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Asia’s travel elite prepares for battle

Asia and Australasia’s leading destinations and travel brands are gathering at The Claridges, Surajkund, Delhi today to celebrate travel and tourism’s biggest night of the year – the World Travel Awards Asia & Australasia Ceremony.

All will be eager to see which companies will walk away with the highly-coveted World Travel Awards, described by the Wall Street Journal as the ‘Oscars’ of the global travel and tourism industry.

Pictured: The Claridges, Surajkund, Delhi, will host the event

Attended by CEOs and directors of leading travel companies, government ministers and tourist board chiefs, the ceremony will celebrate those brands that are pushing the boundaries of excellence in travel.

Celebrities who have performed at the star-studded gala ceremony include Nancy Ajram and Dionne Warwick, whilst former winners include the likes of Sir Richard Branson and Sheikh Al Maktoum of Dubai.

Nominees include some of the most respected and successful travel names and resorts in the business including Malaysian Airlines, Korean Air, Shangri-La Hotels, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts and Mandarin Oriental Hotels. 

Asian nominees are among 5,000 nominated companies across more than a 1,000 categories, including airlines, cruise companies, destinations, resorts and hotels in 162 countries.

The hotly-contested category “Asia’s Leading Airline” features the likes of Air China, Air India, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Airlines, Japan Airlines, Korean Air and Singapore Airlines.

Malaysia Airlines is among the favourites for the Asia’s Leading Airline title

Competition for “Asia’s Leading Destination” is particularly fierce with contenders including Bangkok, Goa, Hong Kong, India, Phuket, Shanghai, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Tokyo.

But, inevitably, it’s the struggle between hotels, large and small, that are likely to see the toughest competition.

In a continent renowned for its beach resorts, nominees are striving hard for the highly-prestigious title of “Asia’s Leading Beach Resort”. This year’s hopefuls include Berjaya Redang Beach Resort, Malaysia; Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi, Thailand and Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket.

Despite the recession, several properties have opened this year and all are keen to pick up the award for “Asia’s Leading New Hotel”. Competition is between Banyan Tree Club, Seoul, South Korea; Klapsons, The Boutique Hotel, Singapore; PuLi Hotel & Spa, China; Sheraton Incheon Hotel, South Korea; The Leela Kempinski Guragon, India and W Retreat Koh Samui, Thailand.

Wedding planners will be looking to see who comes out on top in the battle for “Asia’s Leading Honeymoon Destination”, with nominees including Angsana Resort & Spa Bintan, Indonesia; Banyan Tree Hotel Ringha, China; Chiva-Som International Health Resort, Edsa Shangri-La, Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur and Six Senses Hideaway, Samui, Thailand.

In addition to overall Asia categories, there are awards for 24 individual countries including Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

Costa Cruises will be hoping to walk away with the title of Asia’s Leading Cruise Line

Travel industry professionals throughout the world have been voting online for their preferred companies and organisations during the past four months. Voting has now closed and votes counted ready for the big night.

Consumers are increasingly using the list of winners as a reliable guide and means of reassurance when choosing their holiday. Companies and destinations that finish on the winners podium receive extensive commercial benefits and global coverage.

Hosting the event this year is The Claridges, Surajkund. An idyllic location, the hotel is nestled just a few minutes drive from the bustling commercial and residential addresses of South Delhi on one side and the corporate hub on the other. Major sponsors of the event include World Mobi and Air India. 

Winners of the Asia & Australasia Gala Ceremony go through to the final of the World Travel Awards in London on Sunday 7th November, immediately prior to World Travel Market.

For a full list of nominees visit the WTA website.