World Travel Awards controversy

Destinations accused of “buying” awards

world travel awards logo

Website FN reported today on an interesting bit of background to the World Travel Awards, which regularly features Madeira in the very top positions as an island destination, both in Europe and worldwide. They reported that the “I” Jornal, part of the media company Sapo, has exposed controversy over the “paid” trophies of the World Travel Awards.

According to that newspaper, Madeira paid €80,000 to host the World Travel Awards ceremony in 2019 (see below). The news was advanced today, as the nominations for another European edition of the World Travel Awards are announced, to be followed by the world awards.

According to the newspaper, last year’s winners and runners-up are automatically nominated, the rest pay €583 (or £500) to enter the next race for the self-styled ‘Tourism Oscars’. In the end, whoever wins must pay if they want to receive a diploma and a trophy to exhibit – a 2.4-kilogram figurine costing €760. If each of the huge numbers of nominees in each of their many regions pays so much they must make a small fortune!

Madeira “does not buy awards”

JM reports today that “Madeira does not buy, nor has it ever bought prizes “. This is the reaction of Eduardo Jesus, Regional Secretary of Tourism regarding the controversy of the” World Travel Awards”.

Eduardo Jesus assured the public that Madeira “does not buy nor has it ever bought prizes”. Furthermore, as the person responsible for Madeiran tourism, he refused to comment on the ‘controversy’, assuring the public that in Madeira “it doesn’t work like that”. “Naturally, I am not going to comment on the circumstance and place that caused this controversy because I do not know these cases, but what I can guarantee is that Madeira does not buy prizes, never bought prizes, nor is it interested in buying prizes. In fact, it would be a huge nonsense with regard to the credibility of the destination”, said the Regional Secretary of Tourism.

Madeira won the most recent edition of the “World Travel Awards” in the category of “Best Island Destination in Europe”, an accolade it won for the sixth time at Belmond Reids in 2019. It has been voted “Best Island Destination” in the world for the last six consecutive years.

World Travel Awards controversy 1

COVID-19 in Madeira: daily updates can be found on an earlier post.

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9 thoughts on “World Travel Awards controversy”

  1. Looking at the number of banana plantations and the known cases of government corruption I would not put it past the Madeiran authorities to buy an award. If Eduardo Jesus states ‘it does not work that way in Madeira’ my immediate reaction woul be: ‘yes it does’. Madeira may not be really independent but the government surely would not look out of place in a banana republic.


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