Glamour, joy and excitement characterised the regional World Travel Awards (WTA) Ceremony at The Leela Palace Kempinski in Bangalore, India, where the winners of the Asia, Australasia & Indian Ocean Awards were announced. It was a marvellous celebration of the region’s contribution and dedication to the tourism industry.As many as 50 of the sought-after trophies were given out to the elite of the regional travel trade on Friday night. Cathay Pacific Airways was named “Asia’s Leading Airline”; The Leela Goa scooped “Asia’s Leading Resort”, fittingly India was presented with “Asia’s Leading Destination”, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts was named “Asia’s Leading Luxury Hotel Brand” and Huvafen Fushi took top honours as “Indian Ocean’s Leading Spa”. The Maldives Tourism Promotion Board, Avis, Air New Zealand and Changi Airport Singapore were also crowned the best of their kind in the region.
Over 200 travel professionals, VIPs and media from 16 countries across the region enjoyed an event full of surprises and Indian flavours. Hosted by model and actress Salome Narayana Polaki and stand-up comedian Sunil Grover, who stars in the TV show ‘Kaun Banega Champu’, the night saw musicians playing indigenous Jugalbandhi and dancers performing a compilation of Indian dances. Two fashion shows also cast a spell on the audience, exhibiting the silk collections of “The Royal House of Mysore”, designed by His Highness Shri Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar and Her Highness Pramoda Devi Wadiyar.
“We are blown away by the outcome of our regional Asia, Australasia & Indian Ocean Ceremony. For us this event was undoubtedly one of the most victorious and rewarding to date,” said Graham Cooke, Founder & President of the World Travel Awards. “India, as one of the Asia-Pacific powerhouses in the global tourism arena, proved to be the perfect host for the fourth leg of our 2007 Grand Tour. The ceremony put the finishing touches to our already very auspicious world tour. Now, with only a month left to the grand final in the Turks & Caicos, the excitement is growing steadily, and we are now facing the big challenge of creating a perfect finish.”
Adding more glamour to the gala event were Bollywood stars Jimmy Shergill and Masumeh Makhija, from the new movie ‘Dus Kahaniyan’ (‘Ten Stories’) - one of White Feather Films most inimitable and ambitious creations. Akbar Khan, Neha Devi Singh and Rivi Kishan were also mingling with nominees and winners. Distinguished guests among the audience included Captain C.P Krishnan Nair, Chairman of The Leela Palaces Hotels Resorts, Hon. Dr. Mahamood Shougee, Maldivian Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation, Mr Vijay Rekhi, President of United Spirits and member of the Board of Directors, Kingfisher Airlines, as well as Vikram Oberoi, Joint Managing Director of The Oberoi Group.
The media attendance was at an all-time high with over 30 media institutions taking part in the event, including The Economic Times, Express TravelWorld, TV Today Network, The Times of India, Bangalore Mirror, Taste & Travel, The Hindu, The New Indian Express, Asianet Suvarna and Bangalore Mirror, to name but a few. Official media partner for the event is TravTalk India, global media partner BBC World.
Pictures and the complete winners’ list from last night’s event are now available on the official WTA website www.worldtravelawards.com.
The winners of the Asia, Australasia & Indian Ocean Awards will automatically be put forward as nominees in their respective global categories. The world winners will be announced at the grand final, the Annual World Travel Awards Gala Ceremony in the Turks & Caicos in the Caribbean on 12th December this year.