Year on year our competitors at the World Travel Awards get better and better, and 2015 was no different. So we would like to thank you for choosing Real Russia and for voting for us this year; we really do appreciate all of your support. Over the next 12 months and beyond, our team are determined to continue working hard; repaying the faith that you have shown.
Now on to the result ... (click on the video for added effect!)
We are dlighted to say that your incredible support has again seen us emerge victorious as Russias Leading Travel Agent. This is the third year in succession we have had the honour of being presented with this award, which is unprecedented.
The aiport wasn't too pleased about this sitting in my hand luggage - it's huge!
2016 will be the 100th anniversary of the Trans-Siberians completion, so this is a fantastic way to start a year celebrating everything that is good about Russia and the Trans-Siberian.
How will we be celebrating you ask? Keep your eyes fixed on our website and social media channels to find out in the coming weeks and months.
Anyway, back to the World Travel Awards…
A World Travel Awards Diary
I was lucky enough to attend the World Travel Awards ceremony this year in Sardinia, Italy, so I thought I would write a few words about the ceremony itself to give you an idea of what it is like.
First off, I can hardly think of a better venue to celebrate all that is good about the travel industry; except maybe the Trans-Siberian itself, but I am biased and determined to spread the Trans-Siberian word! It is just a shame that the event itself took place indoors as, on the Mediterranean coast, a night under the stars would have been marvellous.
The venue itself, the Forte Village Resort was lovely, and expansive; all the guests were ferried about in small golf buggy/bus type contraptions. The cocktail reception was held around the pool area, which would have been nice in and of itself, but with some very colourful parrots flying around overhead, it was a great start to the evening.
The main event was inside, in a standard dining room all dressed, and lit, to impress. I feel they may have overdone it a little though with the blue lighting, it had the effect of making the food look very strange indeed, a shame given the time that had obviously been spent preparing it all; thankfully it tasted great.
The lovely centrepiece, complete with excessive blue mood lighting!
The evening is quite an involved affair, with awards being offered for many categories, from best boutique hotel to best airport. For this reason there were no speeches (thankfully), just a short time to have a photo taken with the host, before being moved on. While this sounds monotonous, it actually isn't as throughout the evening short videos were shown of some of the luxury resorts being celebrated, and they all looked very inviting; I think I need to ask for a pay raise…
When my time came to step on stage it was over before I realised I had even gone up! I was worried I had blocked out the memory for it being traumatic, but the photos seem to show it all going ok, so I shall put it down to an innate level of shyness letting my nerves get the better of me.
Yes, that is fear you can see in my eyes!
Once I had collected the award there was the small matter of two interviews with the travel media present. You will be pleased to hear that these have yet to be uploaded to the internet, so you will not have to watch me stutter through them. Yet. Once they are online I am sure they will find their way to Facebook and/or Twitter.
And that was that. The World Travel Awards. A chance to celebrate all that is good about the travel industry, and all that is good about travelling.
Now it is time to start plotting our course for the 2016 World Travel Awards. A course made up of hard work, passion, commitment and enthusiasm. I hope you will join us!
They interviewed me for Breaking Travel News after I was presented with the award, and the video is now online! Take a look...