hawaii: Maui
Mexico: Riviera Maya
U.S. State: Hawaii
U.S. City: Las Vegas


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