For Immediate Release
July 31, 2019
For the first time in its 27-year history, the World Travel Awards will be hosted Canada.
The Thompson Okanagan has won a 3-year bid to host the World Travel Awards in the region. Predator Ridge Resort in Vernon, British Columbia will host the first year, welcoming over 300 international delegates at the North American Gala Ceremony in October 2020, as part of the World Travel Awards Grand Tour.
The host city for the second and third years will be announced in Spring 2020 and Spring of 2021, respectively. The event will place the Thompson Okanagan Region and its communities firmly on the World Stage as delegates from global airlines, tour operators, travel agents, international media, and hospitality professionals join us in the region for the award ceremony.
After a joint application was put forward by the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA), Predator Ridge Resort, and the City of Vernon earlier this year, the World Travel Awards announced the successful 3-year bid at the European Gala Ceremony in Madeira, Portugal. Previous host cities include New York, Montego Bay, Orlando, as well as Turks & Caicos, the Bahamas, and Antigua.
TOTA is a two-time recipient of North America’s Responsible Tourism Award (2018, 2019), and was named the winner of the esteemed World’s Responsible Tourism Award at the 25th Annual World Travel Awards last year in Lisbon, Portugal. President & CEO, Glenn Mandziuk, recognizes the impact an opportunity like this affords the region as a whole. “We are so honored to welcome such a prestigious event to the Thompson Okanagan and look forward to hosting international tourism industry leaders in Vernon. This would not have been possible without the support of our stakeholder and community partners and it is a privilege to share our region with the world.”
Graham Cooke, Founder, World Travel Awards, said: “We are deeply honoured to host our North America Gala Ceremony 2020 in Thompson Okanagan. This fascinating region of British Columbia, Canada is leading the way in sustainable tourism practice and serving as a benchmark of how to preserve Mother Nature for the benefit of future generations.”
He added: “Thompson Okanagan is blessed with overwhelming beauty that ranges from towering waterfalls and soaring mountains to verdant valleys and glacial lakes. I look forward to welcoming the most senior decision-makers of North America’s travel industry for what promises to be a most memorable ceremony in this phenomenal region.”
Claus Larsen, Chair of the Tourism Vernon Commission, shared a similar sentiment. “As an emerging four-season tourism destination, being selected to host the World Travel Awards is an amazing opportunity for Vernon to be recognized as an attractive destination for international conferences and events.”
Predator Ridge, home to a thriving year-round community and two award-winning golf courses, is proud to have attracted such a high-profile event. “We are thrilled to be host to this international gala and very pleased to be once again partnering with TOTA and the City of Vernon. All of us who live here realize how special this region is and know that we have iconic tourism assets and it will be great to host the WTA awards that recognize leadership in the category,” said Brad Pelletier, Senior Vice-President of Wesbild Okanagan, owners of Predator Ridge Resort.
About the World Travel Awards
The World Travel Awards (WTA) was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. Today, the WTA brand is recognized globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire. Each year, WTA covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognize and celebrate individual and collective success within each key geographical region. For more information, visit worldtravelawards.com.
About the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association
The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) is a non-profit society, governed by an elected Board of Directors, which represents business and community tourism interests throughout the region, and is supported by and representative of Destination British Columbia. It is an industry-led organization that represents and supports all business and community tourism interests in the region, while also helping to implement provincial tourism policies. Find TOTA on Twitter and Facebook. For more information, visit totabc.org.