As the XIX Commonwealth Games drew to a close, India also stole the show at this year’s World Travel Awards Asia & Australasia Ceremony in Delhi.
The industry’s elite – including CEOs and directors of leading travel companies, government ministers and tourist board chiefs – all gathered to see who would be crowned the best of the best during the most important evening of the year in the Asian tourism calendar.
(Left: Rattan Keswani, President, and Kapil Chopra, Senior Vice President, Trident Gurgeon, celebrates three top WTA wins, including “Asia’s Leading Hotel” and “Asia’s Leading Luxury Hotel”. Pictured with Graham Cooke, President and Founder, World Travel Awards and Manon Han, Executive Vice President)
Despite the controversy surrounding the build-up to the Commonwealth Games, India has proven its credentials as a top travel destination, taking away the title of “Asia’s Leading Destination”.
Other big wins for the region include “Asia’s Leading Hotel” and “Asia’s Leading Luxury Hotel” for the Trident Gurgaon; “Asia’s Leading Resort” for The Leela Kempinski Kovalam Beach Kerala, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts won the award for “Asia’s Leading Hotel Brand”; while Incredible India picked up “Asia’s Leading Tourist Board”.
(India’s Sadhya Dance Troupe open the World Travel Awards 2010 Asia & Australasia Ceremony)
With Asia leading the world out of recession, several key brands were rewarded for their extraordinary efforts, including Malaysia Airlines, which was voted “Asia’s Leading Airline” and “Asia’s Leading Airline Business Class”.
Shanghai won the award for “Asia’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination”, Avis received the trophy for “Asia’s Leading Car Hire”, Cox & Kings were awarded “India’s Leading Destination Management Company”.
The Pan Pacific Singapore won the trophy for “Asia’s Leading Business Hotel”, while Swissôtel was crowned “Asia’s Leading Business Hotel Brand”.
The arrival of several new properties over the past years has raised the Asian hospitality bar even higher. Of these, Sheraton Incheon Hotel, South Korea received the award for “Asia’s Leading New Hotel” while Resorts World Sentosa picked up “Asia’s Leading New Resort”.
The luxury market also revealed some strong contenders, with China’s Fuchun Resort winning “Asia’s Leading Luxury Golf Resort”, while Raffles Group picked up “Asia’s Leading Luxury Hotel Brand”.
(The team at The Claridges, Surajkund celebrate after hosting a top evening)
Indonesia’s Ayana Resort and Spa Bali was voted “Asia’s Leading Luxury Resort” and Ayana Villa won “Asia’s Leading Luxury Villa”.
There were awards too for travel companies, organisations and destinations in over 20 individual countries across Asia.
Le Meridien Angkor won both “Cambodia’s Leading Hotel” and “Cambodia’s Leading Spa Resort”. Meanwhile Swissôtel Grand Shanghai took away the trophy for “China’s Leading Business Hotel”, The Claridges Surajkund won “India’s Leading Business Hotel” and Mandarin Oriental was awarded “Malaysia’s Leading Hotel”.
VIPs in attendance included His Excellency Dato’ Tan Seng Sung, Malaysian ambassador to India; Azahar Hamid, regional senior vice president South Asia; Rajiv Duggal, chief operating officer at Tui; Liam Lambert, president Oberoi Hotels and Rattan Keswani, president Trident Hotels.
The winners were selected by thousands of industry professionals and consumers worldwide who have been voting online.
Graham Cooke, founder and president of World Travel Awards said: “The level of competition here in Asia is exceptional, and it is no wonder that the region is leading the world out of recession.”
“As the Commonwealth Games draws to a climax, millions around the world have not merely enjoyed world-class action on the athletics track, they have witnessed India coming of age, with Delhi proving its credentials as a world-class sport tourism hub,” he added.
(British group Vice Versa performed at the glittering ceremony at The Claridges, Surajkund, Delhi)
Established 17 years ago, World Travel Awards is committed to raising the standards of customer service and overall business performance throughout the international industry.
Winners of the regional ceremony will now go on to compete in World Travel Awards 2010 Grand Final in London, immediately before World Travel Market on Sunday November 7th.
Despite the focus on India, Australia also took its moment in the spotlight, with the country scooping several awards including “Australasia’s Leading Beach” for the world-famous Bondi Beach.
Other big wins included “Australasia’s Leading Business Hotel” for The Westin, Sydney and “Australasia’s Leading Hotel” which went to Palazzo Versace, Gold Coast, Australia.
Neighbouring New Zealand also had its victories, taking away the title of “Australasia’s Leading Destination” for Auckland. Other prestigious titles included “Australasia’s Leading New Hotel” for Hilton Lake Taupo, New Zealand and “Australasia’s Leading Tourist Board” for the New Zealand Tourist Board.
(Something to shout about - the WTA winners celebrate in style)
Air New Zealand saw off competition from the likes of Air Pacific and Qantas to pick up the blue riband award for “Australasia’s Leading Airline”.
Although a tough year for the whole industry, several key players shone at the ceremony including Europcar taking away the title of “Australasia’s Leading Car Hire”, InterContinental Wellington winning “New Zealand’s Leading Business Hotel” and Sheraton on the Park voted “Australia’s Leading Hotel”.
Tourism Queensland won the award for “Australia’s Leading Tourist Board”, Pacific Resort Aitutaki received the trophy for “Cook Island’s Leading Resort” and Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa won the award for “Fiji’s Leading Golf Resort”.
Log on to the World Travel Awards website for a complete list of winners for the Asia region.