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World Travel Awards Asia & Australasia: The countdown begins

World Travel Awards Asia & Australasia: The countdown begins

In just two days, Thailand will play host to one of the most prestigious events in the world travel & tourism calendar, taking centre stage as a world class leisure and business destination, as it spearheads the global travel & tourism recovery.

The Asia & Australasia World Travel Awards Gala Ceremony is set to take place at the luxurious Dusit Thani Bangkok in Thailand on 28th September

A distinguished line-up of travel industry professionals, senior executives from renowned travel companies, and hoteliers representing Asia & Australasia’s leading hotels, as well as media from 60 countries are expected to attend this prestigious ceremony when winners will be recognized for their outstanding achievements.

Thai Heritage Suite at the Dusit Thani Bangkok, host venue for the WTA Asia & Australasia Gala Ceremony on Wednesday 28 September

“It is a distinct honour for Dusit Thani Bangkok as well as for Thailand to host such a prestigious international event,” said Danny McCafferty, General Manager of Dusit Thani Bangkok.


“We are proud to be the host hotel for this event, which endorses Thailand as a world-class leisure and business destination and honours nominees for excellence in the industry.”

For selected guests, the hotel is planning an evening that celebrates all things truly Thai to showcase the Dusit philosophy of drawing on the uniqueness of Thai culture for inspiration and “using the gifts of Heaven to create heaven on earth,” the essence of Dusit Thani.

Dusit Thani Bangkok was chosen after a rigorous selection process that announced Bangkok as this year’s host destination for World Travel Awards 2011 Asia & Australasia ceremony.

Peter Komposch, General Manager, Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket and colleagues collect 3 awards at last year’s WTA Asia & Australasia’s ceremony

Last year, its sister property - Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket – was named Thailand’s Leading Beach Resort, Thailand’s Leading Golf Resort and Thailand’s Leading Spa Resort in an unprecedented run of success.

This will be the fourth stop for the World Travel Awards Grand Tour. Regional Awards ceremonies been hosted in Dubai, Antalya and Sharm el Sheikh.

Next month will see the World Travel Awards Caribbean & Americas Ceremony taking place in Jamaica’s Montego Bay.

Then on the 29 November, finalists who were put forward in the world categories - the very best of the best - will gather in Qatar for the Grand Final World Travel Awards ceremony - to find out who will triumph during this most important ceremony.

The choice of World Travel Awards hosts for 2011 reflects destinations that have dug deepest in adversity and are now spearheading the global travel and tourism recovery.

Thailand’s incredible resilience and forward-thinking attitude has led to Bangkok earning these hosting rights to the World Travel Awards Asia & Australasia Ceremony.

Bangkok is known as the ‘Venice of the East’ - with an excess of waterways

Asia & Australasia lead the way for tourism recovery

Following the challenges brought by the economic downturn, Asia and Australasia have been leading the way for tourism recovery– accounting for 22% of the global tourism industry last year, according to recent figures from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

Hotels in the Asia/Pacific region experienced mostly positive results in the three key performance metrics during August 2011 when reported in U.S. dollars, according to data compiled by STR Global.

In year-over-year measurements, the Asia/Pacific region’s occupancy ended the month virtually flat with a 0.1-percent increase to 68.1 percent, average daily rate increased 12.2 percent to US$142.86, and revenue per available room jumped 12.3 percent to US$97.32.

“We see almost equal demand and supply growth across Asia/Pacific, keeping occupancy levels steady for the moment”, said Elizabeth Randall, managing director of STR Global. “Average room rates continue to improve against the prior year. Looking at Japan, five months post the tragic events in March, hoteliers reported 81 percent occupancy, matching August 2010 results.  Demand is returning month on month and we would expect it to soon grow again against last year”.

Bangkok, Thailand, reported the largest occupancy increase, rising 26.7 percent to 65.3 percent, followed by Phuket, Thailand, with a 25.2-percent increase to 71.8 percent.

Thailand set to benefit as British holiday makers look to long haul travel

Price falls in leading destinations mean that customers travelling long haul this winter can finally expect their holiday pound to stretch further, according the Post Office Travel Money’s Long Haul Holiday Report.

Thailand was amongst leading destinations that were named in the report as a long haul hot spot, as a six per cent drop in local prices has helped to combat the weak sterling exchange rate. According to the findings, Thailand came in second place, behind Sri Lanka as a favourite holiday choice.

Sarah Munro, Post Office Head of Travel Money, explained: “Things are looking up for hard-pressed holidaymakers. After a summer when the weak UK pound bought less holiday cash in Europe, tourists heading further afield for winter sun can look forward to seeing their pounds stretch further in most long haul destinations.

Thailand enjoys hospitality boom

Hotel performance across Thailand has bounced back after a tough year, with the combined challenges of the global recession and political unrest.

Thailand recently appointed a new female prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra and as the Government has stabilised, the tourism industry is already reaping the benefits.

Year-on-year revenue per available room (RevPAR) for the first six months of 2011 was up across the country.

“After a difficult few years when the global economic slowdown was exacerbated by violent demonstrations, the Thai hotel industry is on a recovery path”, said Elizabeth Randall, managing director of STR Global. “As overall demand and international tourist arrivals picked up again, more and more guests will again experience the Thai hospitality”.

An influx of international hotel chains to the third largest island in Thailand – Koh Samui – is setting the stage for fierce brand competition as Thailand enjoys an unprecedented hospitality boom.

Suite at the Istanbul Moevenpick - one of the hotels groups with plans to expand in Thailand

Well-known names in the pipeline include InterContinental, Le Méridien, Conrad, Accor and Moevenpick who will all be intent on luring travellers to the destination by the end of 2011.

The destination has already experienced a surge in luxury brand penetration with properties operated by Four Seasons, Starwoods W, Banyan Tree, Six Senses and Orient Express.
Accor has opened the 5th all seasons hotel in Bangkok, as the capital of Thailand enjoys an unprecedented hospitality boom.

Pool Villa at Banyan Tree, Phuket

Thailand’s Six Senses Resorts & Spas has recently seen Yao Noi, Phuket, reopen after a month of renovation.

This follows the launch of Six Senses Laamu, the only resort on the virtually uncharted Laamu Atoll, earlier this year. Both developments will have been noted by World Travel Awards voters as the group seeks to maintain its title of Asia’s Leading Resort Brand.

Check out a complete list of nominees here.

The event will be co-hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau, with more information on the official World Travel Awards website.