North American Winners at the 2019 World Travel Awards

Since its conception in 1993, the World Travel Awards brand has entrenched itself as the most prestigious award in the area of travel excellence. The brand holds regional ceremonies from where regional winners are feted. Those who win at the regional level compete against each other to determine the worldwide travel awards winners in their respective categories. The categories are very broad, ranging from best airline to best private island resorts. For purposes of this article, we take a closer look at the brands that won the North American World Travel Awards in the categories of the leading airline, leading tourist attraction, best beach destination, leading hotel, leading green hotel and to spice things up, the most romantic resort. Keep reading to know more!

Best Airline in North America

Breaking a monopolistic trend where the United States based airlines won every North American Best Airline Award since its conception, Air Canada accomplished an incredible feat this year. Dethroning Delta Air Lines which reigned as the defending champion in this category, each year since 2015, Air Canada truly did its work this year. To understand how difficult this category is, consider the fact that American Airlines has won the award each year since the World Travel Award’s conception in 1994, until 2015. That makes for 21 consecutive wins! Connecting people directly to 200 destinations in sixth continents it is easy to see why the airline won the award.

North America’s Leading Beach destination

The United States bagged this award this year with Miami Beach, Florida. This should come as no surprise since Florida is known not only for its amazing beaches but also its incredible tourist attraction sites as well. Incorporated in 1915, this beach municipality now features a dizzying number of beach resorts and spas. Awards or not, any tourist that has been to Miami knows that it is truly a place to remember!

No.1 Hotel in North America

The Empire state clinched the award this year with The Conrad, New York. This is not the first time that this relatively new hotel has won the award, having won it in previously in 2013. Located in Battery Park City, Manhattan, this hotel brings a fresh, new contemporary vibe to the area. Featuring 463 guest suites, with the most modern and up to date amenities, this hotel is a wonder to behold. One can also expect to view some unforgettable views of the Statue of Liberty as well as the New York harbor. This year, the hotel beat other incredible hotels including Four Season Chicago, Hilton Bentley Miami, JW Marriot Essex House New York, Mandarin Oriental in Miami, Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, The Beverly Hills Hotel in California and the Lowell in New York.

Leading Green Hotel

As we fight to keep the world the wondrous planet we enjoy touring, it is encouraging that the World Travel Awards has this category. This year the Fairmont Royal York in Canada clinched the award for the fourth time. Environmental activism and sustainable hotel management are at the heart of the hotel’s ethos. The Fairmont advocates for increased awareness on how hotels impact the environment with their practices, and how these practices can be changed to cause a positive impact on the environment. It has been an active responsible tourism ambassador for more than two decades now!

Most Romantic Resort

For those still looking for a honeymoon destination, or seeking to rekindle their love, the World Travel Awards just revealed the winner in the category of the most romantic resort. For the second consecutive time, Amangiri in Utah, United States has won the award for the most romantic resort. This secluded 600-acre resort located in Canyon Point in southern Utah can best be described using the word peaceful. The resort is designed to blend with its surrounding, creating an illusion of openness and oneness with nature. It is the perfect destination to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and give your significant other the time and uninterrupted attention they deserve.

Leading Tourist Attraction

Having won the award every year since 2012, the Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, added another accolade to its already impressive collection, this year. It is hard to encapsulate all the feelings that touring this establishment brings. Nevertheless, for a start, the Park feels enchanted, and otherworldly, a sentiment that can be shared by many who have been to Disney World. It comes as no surprise that Magic Kingdom Park is the leading tourist attraction this year!

The Health Benefits of Traveling

The fact that human beings are meant to keep moving, to explore, to discover and to experience new environments has always been intuitively known. One need only look at the worlds settlement distribution in our seven continents to agree with the statement above. What’s more, when you consider the lengths our species has gone to keep exploring and discovering new worlds, such as building a rocket to the moon, then this idea really sinks in. Science has now found a way to substantiate this innate understanding. It turns out that traveling has amazing physical, mental and emotional health benefits. Keep reading to discover more.

Travelling Reduces Stress

When you really think about it, you actually do not need science to prove this fact. The most common tendency when you are stressed is to get as far away from the source of stress as possible. Here you may picture the quintessential Hollywood unwilling hero, running away from his responsibilities. The physical act of moving away from a source of stress (traveling) has psychological effects too. It allows you to forget about the cause of your stress, at least momentarily. Sometimes, as a Cornell study found, just the act of planning a trip can give the planner these effects. The stress-reducing effects of traveling, do not stop when the journey or excursion comes to an end. In fact, a study noted that people who go on a vacation for a duration of three days or more usually feel happy and in good spirits many weeks after the journey. Similarly, a Wisconsin Women Health study found that ladies that take two trips a year are less likely to have depression and chronic stress.

Travelling Enhances Mental Health

The human mind is meant to be challenged and to experience new stimuli. It is no wonder that people that are widely traveled are defined using adjectives like cultured and open-minded. Because traveling widens one’s perspective it may also allow them to find better ways to cope with their problems. Thus, people who travel widely may be less prone to mental conditions such as depression. Moreover, there is science backed evidence that traveling can improve cognitive ability. Because it forces you to master new routes and remember previously unknown venues, it advances parts of the brain known as dendrites. To this end, studies from the University College London have indicated that certain parts of taxi drivers’ brains are more developed to allow them to memorize complex routes around cities. An article published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology also found that traveling broadens cognitive abilities.

Travelling Reduces Cardio-Vascular Illnesses

Because traveling reduces stress, anxiety and worry, states of mind that are often linked to cardiovascular conditions such as heart attacks, one can say that it may be a factor that helps reduce these types of illnesses. To qualify the statement above, a study endorsed by the Global Coalition on Aging found that individuals who went on holiday once every six years were more likely to get cardio-vascular illnesses than those who took at least two holidays a year. Similarly, a joint study by the United States Travel Association and the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that men who avoid traveling have a 20% increased chance of sudden death, a 30% increased chance of getting cardiovascular complications.

Travel is a Fun Workout

While there’s no competing with a dedicated workout session at the gym, traveling also offers you the chance to lead an active lifestyle. People who travel certainly expend more calories than those who live sedentary lifestyles. Sedentary lifestyles have been associated with all manner of lifestyle illnesses including obesity. Traveling is a fulfilling way to add some action to your lifestyle.

Travelling Improves Your Immune System

Because traveling allows you to experience new environments it also gives your immune system a chance to familiarize itself with new pathogens, in order to build immunity. Closed off communities such as the Sentinelese of the Indian Ocean, are at an increased risk of losing their lives to common conditions that do not normally need medication. So high is this risk, that their territories are closed to the public to avoid contamination from other human beings. According to the head of the Hepatology and Gastroenterology department at Tufts Medical Center, when you travel you allow your immune system to adjust to a large number of pathogens thus keeping it more grounded.