Travel & Tourism 2023

Travel & Tourism Awards 2023

Sofi Parry, Senior Editor Phone: +44 (0) 203 970 0018 Website: About the Travel & Tourism Awards 2023 LUXlife are delighted to announce the return of the Travel and Tourism Awards for 2023! Now in our seventh year, the Travel and Tourism Awards 2023 will pay homage to the experts within the industry and welcomes nominations from businesses and individuals across the globe. From travel agencies, guided tour experts, food and beverage service providers, sustainable travel specialists and everything in between, the Travel and Tourism Awards will recognise these prestigious companies by revealing their dedication and hard work. With travellers once again welcome to explore, experience, and enjoy long-awaited excursions to global destinations, the industry is finally returning to its former glory after what can only be described as a challenging couple of years. Holidaymakers are making up for lost time by upgrading elements of their latest adventures and relying more on travel professionals to make their trips perfect. Industry authorities are excited to note that revenue has climbed to 81% of pre-pandemic levels, and by 2023, is expected to make a full recovery and is estimated to contribute almost $2 trillion to the US economy alone – a positive future for tourism! 4. Dive Curaçao: Best Scuba Diving Online Resource 2023 – Curaçao 6. AEGEAN YACHT: Best Seafront Yacht Building & Services Provider - Turkey 8. Watervale Hotel: Best Culinary Experience Hotel - SA 10. Sunlight Resorts: Best Luxury RV Resort - Florida 12. Events DC: Events Venue of the Year – Washington DC & Customer Service Excellence Award 2023 14. Wild About Lapland: Most Intimate Northern Lights Arctic Tours 2023 - Finland 16. Düsseldorf Convention: Convention Bureau of the Year 2023 18. ASIA BESPOKE TOURS: Most Trusted Luxury DMC 2023 - Southeast Asia 20. Blue Hills Corp: Travel Blankets Range of the Year - USA 22. Pooseum: Most Innovative Museum – Tasmania 23. Travel Booster by Galor: Most Innovative Travel ERP Solution 24. BJ-Concept: Leading Renovation & Real Estate Company 2023 - Istria 25. Salkantay Trekking: Best Small-Group Trekking Tour Operators - Southeastern Peru 26. Mack Travel Agency: Best Women's Private Group Travel Agency 2023 27. Let me show you London: Most Client-Focused Private Tours Provider – London 28. Exclusive France Tours: Best Corporate Travel Agency - France 29. The Moon and Sixpence: Most Extraordinary Wedding & Corporate Venue 2023 - Gauteng 30. Safari Stays: Best Bespoke & Unique Safari Stays 2023 - North West Botswana 31. Golf & Tours: Women's Golf Tour Operator of the Year 2023 – Australia 32. LDNChauffeur Worldwide: Best International Limousine & Chauffeur Service - 2023 33. C World Holidays India Pvt Ltd: Most Client-Centric Full-Service Luxury Travel Company - South India Contents

34. Weave A Thousand Journeys: Best Bespoke Culinary Vacations Company 2023 35. Sojourn Explorers: Best Luxury African Adventure Travel Experiences Provider - USA 36. Lay My Hat Travel: Best Bespoke Luxury Travel Agency - UK 37. The Wheatbaker: Best Wellness Spa Hotel – Lagos 38. Own Your Day Travel: Leading Travel Agency of the Year - Ontario 39. Tootsie Gallery Cafe: Most Vibrant Café - Southern Tablelands 40. Kefalonia Cruises: Best Cruising Experience - Ionian Islands 41. Best Travel Booking Solution (Italy) 2023: BizAway 42. Luxury Reimagined Serenity at Coconut Bay 43. River Cruise King: Best International River Cruise Travel Specialists 2023 - Germany 44. Black and Traveled: Best Boutique Specialist Group Travel Agency 2023 45. John Hall’s Alaska Cruises & Tours: Group Travel Specialists of the Year - Alaska 46. BR-and Consult: Global Venue Sourcing Expert 2023 - Belgium 47. Glanmedeni Ltd: Best Dog-Friendly Holiday Cottage – Ceredigion & Customer Service Excellence Award 2023 48. Cornish Gems: Best Luxury Holiday Accommodations - Cornwall 49. Historic Experiences: Best Bespoke Walking Tours Provider - Sussex 50. Signature African Safaris Limited: Best Tailor-Made Safari Experience Provider – East Africa 51. Traveling Ears Vacations: Best Caribbean-Focused Travel Planning Company - Texas 52. LUX* South Ari Atoll: Most Dynamic Hospitality Resort – Maldives 53. Byron Woolacombe Holidays: Best Self-Catering Apartments Provider - North Devon & LUX Hospitality Excellence Awards 2023 54. Waterways & Beyond LLC: Luxury French Barge Cruise Operator of the Year - USA 55. Wave Dancer Charters LLC: Fishing Charter Company of the Year - Texas 56. Ocean Spirit Scuba Diving Mauritius: Most Educational Ocean Awareness & Conservation Centre - Mauritius 57. ReiseQueen: Best Outbound Luxury Travel Agency - Germany 58. Claydon Executive Travel: Best Executive Travel Company 2023 - East Anglia 59. OV Traveller: Leading Specialists in Luxury Indian Ocean Travel - Maldives 60. All Travel Guru: European Luxury Travel Specialists of the Year 2023 - USA 61. Reservation Caribbean Inc: Best Villa & Home Management & Holiday Rentals Company 2023 - Barbados 62. VAT Leisure Travel & Event Professionals: Group Travel Specialists of the Year - Texas 63. DocLX City Card Solutions GmbH: Most Tourist Friendly Card Solutions 2023 - Austria 64. Indibleu: Most Trusted Destination Management Company – Mauritius 65. Holistic Thinking Holidays Limited: UK Accessible Accommodation Provider of the Year 2023 66. Paa Adventures: Most Trusted Serengeti Tours Provider 2023 - Tanzania 67. Haycock Manor Hotel: Most Idyllic Hotel & Restaurant - Cambridgeshire 68. Stay-N-Charge: Best Hospitality EV Charging Solutions Provider 2023 – North America 69. Kora Handcrafted Luxury Journeys: Outbound Travel Specialists of the Year - Houston 70. Serena Hotels: Hospitality Brand of the Year - East Africa 71. Carnival Magic: Best Theme Park - Thailand 72. Akorede Emmanuel: Best Luxury Travel Management Company – Lagos

Jun22596 4 | LUXlife Magazine - Travel & Tourism Awards 2023 Dive Curaçao was born out of its Creator and Founder’s pure passion for diving. With years of experience of enjoying the ocean, Bryan Horne decided to set up Dive Curaçao so that he could share this enthusiasm with others. Initially inspired by watching SeaHunt, Bryan felt an instant pull towards going underwater – and has made it his mission to live and breathe all that is sustainable diving. Now, he works with a network of contractors and companies to produce package diving experiences for his many customers. With everyone doing their part, Dive Curaçao has built an unwavering empire that is truly dedicated to the customer experience, in line with the sustainability of environmentally conscious diving. Creating a bespoke, one-off experience for each of his customers, Dive Curaçao’s packages are never the same. When travelling with Dive Curaçao you can be sure that your journey is tailor-made to fit you, and that no one else will have it replicated. These moments are truly timeless. Each experience is one of a kind and unmatched by any other. Dive Curaçao works hard to offer opportunities that have not been created before. This is where customers can be met at the airport, receive a great rental vehicle, be escorted to their hotel and dive shop, then set on a coarse of pure adventure. By designing and delivering handpicked operations, Dive Curaçao fashions tailored packages of the best value. The Dive Curaçao platform consists of many pillars such as Dive Travel Curaçao, Dive News Curaçao, Curaçao Diving and Snorkeling Guide, Curaçao Dive Travel Guides, Curaçao Events and Festivals, and Sustainable Tourism. Each segment offers a world of wonders for us to discover – alone or with our loved ones. This platform is ever evolving and constantly delivering the best of the best for Dive Curaçao’s customers. It has developed a healthy and harmonious relationship between traveller and environment – ensuring our connection with the planet, and the planet itself, is protected. Supporting non-profit, private foundations, such as Project AWARE initiatives, Dive Curaçao does all it can to preserve the surrounding coral reefs and ocean life. Dive Curaçao’s aim is to take good care of Best Scuba Diving Online Resource 2023 – Curaçao Dive Curaçao provides us with opportunities to make precious memories – doing something we adore. Exploring with Dive Curaçao allows us to experience our wildest diving fantasies all while being kind to the environment. Here we find out more about Dive Curaçao and its Founder, Bryan Horne. the ocean for further generations to still have the privilege of enjoying it. Not only this, but Dive Curaçao spreads awareness of its surrounding subaquatic life – ensuring all of its guests have the tools they need to dive responsibly. As of 2022, Dive Curaçao's dive operator network became Green Fins Digital Members in “developing best environmental practices of marine tourism,” ensuring sustainable diving experiences can be shared by all. Pleased to support ecological diving, and sure of his stance on having an interest in the sustainable treatment of marine life, Bryan said, “The bottom line is that apathy can no longer be embraced.” He, and his team, all strive to offer the most luxurious experiences whilst still working with nature, not against it. Dive Curaçao works diligently on environmental and sustainable diving packages in the UN environmental programme, through outreach work, and by acting with the government and NGOs to support the planet. Dive Curaçao’s red-carpet experiences have sustainability in mind, whilst still offering complete indulgence for all of its guests. Its new Dive Curaçao 360 website is the platform to find ultimate magnificence in travel and, whether you’ve been diving before or not, it is the perfect place to start a new journey. Each aspect of the trip is taken care of by Dive Curaçao, so that you can simply concentrate on making memories that will last a lifetime. Everything can be done online, from travel to accommodation and every step of the diving journey, however, Bryan is still there for all of Dive Curaçao’s guests – offering guidance whenever needed. He would “love to bring people to Dive Curaçao for the love of the trade and the experience.” Achieving an all-round 5-star rating from its happy customers, Dive Curaçao has brought deep happiness and pleasure to an endless, and ever-growing, list of divers. As a fine example, Trevor said, “Bryan was a pleasure to deal with. He took care of every little detail for us and constantly checked in to make sure eVeryone was “With the assistance and teamwork of the entire community we are hoping to create change in order to provide future generations an opportunity for a healthy and sustainable environment, both above and below the waterline.” “We invite you to dive in – not only to learn more about scuba diving, snorkelling, and freediving in Curaçao but also to explore all the exciting things to do our on beautiful Dutch Caribbean island – to make Curaçao your own experience.”

happy, and the trip was going well. He responded very quickly to all questions throughout the booking process and made everything very easy for our group. A great and very memorable experience for all!” Now Dive Curaçao has won Best Scuba Diving Online Resource 2023, Curaçao, and we are sure to see it help even more people to taste the ultimate level of freedom and extravagance in diving. “According to USA TODAY: “Scuba Diving on Curaçao is the number one thing to DO” – but of course there are plenty of things to do on Curaçao and Photos courtesy of Dive Curaçao, taken by Frank Do no right way to experience any of them. All travellers can make the island their own experience while embracing it authentic, unforgettable spirit.” We are proud to present this award to Dive Curaçao, as it truly makes diving dreams come true. Dive Curaçao is passionate about what it does, and it has an incredible ability to craft experiences that cannot ever be recreated. We look forward to seeing what it does next. Contact: Bryan Horne Company: Dive Curaçao Web Address:

Jun22596 6 | LUXlife Magazine - Travel & Tourism Awards 2023 Best Seafront Yacht Building & Services Provider - Turkey Specialising in the design and turnkey manufacturing of custom steel and aluminium yachts, AEGEAN YACHT provides a range of yachtrelated services, including sale, maintenance, repair, and rentals. Boasting an impressive portfolio of both new and second-hand yachts, the company offers vessels that suit a wide range of needs, budgets, and desires. Yacht enthusiasts can count on AEGEAN YACHT to deliver highquality, tailored yacht-building services and superior maintenance, repair and refitting works. The company’s team of hardworking, dedicated staff are extensively experienced in their industry, making them more than qualified for the task. Once a cosy fishing village home to only a few thousand people, Bodrum is now a lively city located on the southwestern coast of Turkey in the Mugla Province. It has become one of Turkey’s most popular tourist destinations with intense nightlife, stunning beaches, holiday villages, quality hotels, and plenty of history to explore. Described by Homeros as “the land of eternal blue”, Bodrum is home to a breath-taking blue bay where the Aegean and Mediterranean seas meet. With such unique beauty, it is no surprise that the city attracts a diverse population of holiday-goers, who stroll the waterfront where crowds of elegant yachts reside. Bodrum is a popular destination to begin cruises in Turkey, making it the ideal spot for yacht charter and rental businesses. The city’s boatyards have gained an excellent reputation over the years, where many craftsmen continue to build the city’s traditional yachts, as well as more modern vessels. With a boatyard located at the seafront in Bodrum, AEGEAN YACHT, was founded in 1976 by Sinan Ozer. Currently offering yacht manufacturing, maintenance, repair, purchase, and rental services, the company was one of the first businesses to operate yachts and small cruise vessels for well-known tour operators across the Turkish coastline as well as adjacent Greek islands. The company also owns Bodrum’s largest marine supply store, offering an extensive range of marine hardware. Having started out with building and chartering local wooden vessels, AEGEAN YACHT has grown to develop bigger sail and

LUXlife in the Travel and Tourism Awards. In the coming year, the company is planning to deliver a 39-metre sailing yacht to a client just before the peak season. It also has four other ongoing projects, including a 66-metre tri-deck motor yacht, two 37-metre motor yachts, and a 26-metre Aegean Explorer, all steel and aluminium. Contact: Nihan Deniz Company: AEGEAN YACHT Web Address: motorboats over the years, gaining experience and earning respect for its outstanding quality of production. With high demand for yacht chartering in the market, AEGEAN YACHT has built yachts for 30 years, specialising in custom steel and aluminium yachts meeting the specific requirements of the buyer. Catering to experienced yachters, AEGEAN YACHT understands that its customers want unique, simple to operate, practical, and seaworthy yachts. Building strong yachts with modern hulls, superstructures, and superb sailing performances, ranging from 24 to 66 metres, the company prides itself on its ability to deliver complete satisfaction to every customer it serves. AEGEAN YACHT offers technically superior yacht building services as well as value for money, making it a leader in its industry. AEGEAN YACHT is one of the most integrated yacht companies in Turkey, with an extensive international network. With an experienced sales team, the company purchases, sells, charters, and manages a substantial number of yachts, which have been exported to many countries including the Caribbean Islands, Egypt, Thailand, Maldives, Italy, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, and Russia. Apart from those belonging to its own fleet, AEGEAN YACHT also manages the yachts of other companies and individuals, marketing their services through domestic and foreign tour operators and travel agencies as well as direct marketing. Furthermore, at its sizable 40,000m² seafront boatyard in Bodrum, the company also offers extensive yacht refitting, brokerage and repair services. Its expert technical staff with specialised skills deal with a range of requests, from small service calls to substantial refits. Many of the staff at AEGEAN YACHT have worked for the company for over 25 years, meaning there is a very friendly and communicative atmosphere in the boatyard. The team’s dedication and love for their job is reflected in the quality of their work, contributing to the excellent services provided by AEGEAN YACHT. As a result of its unparalleled yacht building services and its dedication to customer satisfaction, AEGEAN YACHT has won the “Best Seafront Yacht Building and Services Provider, Turkey”, by

8 | LUXlife Magazine - Travel & Tourism Awards 2023 quipped with a team focused on appreciating everything Mother Nature has to offer, Watervale Hotel has already managed to define itself as a restaurant beyond deserving of its awardwinning status. And with its star-studded selection of dining options, it quickly becomes clear how Watervale Hotel has managed to garner such a resolute reputation. Thanks to the brilliant minds of Restaurant and Catering Association’s South Australian Chef of the Year, Nicola Palmer, and Warrick Duthy, Watervale Hotel has a plethora of experiences to present to you, all whilst maintaining its eco-friendly ethics. Since its reopening in September 2020, Watervale Hotel quickly became renowned in the area, and has gone on to earn 20 industry awards in the short time since reopening. Included in the long list of awards are the most notable Best Restaurant in a Pub or Club in Australia (Restaurant and Catering Association), Best wine list in a Pub Restaurant in Australia (Australian Wine List of the Year), Best Environmental and Sustainability Practices in Australia (Australian Hotels Association) and Best Tourism Restaurant, and Excellence in Food Tourism (Tourism Industry Council of South Australia). So, before you’ve even visited Watervale Hotel, you can already see why they’ve attained such a glittering reputation. At its core, Watervale Hotel is a restaurant and hotel with all produce sourced either from its own farm, or from local providers who share the same core values that the team at Watervale Hotel does. With a stern focus on ensuring that every meal you order is composed of ethically sourced ingredients, Watervale Hotel has managed what most would deem as impossible. Not only has the team managed to understand how to fully utilise the wonders that nature has provided us with, but how to unlock the true potential behind the hidden gems of the earth that most wouldn’t be able to utilise. What’s more, Watervale Hotel has a wide variety of different dining options for any patron, each as unique as the next. However, its most popular package is its Six Senses Penobscot Farm Tour and Six Course Degustation Dinner, with a variant that also includes matched wine or mocktails, depending on your fancy. With this experience, you’re able to tour the wonderful Penobscot Farm, so you can see for yourself where the food on your plate originates from. Once you’ve learned the vast history of this fascinating farm, you’ll proceed to dine on a six course Degustation Dinner, filled to the brim with ingredients largely grown on the farm you’ve just toured. And, at a very reasonable price indeed, it’s difficult to reject Watervale Hotel’s enticing offer. Additionally, if you’re wanting to add to your experience, then why not stay overnight with the brilliant team? This way, you can enjoy the surrounding area by day, and sleep off your marvellous meal by night. Watervale Hotel has everything that you could possibly need in order to make the most out of the time you spend there. Whether you’re wanting to stay for one night, or add several extra days to your itinerary, there’s no better place Best Culinary Experience Hotel - Australia A truly delectable dining experience is often hard to come by. And, most times, you aren’t sure if the food you’re being served has been sourced ethically, or even if it’s fresh at all. It can lead to a worry that your cuisine is comprised of preservatives and artificial flavours that, quite frankly, nobody wants to be putting into their bodies. Thankfully, Watervale Hotel, situated in Watervale, Australia, offers a menu that’s both vast, and completely natural. With a combination of farm-grown and locally sourced ingredients for all of its dishes, Watervale Hotel presents you with a guarantee that every tiny piece of food on your plate has come from a place of love. to do so than with Watervale Hotel. That way, you can dine on whatever you desire, and never feel as though you’ve missed out on any of the gorgeous gourmet food Watervale Hotel provides. And, even then, you’ll leave wishing you could come back for more. Thankfully, with its professionally taught cooking masterclasses, you may be able to take a slice of Watervale Hotel back with you. Led by expert chefs, each eager to share their skillsets and talents with anyone who may be interested, you’ll learn how the incredible team at Watervale Hotel constructs your cuisine. Even if you believe you have no cooking prowess, the team will be on-hand to guide you through their processes in a way that’s easy to understand and fun to be a part of. But, if you truly don’t believe cooking is for you, perhaps Watervale Hotel’s Clare Valley Wine Masterclasses may be more suited to your style. With an in-depth demonstration using wine carefully selected from sommelier Warrick’s wine list, you’ll be able to learn the ins and outs of what goes into concocting these beautiful beverages. And with an extensive insight into Clare Valley, you’ll come to understand what makes the wines offered by Watervale Hotel so truly special. However, if you’re wanting to experience a more intense, gripping dining venture, then Watervale Hotel has the perfect option for you. With its dazzling kitchen smoothly transitioning into the quaint beer garden, Watervale Hotel’s ‘Fires of Hell’ Argentinian-style BBQ is the perfect way to watch a true master at work. Inspired by the concept of cooking with fire, the ‘Fires of Hell’ BBQ brings a whole new elevated experience to the delicious dining available to you. This way, regardless of the season, so long as the weather is beautiful, you’ll be able to enjoy the splendid selection the ‘Fires of Hell’ provides. As one of the oldest hotels in its region, Watervale Hotel has a rich history just waiting to be explored. And, however you decide to explore it, the staff are more than eager to share the background of their gorgeous location with you. You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to both culinary and educational opportunities, making Watervale Hotel a truly unique business that sets itself apart from other restaurants in the area. With a promise that everything it produces must be healthy for the planet, and should lead to the appreciation of the natural world and all it has to offer, Watervale Hotel has established itself as a combination of both restaurant and hotel that truly shines as a gem amongst the others. Valuing your experience as highly as it values utilising and caring for the land it’s situated on is what makes Watervale Hotel truly special. And this driving love for the craft of cooking will guarantee that you have a culinary experience unlike any other. Contact: Nicola Palmer Company: Watervale Hotel Web Address: E

Jun22596 10 | LUXlife Magazine - Travel & Tourism Awards 2023 Due to a gap in the market for high-end resorts, Sunlight Resorts decided to bring its 30 years of real estate experience to the world of RV resorts. Winning Best Luxury RV Resort, Florida, is no small achievement, and we’re here to celebrate Sunlight Resorts’ success. Marketing Director, Trey Lemon, says, “Sunlight Resorts was founded based on customer demand. Demand for brand new, modern, upscale RV and cottage resorts in Florida.” Sunlight Resorts’ RV community is ever-growing as more people want to experience a unique lifestyle. For some, RVs serve as a holiday home, but, for others, RVs are a way of life. The sunny state of Florida is the perfect match for RV living, whether you’re visiting or residing. Trey shares, “From day one, we have strived to be the leaders and visionaries in new construction in the Florida RV industry, and that has not changed.” This dedication to the transformation of such a rich experience is something that has pushed Sunlight Resorts to the forefront of the industry in Florida. “Our goal is to identify the desires of consumers and implement them through new development. Oversized sites, huge concrete pads, large clubhouses, tiki bars, and resort-style swimming pools are all part of our signature.” Sunlight Resorts’ USP is that it lives and breathes luxury through its “state-of-the-art amenities, tiki bars, and being able to offer a plethora of activities and experiences.” It always aims for perfection by truly listening to its customers. Its team responds to feedback well, even if it’s a suggestion for improvement – which is a brilliant quality for any business to have. Furthermore, the team has an internal culture that makes it feel like a family. It nourishes its valuable staff members and believes in “offering meaningful positions with competitive pay, while providing Jan23418 Best Luxury RV Resort - Florida Sunlight Resorts responds to the huge demand for luxury destination resorts in Florida. Its team is committed to developing and showcasing its resorts that capture our hearts and stay in our minds forever. We hear from Marketing Director, Trey Lemon, of Sunlight Resorts as it gains recognition in the Travel and Tourism Awards 2023. an environment for success,” which inevitably results in a feeling of togetherness and personal development. The entire team is genuinely appreciated, not taken for granted. This ensures that the customer service element of the business shines through – happy employees equals happy guests too. Sunlight Resorts’ Resort at Canopy Oaks has been recognised with the title of Best Luxury RV Resort, Florida, from LUXlife. From its country convenience store – with all the products we could need – to its giant pool and hot tub, business center, opulent spa, and much more, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. If you like to take part in some arts and crafts or sports, treat your hair and nails to some TLC, indulge in tasty treats, and much more, Resort at Canopy Oaks is the perfect place to pull up to. The biggest RV destination in Florida, Resort at Canopy Oaks is “Florida’s newest contemporary, luxury RV resort and cottage community,” that has been providing excellence and excitement since December 2020. It is home to signature features that shouldn’t be missed if you have the chance to visit Florida. With 435 acres of abundant foliage, oversized sites, concrete pads, 12,000 square foot clubhouse, and all of the aforementioned amenities, it is a paradise to be discovered and explored. Trey enthuses, “Resort at Canopy Oaks has been our hallmark resort and has made a wonderful splash in the Florida market. With wonderful reviews and amazing guest experiences, you too can be a part of this culture of luxury and leisure!” Resort at Canopy Oaks opens up to guests, promises them brilliance, and delivers every time. The pandemic brought about a lot of difficulties however, Trey comments, “In response to Covid-19, we had the unexpected advantage that customers found solace and comfort knowing they had a safe, outdoor place to visit where they could continue to enjoy life during uncertain times.” Although the travel industry faced a lot of issues, impact, and closures, Sunlight Resorts was able to do more than stay afloat – it thrived. And it is still blooming to this very day! Sunlight Resorts has always kept its guests safe and happy. The passion that it holds makes a difference to guests’ experience and keeps them coming back for more. This business brings people together, unifying them with events and beauty to be shared. Good for any occasion, Sunlight Resorts has the perfect place to celebrate your special moment. If you’re looking for something extraordinary, you won’t be disappointed with Sunlight Resorts! Take a look at its website today. Contact: Trey Lemon Company: Sunlight Resorts Web Address:

Jun22596 12 | LUXlife Magazine - Travel & Tourism Awards 2023 Events Venue of the Year – Washington DC & Customer Service Excellence Award 2023 Events DC is a pioneering host of conventions, sporting, entertainment, and cultural events within Washington, DC. It offers the best of the best in the nation’s capital, so that locals and visitors can experience excellence in DC. Here we talk to its President and CEO Angie M. Gates as it wins two esteemed titles in the Travel and Tourism Awards 2023. “Large or small, in-person, virtual or hybrid. We Make DC Happen!” Conventions, meetings, cultural programs, and much more, can be accessed by anyone in Washington, DC – and there’s no better venue and customer service partner than Events DC. Reflecting the location’s opulence, the entire team at Events DC always has plans in the pipeline for us to enjoy in Washington, DC. President and CEO Angie M. Gates, tells us, “Large or small, in-person, virtual, or hybrid – we Make DC Happen!” Events DC’s team has been curated to operate as a close-knit team of experts. Working well together, they service local clients as well as visitors from around the world. Gates shares, “Our staff is what makes our business thrive. Without our staff, we would not be able to exceed our goals and wouldn't have been able to hit the ground running once the District of Columbia opened again after the pandemic. We recruit top talent who have people skills and customer service at their core. It is important to always think outside of the box even if its round!” Events DC aims to always “create a culture of gratitude and appreciation,” so that its staff feel part of something bigger than themselves. Events DC

Guaranteeing a feeling of belonging, as well as offering opportunities for the team to shine, Events DC is stepping up the game in its industry. It is a great place for personal and professional development, with full support from all members of the team, and it just goes to show how much of an impact this can have on customer service. Playing a crucial part of the business, Events DC’s team does everything efficiently, sustainably, and collaboratively. Its sales team and convention management team operate like a well-oiled machine. Combining experience with logic, they prioritize customer satisfaction as well as invaluable services that result in unforgettable moments. Now that the world has opened up again, Events DC is stronger than ever. It continues to flourish because of its drive and dedication to developing the creative community and collaboration with local entities. Offering its many services, it has gained traction, as the best business to contact to for the true DC experience. The team led Events DC through tough times, such as the global pandemic, by sticking with the company. Gates adds, “Like the rest of the hospitality industry and the world, we faced a complete shutdown of our venues and spaces. However, we used this opportunity to create a virtual platform called GATHER by Events DC, which delivers a fully integrated, experiential platform that provides a diverse array of entertainment and resources. Through livestream performances, virtual conferences, and content categories to fit every guest, GATHER redefines how to convene audiences and provides meaningful and memorable experiences.” GATHER by Events DC won a Capital Emmy in 2022 for its Embassy Chef Challenge and has been nominated for many others. Its collection of accolades are tremendous examples of Events DC’s value and commitment to service. This innovative programme offers “on-demand event programming from the world of sports, entertainment, culture, hospitality, and much more.” The Walter E. Washington Convention Center won a Gold Stella Award, GBAC Star Accreditation, WELL Health-Safety Rating, and was recognized as EXHIBITOR Magazine’s Centers of Excellence 2021. Its venue, DC Armory has been awarded with LUXlife’s Events Venue of the Year – Washington, DC. As a GBAC STAR™ Facility, DC Armory demonstrates its ongoing dedication to safety protocols and cleaning procedures that will continue to instill trust and confidence in customers as they look to book their events. It is a 70,000-square-foot exhibition space which has a seating capacity of 10,000 people, and it is home to sports and theatre events that leave us in awe. As a “customizable classic,” this landmark dome has hosted “extraordinary events like inaugural galas, e-sport tournaments, the Title IX Basketball Classic, DC Rollergirls roller derby league, and, yep, actual circuses.” We recognize its magnificent presence, and Events DC’s team efforts to create amazing experiences, in our Travel and Tourism Awards 2023, and we can’t wait to see what the company does next. We are sure to see Events DC excel and expand as it continues to cultivate experiences that must not be missed. If you’re looking for a place to explore for any of your travel and event needs, Events DC’s website is the place to visit. It has also won our Customer Service Excellence Award 2023, and its awardwinning status sets a fantastic example for businesses to come. Contact: Christy Goodman Company: Events DC Web Address:

Jun22596 14 | LUXlife Magazine - Travel & Tourism Awards 2023 Equipped with a team whose combined years of experience in guiding arctic tours make them undeniable masters in their field, Wild About Lapland has completely catered itself to providing the best arctic experiences imaginable. With an ethos that mass tourism can single-handedly ruin an otherwise magical moment for most people, the team behind Wild About Lapland has dedicated themselves to offering an entirely personal experience that you won’t find anywhere else. And, though there’re a myriad of arctic tours to choose from, Wild About Lapland’s award-winning ‘Northern Lights Wilderness Tour’ demonstrates their determination to give you the most intimate aurora encounter imaginable. What sets Wild About Lapland apart from other arctic touring businesses is its devotion to limiting the amount of people who take part in its guided tours. And its ‘Northern Lights Wilderness Tour’ is no exception. With a maximum occupancy of 8 people per tour, Wild About Lapland optimises your experience to guarantee that you can make the most of the coveted natural phenomena that is the northern lights. You needn’t worry about overcrowding when taking part in this 4-hour tour – the guides ensure that the 8-person limit is never exceeded under any circumstances. You’ll be able to invest yourself completely, and even build a companionship with your group that can’t be achieved through any other arctic touring company. Of course, with every northern lights excursion, there’s always the worry that, if you do get to view the aurora, you won’t be able to do so in all its beauty. And, whilst it’s impossible to guarantee a viewing of the northern lights, due to it being an unpredictable product of nature, Wild About Lapland’s guides will do their best to chase the lights for you. Since the tour is adapted daily to the weather conditions, and solar activity analysed, your chances of seeing the aurora are drastically increased, all thanks to the prowess of the tour guides. And, if the northern lights don’t present themselves, Wild About Lapland is prepared to drive you up to 100 kilometres to a location that may be more promising. So, though they can’t command the northern lights to appear, you can be certain that the Dec22271 Most Intimate Northern Lights Arctic Tours 2023 - Finland The northern lights may just be one of the most elusive natural phenomena to exist throughout our weird and wonderful world. Not easily traced by anyone who doesn’t have the necessary expertise, most wonder if it’s an experience that they’re ever going to be able to partake in. Most dream of seeing the northern lights, but few actually manage to do so on a more personal level. Thankfully, award-winning Wild About Lapland has all of the necessary tools at its disposal to deliver the most personal northern lights experience in all of Finland.

talented guides at Wild About Lapland will do their all to maximise your chances. Thankfully, when it comes to a streamlined and efficient service, Wild About Lapland has this basis covered too. Included in your booking is a pick-up service, as well as the appropriate winter clothing and boots to help you brave Rovaniemi’s infamously cold conditions. Full details on how best to wrap up will be given to you in advance, and the team will handle the rest for you. Seeing an awe-inspiring aurora has never been easier, or more catered to the individuals taking part. You can guarantee that, in the unlikely circumstance that you don’t get to see the northern lights, you’ll still be partaking in an in-depth arctic tour that presents the best of Finland to you. However, there are a multitude of other experiences that Wild About Lapland has to offer. From its ‘Visit an Authentic Reindeer Farm with Safari’ to its ‘Wilderness Survival Tour’, there are a plethora of options available for anyone of any ambition. Wild About Lapland’s main focus is to provide individual experiences to a wide range of people, all whilst keeping groups concise and tours focused on its participants. As a result, Wild About Lapland has set itself the goal of encouraging responsible touring, in which mass tourism is discouraged. It’s invested in the quality of its tours, and is constantly adapting and adjusting to offer the best encounters to small groups of people. As someone incredibly aware of the beauty that the Finnish Lapland has to offer, owner and lead tour guide Theo Turner has made it his aim to utilise Wild About Lapland as a conduit for his love of the area. Every tour is meticulously crafted by Theo to educate participants on how breath-taking the wilderness of Finland is. Additionally, he aims to share his knowledge of the surroundings, the culture, the wildlife and the Finnish language with his patrons, and will always answer any questions you may have, regardless of whether it’s relevant to your selected tour or not. Of course, Theo isn’t the only guide who may take you on your tour. However, that isn’t to say that the other guides hand-picked by Theo aren’t as knowledgeable as him. On the contrary, Theo has selected the best of the best when it comes to the guides handling Wild About Lapland’s tours. Not only does the team hold a similar passion for the craft as he does, but they share the ideals that Wild About Lapland is built upon too. This has been crucial to the success of each tour offered through Wild About Lapland, and is what’s ultimately driven the business to its award-winning success. So, if you’ve always dreamed of visiting the Finnish Lapland, but have been deterred by overcrowding or complicated booking processes, then look no further than Wild About Lapland. With an unrivalled love for everything arctic, you can be certain that each and every tour will be guided with mastery and an unmatched enthusiasm. The tours are the beating heart of Wild About Lapland, and with its most recent ‘Most Intimate Northern Lights Arctic Tours 2023’ award acting as a testament to both Theo and the team’s dedication, you can be sure you’ll be receiving an arctic encounter to remember. Contact: Theo Turner Company: Wild About Lapland Web Address:

16 | LUXlife Magazine - Travel & Tourism Awards 2023 “Live close, Feel free.” Düsseldorf Convention is a convention bureau in Düsseldorf, Germany. The state capital is a hot spot for business and pleasure, making it the perfect place to visit and explore. There are many reasons why Düsseldorf is a great place to visit, and Düsseldorf Convention is home to the answers to all of your conventions, meetings, and events questions. “The Rhenish way of life “Liveable and lovable, modern and multicultural, proud of its traditions and tolerant – Düsseldorf is multifaceted which means it has plenty to offer.” For the ideal meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) infrastructure, Düsseldorf provides short distance travel “from the Messe (exhibition centre) to the Hauptbahnhof (main railway station), from the conference centre to restaurant on Königsallee, from the airport to the city centre hotel.” Everything you need can be easily and quickly accessed, making Düsseldorf a spectacular place to explore without the stresses of long or complicated journeys. #MEETinDUS guarantees a plethora of experiences that leave us feeling fulfilled and refreshed. “In our city, you are always connected – with the world and with each other. Düsseldorf – live close, feel free.” With a “diverse social programme,” Düsseldorf has plenty of options for your time spent relaxing. As we know, conferences and conventions are busy, but Düsseldorf can provide options for some indulgence and excitement. Düsseldorf Convention introduces ways to experience human connection, fun, and something entirely new. From touring in a VW camper to surfing in the biggest indoor surfing hall in the world, creating your own perfume or beer, and much more, Düsseldorf Convention shares a fantastic amount of choice to inspire and excite us. Social activities can be used for team-building as a way to strengthen relationships and inject play into our business travels. Supplying meeting and event venues, Düsseldorf Convention has a multitude of locations that will elevate any conference or convention. Presenting its services for event planners, Düsseldorf Convention offers venue sourcing advice, contact with competent service providers, and social programme recommendations that benefit us and our business. Boasting a wide variety of boutique hotels, international restaurants, and more, Düsseldorf is a hub for business meetings and social experiences. Convention Bureau of the Year 2023 A convention bureau provides invaluable information for us when we require it. Düsseldorf Convention GmbH is an award-winning supplier of information for us when we’re looking to make memories that will last a lifetime by travelling. Here we explore its services as it gains recognition from LUXlife. It is a leader for sustainability, with a fantastic reputation for its green movement. For example, the EUREF- Campus Düsseldorf, currently being created, is an “innovative and sustainable place of the future with office and event space of over 80,000 sqm – suitable for businesses of all sizes and needs. Sustainability project, Schubladenhelden is the “Drawer heroes” programme which gives old smartphones a second life. With over 200 million old mobile phones going unused in Germany, there is a huge amount of “rare earths that could be returned to the cycle.” A union of Düsseldorf companies, associations and institutions, to which Düsseldorf Convention belongs, fashioned the Schubladenhelden project to have a positive impact on the earth. Recycling old smartphones and “creating digital participation,” Düsseldorf Convention is pushing unused smartphones into circulation again – helping to save the planet one device at a time. Jens Ihsen, Director of Düsseldorf Convention, said, “It was important to us that ‘drawer heroes’ works as a sustainable initiative here, where our events also take place. We are pleased that many partners have joined and are providing a sustainable impulse for companies and events.” “The processing and recycling give people in work opportunities with an expense allowance (one-Euro jobs) access to know-how in these work areas, which will be socially important for the future processing of the circular economy and an opportunity for reintegration measures into the labour market. In addition to Caritas and the Düsseldorf Job Centre, Vodafone, the Digital City Düsseldorf, the IST University of Management, Unternehmerschaft Düsseldorf und Umgebung e.V. and Netztechnik Schiffmann are also project partners.” Event planners look to create sustainable opportunities, which helps Germany socially, economically, and ecologically. Düsseldorf Convention makes all of this possible as it continues to provide the best options for anyone searching for a sustainable and high quality location to host events, meeting, and conventions. Now, Düsseldorf Convention has been awarded with Convention Bureau of the Year 2023 for its dedicated efforts. Its #Düssellove campaign brings us together in Düsseldorf – “worth living and loving.” Düsseldorf is a fantastic place to organise your meetings and conventions, making Düsseldorf Convention the best bureau to learn from for those outstanding moments surrounding your business events. If you’re looking for sophistication, contact Düsseldorf Convention today. Contact: Jens Ihsen Company: Düsseldorf Convention Web Address:

Jun22596 18 | LUXlife Magazine - Travel & Tourism Awards 2023 If you’re tasked with arranging the trip of a lifetime, where do you start? In particular, if that trip will take you halfway around the world. Finding a DMC with the right connections on the ground is essential to success. Asia Bespoke Tours has gained an unwavering reputation for its service and expertise across Southeast Asia. The company partners with travel professionals to ensure their clients have the very best and most memorable travel experiences. To date, Manfred Schweizer boasts an illustrious career in the travel and tourism industry. With over 40 years’ experience, Manfred has held positions with a range of notable travel companies including Airtours International, Hapag Lloyd Cruises, TUI, Grand Circle Travel, and Kuoni. As well as his native Germany, Manfred has worked in Switzerland, the USA, Oman, and Vietnam. He decided it was time to launch his own DMC whilst based in Myanmar back in 2018. The company started life as Myanmar Bespoke Tours. Very soon it became clear to Manfred and his team that demand for the services the company offered stretched far beyond the borders of Myanmar. Asia Bespoke Tours was born. Based in the Philippines, Asia Bespoke Tours covers Myanmar, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bhutan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. Manfred tells us, “Our years of experience and local expertise make us the perfect DMC partner to meet the needs of our clients and their clients. Our in-market teams based across the region expertly guide clients every step of the way. Our aim is always to exceed expectations.” Specialising in creative itineraries it's unlikely that you’ll find the same, or even similar offerings anywhere else. Manfred’s industry network runs wide and deep through most countries in the world. His record of building sales strategy, managing operations and delivering successful outcomes is well known. The standards he sets for himself, and the team, are purposefully high to ensure the best outcome for the client, every time. Manfred’s right hand is Director of Sales & Business Development, Karolina Reissmullerova. Originally from the Czech Republic, Karolina began her career in hospitality in the UK. Moving to Vietnam in 2015, Karolina developed a passion for travelling the region. Her network of contacts within the travel and airline industry has been instrumental in developing the business. Karolina spends much Dec22235 Most Trusted Luxury DMC 2023 - Southeast Asia Extraordinary experiences. Extraordinary destinations. Extraordinary service. These are the promises of expert destination management company (DMC) Asia Bespoke Tours. With its wealth of local knowledge and connections, Asia Bespoke Tours specialises in tailor-made luxury travel throughout Southeast Asia. The company is headed up by CEO Manfred Schweizer. We take a browse through Asia Bespoke Tours' history, services and destinations. of her time travelling, attending trade shows and promoting Asia Bespoke Tours around the globe. Covering a region of over 4.5 million km2, a thorough understanding of each country and destination is key to Asia Bespoke Tours business. The culture, geography, logistics and even the climate can vary vastly from area to area. Manfred says, “We’re all about creating oncein-a-lifetime trips to the most spectacular destinations in the world. We know where to find stunning, unspoilt beaches, breath-taking hiking trails and off-the-beaten-path local culture. Not to mention a whole host of vibrant, buzzing cities. Our clients are those who seek outstanding service, excellent quality, and unique and creative programs.” The company has an extensive portfolio of services and is ready to pull out all the stops to ensure clients are delighted with their experience. Some of the more unusual outings offered by Asia Bespoke Tours include exploring the Mentawai Islands in Western Sumatra with a shaman of the Mentawai tribe. Visitors are treated to demonstrations of traditional hunting and fishing techniques as well as taking a dip in the river. The trip includes a homestay and dinner with the tribe. Or if you prefer, how about travelling into the hills of Thailand in your very own Tuk Tuk? Guests choose from chauffeured or self-drive options as they take in iconic views before cooking up a jungle feast at the Karen Hill Tribe village. There’s definitely no shortage of firsts for visitors travelling with Asia Bespoke Tours. In Vietnam, you may find yourself taking to the water in a bamboo basket boat, or even taking part in a local boat race! Or how about shopping for ingredients at a bustling local market before taking a lesson in traditional Vietnamese cookery? These options are merely a sample of what Asia Bespoke Tours has to offer and demonstrate the company’s versatility, local knowledge and extensive connections. As well as excursions, Asia Bespoke Tours offers a full portfolio of boutique-style 4 and 5-star luxury accommodation. Free independent travellers (FIT), group inclusive tours (GIT), and business clients for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) are all catered for with laser-focused attention to detail.