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Asia and Indian Ocean's Finest Hit 'Gold' at First World Travel Awards

20 June 2008 - Shanghai

As the finishing touches are made to China's Olympic Games in August, nearly 120 Asian and Indian Ocean companies and organisations on Thursday evening (19 June) walked away with the most prestigious awards in the international travel industry.

The inaugural World Travel Awards Asia and Indian Ocean Ceremony, held at the swissôtel GRAND, Shanghai, is the 'Olympics' of the global industry, spotlighting the 'best of the best' in travel.

Some of the biggest players in travel in the region came out in force for the star-studded gala event. Miss World, Chinese Zi Lin Zhang, was the Guest of Honour, presenting some of the key awards, TV presenter Varun Sharma from BBC World was the host for the evening.

"The awards are not gold medals", said Graham Cooke, President and Founder of the highly respected World Travel Awards. "But they certainly carry the same kind of kudos and international acclaim that the gold medal winners receive."

A total of 800 nominated companies and organisations were holding their breath to see if they had captured one of the coveted awards, bringing the recipients worldwide recognition as supreme centre's of excellence. The awards cover Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Palau, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

"Since the World Travel Awards began 15 years ago, worried consumers have increasingly relied on the winning line-up to give them peace of mind and help them make informed choices from a bewildering choice of products.

"It means that the winners can benefit commercially as well as seeing an increase in brand profile," said Cooke.

The occasion proved the industry's most important and far-reaching for the region.

Asian Winners Scoop Prizes

India took the Leading Asian Destination Award, Cathay Pacific Airways won Asia's Leading Airline and Singapore Changi Airport was awarded Asia's Leading Airport.

Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre was presented with Asia's Leading Conference Centre; Pan Pacific Singapore, Asia's Leading Business Hotel; The Sarojin Khao Lak, Thailand, Asia's Leading Boutique Hotel; swissôtel GRAND, Shanghai, Asia's Leading City Hotel; the Maia Hotel, Seychelles, Asia's Leading Luxury Resort; Hilton Sanya Resort & Spa, the Leading Spa Resort. The award for the Leading Travel Exhibition went to Asia's Luxury Travel Market (ALTM).

China Captures Awards

Shanghai captured five awards in the Chinese categories, including China's Leading Destination. Other awards were: 88 Xintiandi, which carried off the title of China's Leading Boutique Hotel; The St. Regis Hotel, the Leading Business Hotel; The Portman Ritz-Carlton, Shanghai, the Leading Hotel; and swissôtel GRAND, the Leading New Hotel.

Air China took China's Leading Airline while the Fuchun Resort was presented with the Leading Resort Award. The award for China's Leading Travel Agency went to China International Travel Service.

India's Best

In the India categories, Air India was presented with India's Leading Airline Award; The Leela Palace Kempinski Bangalore, the Leading Business Hotel; Trident Hilton, Gurgaon, the Leading Hotel; the Grand Hyatt Mumbai, the Leading Conference Hotel; and The Oberoi Wildflower Hall, the Leading Spa Resort.

Indian Ocean Triumph

The Maldives, Mauritius and the Seychelles were all firmly placed in the winning spotlight at the awards.

Carrying off eight awards in the Indian Ocean categories were The Maldives. Mauritius won five awards, including the Indian Ocean's Leading Airline which was presented to Air Mauritius. A further four awards went to the Seychelles.

The Asian and Indian Ocean Ceremony was part of a World Travel Awards Grand Tour with regional awards staged throughout the world, ending with a Grand Final at Turks & Caicos in the Caribbean on 12 December 2008.

A complete winners list for the World Travel Awards Asian and Indian Ocean Ceremony 2008 is available by logging on to www.worldtravelawards.com/winners2008.


Notes to Editors

About World Travel Awards

• The World Travel Awards were launched in 1993 to acknowledge and recognize excellence in the world's travel and tourism industry.
• Now celebrating its 15th Anniversary, the awards are regarded as the very highest achievement that a travel product could ever hope to receive.
• Attended by senior executives from major travel companies, operators and destinations, WTA events are universally respected as providing established, top-level networking opportunities, regionally and globally.

Log on to www.worldtravelawards.com for regular updated information

For further press information please contact Jane Larcombe at:

T: +44 (0) 1892 785071


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