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Heathrow Travel AwardsHeathrow launches travel product awards

BAA, the operator of seven of the UK’s biggest airports, has unveiled an annual awards event to celebrate the wide range of products on sale to shoppers at London Heathrow, the world’s busiest international airport.

Cynics might argue that there seems to be an award for everything these days, but here at taxfreetravel.com we like the fact that The Heathrow Travel Product Awards 2009 will be decided by travellers themselves rather than the airport authority or the shop owners.
Better still, anybody registering to vote for the awards at http://www.heathrowtravelproduct.com/ will be entered into a free prize draw, which could see them win all the award-winning products.
The products up for the awards are all popular items nominated by Heathrow retailers, which BAA has sorted into 12 categories. Taxfreetravel.com reviews some of the hopefuls:

Leisure technology
Nominees here include the latest iPod Touch (£252.22 from Dixons), which plays movies and games in addition to MP3 songs, and the Sony Reader (£194.78/Sony Style Store), a slim e-reader which can hold up to 160 e-books.

Business technology gadget
Contenders vying for this award include the Blackberry 8900 Javelin (£408.69/Dixons), the latest edition of mobile communication device every businessman seems to own these days, and Bose QuietComfort noise cancelling headphones (£260/Dixons), perfect perhaps for blocking out the snoring passenger on your next long-haul flight to Tokyo.

Travel Read, Fiction
For this award, travellers can vote for titles such as Vikas Swarup’s Slumdog Millionaire (WHSmith/£7.99), the rags-to-riches tale set in the slums of Mumbai and turned into an Oscar-winning film by director Danny Boyle, or The Last Queen by C W Gortner (WHSmith/£7.99), an historical epic of high adventure and royal intrigue set in Sixteenth Century Spain.

Innovative Luggage
The line-up here for this award includes a trolley suitcase from Paul Smith (£280.86), a Mandarina Duck laptop case from Harrods (£170.20), or a stylish Radley ‘Chesil’ Cabin wheeled suitcase from World Duty Free (WDF) at £144.65.

Stylish Travel Accessory
There is a diverse entry list for the award featuring everything from a Mulberry passport holder (£58.72) to a Sony TG3 Camcorder (Sony Style Store/£499).

Britain’s Best Souvenir
A bit of a disappoint selection to choose from here in our view, which includes predictable choices such as a Paddington Bear (Harrods/£17.35) and a red London bus mug (WDF/£6.99). Tourists to Britain deserve a bit better.

Travel Read, Non Fiction
Amid the self-help business titles nominated for this award, lurks Who Runs Britain? by Robert Peston, the BBC journalist whose coverage of the global credit crunch made him famous. The other stand-out title is Defiance by Nechama Tec, the true story of the largest armed rescue of jews by jews of World War II.

My Travel Treat
This award features a wide range of luxury items perfect for those wanting to spoil themselves with the cash to do so such as a Fortnum & Mason hamper (WDF/£40), an Omega Seamaster Diver 300M James Bond diving watch (Omega/£1,617.39) and a Mulberry Small Clipper travel bag (Mulberry/£676.60)

Airport Spirit
At one end of the price spectrum nominees for this award include the travel-retail exclusive malt whisky Hazelwood 17yo from WDF at £350 (only 350 bottles of this limited-edition dram remain) and Baileys Coffee (£12.75, also at WDF, the new flavour from the world’s most popular cream liqueur at the other.

Holiday Fragrance For Men
Plenty of entries for this growing product category•brands vying for top spot include Armani Diamonds pour Homme 75ml edt (WDF/£34), Davidoff Adventure 100ml edt (WDF/£33.10) and Givenchy Play 100ml edt (WDF/£37.05).

Holiday Fragrance For Women
Heathrow duty-free operator World Duty Free is one of the UK’s biggest fragrance sellers so it’s no surprise to see a lot of competition from many of the big beauty and fashion houses for this award, including the likes of Givenchy (Be Givenchy 100ml edt/£29), DKNY (DKNY fresh Blossom 100ml edt/) and Prada (Infusion D’Iris 100ml edt/£46.35)

Beauty Product For Travel
Skincare, cosmetics and sun protection products have been grouped together for this one and contenders include a three-piece suncream kit from Clarins (WDF/£35), a sun couture palette from Dior (WDF/£27) and a lip care balm from No.7 (Boots/£9.10).

April 2009