Travel Weekly presents winners of 2011 Readers Choice Awards

Lifetime achievement awards given

Travel Weekly presented four Lifetime Achievement Awards to members of the travel community whose efforts have led to extraordinary results within an organization and who also have contributed to the industry as a whole.

This year, the recipients were:

  • David Collins, former president & CEO, ARC
  • Dick Knodt, former president & CEO,
  • Andrew Taylor, Chairman and CEO, Enterprise Holdings
  • Michelle Morgan, President and CEO, Signature Travel Network

The winners of the ninth annual Travel Weekly Readers' Choice Awards were honored Thursday at a gala awards dinner at the Plaza Hotel in New York.

Winners were selected in 59 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 to have excelled 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.

"These awards identify the industry's finest," said Arnie Weissmann, Travel Weekly's editor in chief. "The professionals who read and rely on Travel Weekly have the expertise to select those businesses, destinations and hotels that provide a higher level of service to their clients. Our readers can be confident that these winners represent the best this industry has to offer."

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

Best in Airlines 

  • Domestic: Delta Air Lines
  • International: Virgin Atlantic
  • Business/First Class: Singapore Airlines

Best in Car Rentals 

  • Domestic: Hertz
  • International: Hertz

Best Travel Agent Educational Program 

  • NCL University, Norwegian Cruise Line

Best GDS 

  • Sabre

Best in Hotel Chains 

  • Domestic: Marriott International
  • Asia: InterContinental Hotels Group
  • 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: Marriott International

Best Las Vegas Hotel 

  • Bellagio Las Vegas

Best Resort Worldwide 

  • St. Regis Bora Bora

Best in Tour Operators 

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

Best Rail Vacation 

  • Rocky Mountaineer

Best in Cruise Lines 

  • Domestic: Royal Caribbean International
  • Alaska: Princess Cruises
  • Caribbean: Royal Caribbean International
  • Europe: Celebrity Cruises
  • Luxury: The Yachts of Seabourn
  • Premium: Celebrity Cruises
  • River Cruising: Viking River Cruises
  • Overall: Royal Caribbean International

Best in Cruise Ships 

  • River Cruising: Avalon Panorama, Avalon Waterways
  • Rookie: Allure of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International
  • Premium: Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Cruises
  • Luxury: Queen Mary 2, Cunard Line
  • Overall Individual: Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Sales & Service: Royal Caribbean International

Best in Destinations 

  • Africa: South Africa
  • Asia/Pacific: Australia
  • Canada: Vancouver
  • Caribbean: St. Lucia
  • Central/South America: Costa Rica
  • Europe: Italy
  • Hawaii: Maui
  • Mexico: Riviera Maya
  • U.S. State: Hawaii
  • U.S. City: Las Vegas

Best in Theme Parks 

  • Walt Disney World

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