Asia’s role in leading the global travel and tourism recovery has been acknowledged at a gala ceremony hosted by World Travel Awards in Bangkok.
VIPs, senior tourism leaders, captains of industry and international media travelled from over 30 nations across the region to attend the WTA Asia & Australasia Ceremony 2011 at Dusit Thani Bangkok.
Malaysia Airlines overcame stiff competition from Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Japan Airlines, Thai Airways and Air China to collect “Asia’s Leading Airline”.
Meanwhile India saw off the likes of Bali, Korea and Sri Lanka to win “Asia’s Leading Destination”; while Trident Gurgaon was voted “Asia’s Leading Hotel”.
Korean Air was voted “Asia’s Leading Airline First Class” and the new super luxury hotel Oberoi Gurgaon collected “Asia’s Leading Luxury Hotel”.
Thailand, which played host to WTA for the first time, enjoyed a large slice of the evening’s honours, reflecting its growing role as a travel and tourism hub of Asia.
Alex Willats, acting general manager, Dusit Thani Bangkok, collects the award for Asia’s Leading City Hotel from WTA vice president David Falcon
Home-grown winners included Bangkok Airways (Asia’s Leading Regional Airline); Six Senses Hideaway, Samui (“Asia’s Leading Honeymoon Resort”); and Bangkok (“Asia’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination”).
It was also an evening of travel triumph for Australasia. Among the big winners were Air New Zealand, which was voted “Australasia’s Leading Airline”, Bora Bora, French Polynesia named “Australasia’s Leading Destination” and Sheraton on the Park, Sydney, which picked up “Australasia’s Leading Hotel”.
The industry’s elite travelled from over 30 countries across Asia and Australasia to attend the glittering gala ceremony. The raft of media in attendance included CNN, Thailand Tatler, Bangkok Post, National Geographic Traveller and Lonely Planet.
Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, managing director, Malaysia Airlines, collects the WTA award for Asia’s Leading Airline
World Travel Awards president Graham Cooke underlined the incredible strength of the region’s travel and tourism economy.
He said: “Asia is powering the global travel and tourism recovery, and tonight’s winners represent the very cream of our industry.
“The burgeoning middle classes in markets such as India, China and Malaysia are fuelling a surge in intra-Asia travel.
“We expect this growth to continue for at least the next decade, making the future very bright indeed for Asia’s luxury hospitality sector.
“Thailand, in particular, is reaping the rewards of the changes sweeping across the region thanks to its culture, amazing beaches and world-class facilities.”
World Travel Awards rewards excellence in tourism from across the region
The famed Dusit Thani Bangkok played host to the ceremony.
For 41 years, the 517-room five-star property has served as a social and business landmark in Thai capital.
Alex Willats, acting general manager, Dusit Thani Bangkok, said: “It was a marvellous honour for Dusit Thani to play host to this blue riband event in Asia and the opportunity to showcase our unique Thai hospitality to the world.
“To become the recipient of a regional World Travel Award is indeed recognition of our staffs dedication to service and of Dusit Thani Bangkok which continues to remain a preferred hotel in Asia” - Alex Willats
The Asia & Australasia Ceremony marks the fourth leg of World Travel Awards 2011 Grand Tour, and follows the legs in Dubai, UAE; Antalya, Turkey; and Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt; while Montego Bay, Jamaica will play host to the final heat on October 29th.
The regional winners will then progress to the Grand Final at the end of the year.
The event partners were Dusit Thani Bangkok, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau, BBC World News and WeClickMedia, and the media partners included eTurboNews, Breaking Travel News, Trav Talk and Travel Daily News.
For a full list of winners at World Travel Awards 2011 Asia & Australasia Ceremony visit the official website.
To view all images from the ceremony click here.