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World Travel Awards celebrates in Singapore

World Travel Awards celebrates in Singapore Long Tian Pugilistic Dragon & Lion Dance Troupe opened the show

Leading travel organisations from across Asia have walked off with top honours at a World Travel Awards Gala Ceremony hosted in Singapore.

Mandarin Oriental, Banyan Tree, and Pan Pacific were among the brands to emerge victorious at the WTA Asia, Australasia & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony at the InterContinental Singapore.

A packed delegation of VIPs, senior tourism figures and international media travelled from 42 nations to attend the event at InterContinental Singapore, which was held in partnership with Singapore Tourism Board and TravelRave 2012, Asia’s most influential travel trade festival.

It was an evening of sweet success for countries across Asia.

The region’s booming aviation market was acknowledged with Singapore Airlines picking up awards for “Asia’s Leading Airline” and “Asia’s Leading Airline Business Class”.

Korean Air was named “Asia’s Leading Airline First Class”.

Meanwhile Sands Cotai Macao was voted “Asia’s Leading Tourism Development Project” and Marina Bay Sands was named “Asia’s Leading Casino Resort”.

George Tanasijevitch, president and chief executive, Marina Bay Sands, centre right, celebrates with WTA president Graham Cooke, centre left

India’s ascendancy up the tourism order was reflected with it fending off stiff competition from the likes of Thailand, Sri Lanka, Bali, Malaysia and Shanghai to win the coveted title of “Asia’s Leading Destination”.

Meanwhile Incredible India was voted “Asia’s Leading Tourist Board”.

The emerging economic superpower also enjoyed a series of individual categories.

Trident Gurgaon nudged ahead of Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, JW Marriott Phuket (Thailand), The Peninsula Tokyo (Japan) and The St. Regis Singapore to claim the title of “Asia’s Leading Hotel”.

The WTA awards programme, hailed as the ‘Oscars of the travel industry’ by the global media, highlights and rewards those travel brands that have made the greatest contribution to the industry over the past year.

WTA president Graham Cooke underlined the depth and quality of the travel and tourism sector across Asia.

He said: “Our winners are drawn from the breadth of Asia, reflecting the strength and depth of the travel and tourism sector in the region.

“I am sure these organisations will fare strongly in our Grand Final, which takes place in New Delhi, India on December 12th 2012.

“The ceremony has also served as a glittering spotlight for Singapore – a tourism miracle that is bearing the fruits of its investments and creative flair.

“It is little wonder that this dynamic destination has recorded a double-digit growth in international arrivals over the past year.”

Neeta Lachmandas, assistant chief executive, Singapore Tourism Board, centre left, celebrates with WTA president Graham Cooke, centre right

Singapore Tourism Board notes the added dimension this prestigious awards programme has brought to TravelRave’s mix.

Andrew Phau, director, Exhibitions & Conferences of the Singapore Tousirm Board, said: “We congratulate the winners of World Travel Awards 2012 Asia, Australasia & Indian Ocean Ceremony.

“As part of TravelRave, Asia’s most influential travel trade festival, the prestigious awards are a perfect platform to honour and celebrate the outstanding achievements of the various businesses that make up Asia’s dynamic travel and tourism industry.

“With optimistic growth prospects for the region, we are also confident that Asia’s travel industry will continue to innovate and deliver the excellent products and solutions needed to sustain this momentum.”

WTA’s Asia, Australasia & Indian Ocean Ceremony 2012 marked the final leg of WTA’s Grand Tour, a global search for the world’s leading travel brands, which also included regional heats in Dubai, Portugal and Turks & Caicos.

The winners of these legs go head-to-head at WTA’s Grand Final, which takes place at The Oberoi, Gurgaon, New Delhi, India on December 12th 2012.

To see the full list of winners and to download hi-res images visit website.