PHOTO: Chris Austin and Jonathan Kaplan of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, 2016 Travvy Award winner for Best Overall Hotel Chain.
The 2017 Travvy Awards are fast approaching. The third annual gathering of the who's who in the travel industry for what promises to once again be the most unique and buzzworthy awards show celebrating travel professionals.
The Travvys, presented by travAlliancemedia, will once again recognize the highest standard of excellence in the industry today, honoring travel companies, products, and destinations for their outstanding achievement.
This year's event will take place on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at New York City's Gotham Hall, a return to the venue that 2016 event goers said was the perfect setting to match the glamor and top-notch prize that is the golden Travvy statuette.
Voting on this year's Travvys continues through Nov. 30, so while we settle the winners of the 2017 honors, we're looking back at the top winners from the 2016 ceremony. Here, we remember the winners in the Best Hotel Chain category.
2016 WINNER: STARWOOD HOTELS & RESORTS
It should come as no surprise that Starwood Hotels & Resorts was selected as the top hotel chain by travel agents. The company has long been a supporter of the agent community, offering travel consultants a points-based booking rewards program and a full complement of educational opportunities through its ProLearning portal.
But that’s not the only reason Starwood captured the Travvy award. The company offers agents a robust portfolio of 1,279 hotels and resorts in 100 countries to sell – and with brands that run the gamut, catering to virtually all types of travelers. Brands include St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Westin, Le Méridien, Sheraton, Tribute Portfolio, Four Points by Sheraton and Aloft Element, in addition to a marketing partnership with Design Hotels.
Year over year, Starwood continues to grow, and 2015 was no exception. Last year the company opened 105 hotels – the highest number in its history – in 30 countries. The biggest news for the company last year, however, was the announcement that it had reached a definitive merger agreement with Marriott International, which will create the world’s largest hotel company with a staggering 1.1 million rooms and upward of 5,500 properties worldwide.
RUNNER-UP: All Inclusive Hard Rock Hotels
This is another agent-friendly company that is fast expanding. Its collection of resorts includes Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana, Hard Rock Hotel Cancun,Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta and Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya. The Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos and Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Cancun are scheduled to debut in 2018.
HOTEL CHAIN WINNERS BY MARKET
Gold and silver winners, respectively
Best All-Inclusive Resort Chain-Luxury: Sandals, Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts
Best All-Inclusive Resort Chain-Mid-Market: All-Inclusive Hard Rock Hotels, Memories Resorts
Best Casino Hotel-Resort Caribbean: All-Inclusive Hard Rock Hotels, Sonesta Resorts St. Maarten
Best Hotel Chain-Business International: Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Worldwide
Best Hotel Chain-Luxury: Starwood Hotels & Resorts, ME by Melia
Best Hotel Chain-Mid-Market: Barcelo Hotels & Resorts, Fiesta Americana Hotels & Resorts
Best Hotel Chain-Economy: Best Western, Red Roof Inn
If you didn’t attend last year’s gala, see what you missed here. And get ready, as travAlliancemedia CEO Mark Murphy promises that the third edition of the show will be the most electric night of the travel industry awards season.
Make sure you grab your seat or table now — the event is sure to sell out with only limited seating still available. Individual seats are still available for $450 per person. So make sure you act now to get your favorite travel professional a holiday gift that will let them network with the industry’s elite stars.
If you’re interested in more information on the gala or to inquire about availability of the $4,000 VIP tables, contact travAlliancemedia at 865-505-1400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.