Asia and Indian Ocean’s finest hit ‘Gold’ at first World Travel Awards

As the finishing touches are made to China’s Olympic Games in August, nearly 120 Asian and Indian Ocean companies on Thursday 19 June walked away with the most prestigious awards in the international travel industry.The inaugural World Travel Awards Asia and Indian Ocean Ceremony, held at the swissộtel GRAND Shanghai, is the ‘Olympics’ of the global industry, spotlighting the ‘best of the best’ in travel.

Some of the biggest players in travel in the region came out in force for the star-studded gala event. Miss World, Chinese Zi Lin Zhang, was the Guest of Honour, and presented some of the key awards, whilst TV presenter Varun Sharma from BBC World was the host.

“The awards are not gold medals”, said Graham Cooke, President and Founder of the World Travel Awards. “But they certainly carry the same kind of kudos and international acclaim that the gold medal winners receive.”

A total of 800 nominated companies and organisations were holding their breath to see if they had captured one of the coveted awards, bringing the recipients worldwide recognition as supreme centre’s of excellence. The awards cover the whole Asia and Indian Ocean region from Bangladesh and Brunei to Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

“Increasingly, since the World Travel Awards began 15 years ago, careful consumers have relied on the winning line-up to give them peace of mind and help them make informed choices from a bewildering choice of products. It means that the winners can benefit commercially as well as see an increase in brand profile”, said Cooke.

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Asian winners scoop prizes

India took the Leading Asian Destination Award, Cathay Pacific Airways won Asia’s Leading Airline and Singapore Changi Airport was awarded Asia’s Leading Airport..[image3_right
Pan Pacific Singapore took Asia’s Leading Business Hotel;  The Sarojin Khao Lak, Thailand, Asia’s Leading Boutique Hotel; swissộtel GRAND, Shanghai, Asia’s Leading City Hotel; the Maia Hotel, Seychelles, Asia’s Leading Luxury Resort; Hilton Sanya Resort & Spa, the Leading Spa Resort.

China Captures Awards

Shanghai captured five awards in the Chinese categories, including China’s Leading Destination. Other awards were: 88 Xintiandi, which carried off the title of China’s Leading Boutique Hotel; The St. Regis Hotel, the Leading Business Hotel; The Portman-Carlton Shanghai, the Leading Hotel; and swissộtel GRAND, the Leading New Hotel.

Air China took China’s Leading Airline while the Fuchun Resort was presented with the Leading Resort Award. The award for China’s Leading Travel Agency went to China International Travel Service.

India’s Best

In the India categories, Air India was presented with India’s Leading Airline Award; The Leela Palace Kempinski Bangalore, the Leading Business Hotel; Trident Hilton, Gurgaon, the Leading Hotel; the Grand Hyatt Mumbai, the Leading Conference Hotel; and The Oberoi Wildflower Hall, the Leading Spa Resort.

Indian Ocean Triumph

Carrying off eight awards in the Indian Ocean categories were The Maldives. Mauritius won five awards, including the Indian Ocean’s Leading Airline which was presented to Air Mauritius. A further four awards went to the Seychelles.

The Asian and Indian Ocean Ceremony was part of a World Travel Awards Grand Tour with regional awards staged throughout the world, ending with a Grand Final at Turks & Caicos in the Caribbean on 12 December 2008.

A complete winners list for the World Travel Awards Asian and Indian Ocean Ceremony 2008 is available by logging on to www.worldtravelawards.com.
“The awards are not gold medals”, said Graham Cooke, President and Founder of the World Travel Awards. “But they certainly carry the same kind of kudos and international acclaim that the gold medal winners receive.”
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