National Geographic Traveler magazine has awarded the winners of its online poll for the best travel destinations of 2016. Voting took place from September 8 through November 6 on the Nat-geo.ru site, with the support of Astana Expo 2017. The National Geographic Traveler Awards ceremony was held on November 17 at Mansion on Volkhonke, Moscow.
Moscow Times publishing house founder Demyan Kudryavtsev opened the ceremony, which brought together Russia’s Federal Agency for Tourism head Oleg Safonov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Sweden Peter Eriksson, and Deputy Head of Mission and First Secretary of the Embassy of Singapore Seah Seow Chen. Television hosts Alexei Chumakov and Yulia Kovalchuk served as emcees for the occasion.
Astana took the award for the “City of the Future” special category. The partner award “Kazakhstan – Time for Discovery,” went to Maria Meshcheryakova, who submitted the best itinerary for visiting the country. The Federal Agency for Tourism also sponsored another special category – “Russia – A New Look.”
The winners in other categories were as follows:
Russian Adventure Holidays: Altai Region;
Discovery of the Year: Georgia;
Russian Excursions: Republic of Tatarstan;
Family Vacation: Bulgaria;
Russian Environmental Tourism: Vologda Region;
Health Tourism: Israel;
Ski Holiday: Austria;
Beach Leisure: Spain;
Exotic Vacations: Cuba;
Adventure Vacations: India;
Russian Ethnic Tourism: Republic of Khakassia;
Best Culinary Tour: China;
Agro Tourism: Belarus;
Best International Airline: Aeroflot;
Best Hotel Chain: Radisson;
Best Beach Hotel: Le Meridien Ra Beach Hotel & Spa (Spain);
Best Internet Service: Anywayanyday.com;
Best Cruises: Royal Caribbean International;
Best TV Travel Program: “Poyedem, Poyedim!” (“Let’s travel, Let’s Eat!”) NTV;
Best Airport: Changi (Singapore).
Contribution to Preserving Monuments of World Civilization: Turkey;
Not a Day Without a New Discovery: Adventure Club;
Best Road Trip (sponsored by Adventure Club): Stanislav Malkov, for his trip to Baku.
During the awards ceremony, several ensembles performed the music of different countries and a draw was held for two tickets to the 15th International Flamenco Festival Viva España!, donated by the Flamenkeria house of flamenco.
Guests also enjoyed food from Boston Seafood & Bar, La Scala, the Pinhaus kosher kitchen, Italianets, Flavor of the Lotus, Khajuraho, and the Povod Yest catering service. Desserts were provided by the Khlebnoe Mesto retail center, Julius Meinl Venetian coffee, and the Austrian National Tourism Office. Miss Radish floral studio provided the floral decorations for the hall.
The results will appear in the November 2016 – January 2017 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine.