The World Travel Awards ceremony, which has just taken place in Muscat, in the Sultanate of Oman, has for several years been one of those moments when the world can't help but look at Portugal. It is also, inevitably, the moment when every corner of this southern European country sees its self-esteem strengthened. This time, there were three Portuguese destinations distinguished at the global tourism gala. The city of Porto was distinguished as the Best Urban Destination, strengthening the award it had won the previous month, at the World Travel Awards Europe, for Best European City Destination. It was then, actually, that Portugal regained the status of Best Destination in Europe. In this 29th edition, national tourism added 12 awards (among destinations, hotels, attractions and airlines), maintaining the total number of awards obtained in 2021, in a total of 276 categories.
In competition with Porto were three Mexican cities (Acapulco, Cancun and Mazatlán), two Australian cities (Sydney and Melbourne), three American cities (New York, Miami and Las Vegas), three European cities (Lisbon, Lyon and London), several Asian destinations, such as Hanoi, in Vietnam, or Hong Kong, on the south coast of China, and even some more odd destinations, such as Bogota, capital and largest city of Colombia, or the African city of Nairobi, in Kenya.
In the edition in which the Maldives won the main trophy, Best Destination in the World, Porto, which recorded more than three million overnight stays in the first half of this year, 2022, once again showed its hand, certainly no longer surprising anyone. It is enough to take a panoramic look at the awards and distinctions achieved by the city in recent years to confirm that Porto's acclaimed presence on the podium of any competition is no longer a surprise: the largest city in the North of Portugal is considered one of the best cities in Europe to attract foreign investment, it was elected one of the best cities in the world to live telecommuting, it leads the ranking of the world's best cities to live as a family, it was chosen as the best city in the world for those seeking quality of life and has lost count of the number of times it has won the award for best tourist destination. The Porto City Council reacted to this new distinction, stating that the city obtained "the highest global recognition in travel and tourism, an unparalleled distinction in the industry".
It should be recalled that the World Travel Awards were created in 1993 to reward the tourism industry worldwide. The idea was to stimulate "competitiveness and quality", as well as to " recognize, reward and celebrate excellence in all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries". The global competition takes place after a number of regional rounds are held. Nominations for the awards take place in three ways: they include the winner and the other two most voted candidates from the previous edition; they include self-nominations (interested parties have to pay between 456 and 571 euros) after review and approval by the panel of experts convened by the organization; and they also include projects recommended by the same panel. The voting process begins after the list of nominees has been announced. Anyone can vote on the official website, but the vote of tourism industry professionals (normally, around 200 thousand professionals from the sector spread across 160 countries vote, guarantees the organization) is worth two.
The seduction that Portugal exerts over the world has a huge impact on the world press (as can be read, for example, here), but the country's second largest city has also monopolized dozens of pages in the media, with foreign journalists eager to discover every secret of the region: where to buy a house, which are the best museums, the best beaches or the best opportunities.
Recently, a journalist from Condé Nast Traveler, a luxury magazine dedicated to travel and lifestyle, tried to understand why, once you get to know the city of Porto, it's no longer possible to live without going back. "It has an inexplicable magnetism", he wrote, which mixes "mystery, beauty, nostalgia and melancholy". On the other hand, he continued, "over the last decade, the renovation of Porto's historic centre has transformed it into a fascinating art destination, with new murals lighting up its streets." In fact, the Arts District, between the Crystal Palace and downtown Porto, is now one of the most cosmopolitan and therefore most sought-after places to invest in real estate. "The historic centre of Porto, one of the most beautiful in Europe, swirls in vivid disorder next to the majestic waters of the Douro River (...). The grandeur of Porto's past is visible all over the city, in its historic warehouses and luxurious mansions. Now, alongside the countless cellars, there is also the omnipresent art, which has exploded onto the city streets in the form of murals", praises the journalist, who advises readers to get to know the work of artists such as Hazul Luzah, Mr. Dheo or Costah, and who is not afraid to elect the city as "leader of the urban art scene in Europe". Another title for Porto.
Porto - Best urban destination - 2022
Lisbon - Best Metropolitan Seaside Destination - 2022
Madeira Island - Best Island Destination in the World - 2022 (prize won for the eighth consecutive time)
Passadiços do Paiva, Arouca, Aveiro - World's Best Adventure Tourist Attraction - 2022
Parques de Sintra. Monte da Lua - Best Conservation Company - 2022 (prize won for ten consecutive years)
Dark Sky Alqueva - World's Best Responsible Tourism - 2022 (prize won repeatedly)
Dunas Douradas Beach Club, Vale do Lobo, Algarve - Best Golf & Villa Resort - 2022
Pestana Palace Lisboa - Best Luxury Business Hotel - 2022
Olissippo Lapa Palace Hotel - Best Classic Hotel - 2022
Amazing Evolution - World's Best Boutique Hotel Operator - 2022
TAP - World's Best Airline to Africa and World's Best Airline to South America - 2022