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Australasia revels in World Travel Awards spotlight

Australasia revels in World Travel Awards spotlight

The resilience of Australasia’s travel and tourism industry has been acknowledged at a VIP 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 Australasia and Asia to attend the WTA Asia & Australasia Ceremony 2011 at Dusit Thani Bangkok.

Air New Zealand overcame stiff competition from Qantas Airways, Virgin Blue, Air Pacific and Jetstar Airways to collect “Australasia’s Leading Airline”.

Meanwhile Bora Bora, French Polynesia saw off the likes of Sydney, Auckland, Queenstown and Yasawa Islands to be crowned “Australasia’s Leading Destination”.

Sydney’s Sheraton on the Park picked up “Australasia’s Leading Hotel”.

Aitutaki in the Cook Islands emerged victorious as “Australasia’s Leading Beach Destination”, ahead of the likes of Abel Tasman National Park, Bondi Beach, Cable Beach and Bora Bora.

Other big winners included InterContinental Melbourne the Rialto voted “Australasia’s Leading Business Hotel” and Europcar named “Australasia’s Leading Car Hire”.

The Spire, Queenstown won “Australasia’s Leading Boutique Hotel”, whilst Fiji’s Taveuni Palms collected “Australasia’s Leading Boutique Resort”.

Amelia Gain & Lucy Gain, director & managing director, The Spire Hotel Queenstown, celebrate with World Travel Awards founder Graham Cooke

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.

Graham Cooke, president, World Travel Awards, underlined the incredible resilience of Australasia’s travel and tourism economy.

He said: “During times of economic uncertainty world-class brands come into their own, continuing to grow market share whilst competitors flounder.

“Tonight’s winners have proven their credentials as a world-class tourism brands, and continue to spearhead to global travel and tourism recovery.”

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.”

Industry leaders from across the region were in town to celebrate at the annual event

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 19th.

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 take a look at the gallery.