The World Travel Awards has unveiled its global winners for 2020 to reward excellence in travel and tourism.

The Maldives cemented its reputation as the definitive secluded sanctuary to win the World’s Leading Destination trophy for the first time.

Portugal also performed strongly, with Madeira voted the World’s Leading Island Destination, Lisbon named the World’s Leading City Break Destination and The Algarve picking up the World’s Leading Beach Destination.

Russia’s imperial splendour was recognised with the award for the World’s Leading Cultural Destination, and its cities emerging with top honours: Moscow was voted the World’s Leading City Destination and Saint Petersburg collected the World’s Leading Cultural City Destination gong.

The Greek Ministry of Tourism/GNTO was voted the World’s Leading Tourist Board.

In the hospitality sector, Armani Hotel Dubai fended off a tough field to emerge as the World’s Leading Hotel, whilst Sardinia’s Forte Village Resort claimed the World’s Leading Resort category.

The remote Amanpulo in the Philippines was named the World’s Leading Dive Resort, and The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort took the World’s Leading Luxury Island Resort trophy.

Vietnam’s InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort gained recognition for its eco-credentials by being named the World’s Leading Green Resort. Royal Penthouse at Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai was named the World’s Leading Hotel Penthouse.

In the newcomer categories, Address Sky View, with its mesmerising panorama of Dubai’s skyline, secured the World’s Leading New Hotel gong, whilst the barefoot chic paradise Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa picked up the World’s Leading New Resort trophy.

Brand winners include Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (World’s Leading Luxury Hotel Brand), Sandals (World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company) and Frasers Hospitality (World’s Leading Serviced Apartment Brand).

In the aviation sector, Etihad Airways lifted the World’s Leading Airline trophy, whilst the World’s Leading Airport went to Dubai International Airport. Aeroflot – Russian Airlines was voted the World’s Leading Airline – Business Class, Emirates was named the World’s Leading Airline – Economy Class, and the World’s Leading Airline – First Class gong was scooped by Oman Air.

Votes were cast by travel industry professionals and the public, with the nominee gaining the most votes in a category named as the winner.

Graham Cooke, founder of the World Travel Awards, said: “Our world winners represent the best in global travel and tourism and my congratulations to each of them. They have all demonstrated remarkable resilience in a year of unprecedented challenges.

“The World Travel Awards 2020 program received a record number of votes cast by the public. This shows that the appetite for travel has never been stronger.

“With hope and the tourism bounce on the horizon, our industry can look forward to a resurgent and bright future.”

For the full list of global winners, go HERE.

The World Travel Awards announced its Oceania winners earlier this month, with New Zealand named Oceania’s Leading Destination and Australia named Oceania’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination.