What made the life work of Bill Bensley on Sơn Trà Peninsula - InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort - conquering travelers and global experts, to be honoured “World’s Leading Green Resort 2018”? Let’s listen to answers from the birth parents of the World Travel Awards, Graham E.Cooke.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the World Travel Awards (WTA). Could you tell us how WTA was born?
I started World Travel Awards in 1993, aiming to recognise, award and honour outstanding brands across the hospitality industry. This year, we commemorate the 25th anniversary of the WTA, with a mission as intact as it was in the beginning: to reach industry standards by honouring organisations that are leaders in their fields, and to promote the growth of the tourism industry in a sustainable way.
The changed thing was probably the scale of the World Travel Awards programme. At the beginning, we only held one each year, and now we offer geographic coverage awards on five continents with hundreds of transnational and regional categories. The winners of each region will continue to participate in the largest awards ceremony held annually. And this year, the chosen destination is Lisbon, Portugal.
We have also launched combined programmes to reflect the growth of niche markets in the tourism industry. In 2013, WTA hosted the World Ski Awards, followed by the World Golf Awards and the World Spa Awards - each of which recognised organisations with outstanding performance in their fields. We will set up a new award in 2019, please look forward to it!
WTA is considered as the "Oscar prize of the world tourism" because getting a WTA award is an honour for any organisation in the industry. Over the past 25 years, how have the standards and procedures for WTA awards changed?
Each year, the World Travel Awards organises a comprehensive programme with a series of awards to be launched, in order to recognise the best organisations in the most important areas and products of the tourism industry. The awards are divided into three levels: national, regional and world.
The voting process is conducted online throughout the year to encourage visitors to vote on a global scale. Experts in the field of tourism, global tourists have the right to vote. Each unit of each award category receives the most votes will win.
This year, Việt Nam’s InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort has been honored “World’s Leading Green Resort 2018.” What made this resort world-acclaimed with the first time WTA put this award into the category?
The dedication of the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort to reduce carbon emissions has set a benchmark for the industry, and I am delighted this has been recognised by both the tourism and the world community by the vote for the title
“World’s Leading Green Resort 2018.”
How much is the "green" factor in determining the quality and rank of a resort?
The key to ecological stability is the integration of a series of measurement systems that protect our favourite destinations, to inspire and implement environmental protection solutions. The resorts that appreciate “green” factors are resorts that have a certain contribution to conservation, with environmental training programmes and cultural integration.
Another resort of Sun Group, JW Marriot Phu Quoc Emerald Bay also achieved great results at WTA 2018, with four awards. In the eyes of an experienced expert on resorts, how do you find this resort is unique?
JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay is a very unique resort, and is also one of my favorite stops and I especially like the scallop pool here. The uniqueness of Lamarck University’s story is a testament to Bill Bensley’s creative talent, and its location on Phú Quốc pristine beach makes this resort the best paradise in Việt Nam.
Thank you sir!