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World Travel Awards Caribbean, South America, Asia, Australasia, Indian Ocean winners unveiled

7 November 2009 - London

Virgin Holidays, Jamaica Tourist Board, Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts, Air Mauritius and Rio de Janeiro were amongst companies who triumphed during the World Travel Awards Caribbean, South America, Asia, Australasia and Indian Ocean regional ceremonies, staged at the five-star Grosvenor House, a JW Hotel in London on November 7th.

The awards, described by the Wall Street Journal as the 'Oscars' of the global travel and tourism industry, revealed who are the 'best of the best' in their respective regions.

In the South America categories, Brazil swept the board: Copacabana Palace won South America's Leading Hotel; Discover Brazil picked up South America's Leading Travel Agency; TAM Airlines was named South America's Leading Airline.

Caribbean winners included: Air Jamaica, Caribbean's Leading Airline; Trafalgar Travel, Caribbean's Leading Travel Agency; Virgin Holidays, Caribbean's Leading Tour Operator; Jamaica, Caribbean's Leading Destination; Sandals Resorts, Caribbean?s Leading Hotel Brand.

Asia continent winners included: Diethelm Travel Group, Asia's Leading Tour Operator; Malaysia Airlines, Asia's Leading Airline; Trident Gurgaon in India, Asia's Leading Hotel; India, Asia's Leading Destination. Meanwhile Indian Ocean winners included: Air Mauritius, Indian Ocean's Leading Airline; Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Indian Ocean's Leading Hotel; Maldives, Indian Ocean?s Leading Destination.

Australasia winners included: Air New Zealand, Australasia's Leading Airline; Sydney, Australia was named Australasia's Leading Destination; STA Travel scooped Australasia's Leading Travel Agency award and InterContinental Hotels & Resorts won Australasia's Leading Hotel Brand award.

The full list of winners for the World Travel Awards Caribbean, South America, Asia, Australasia and Indian Ocean can be found by logging on to www.worldtravelawards.com/winners.

Increasingly, the awards are known as raising the bar for ultimate customer service and overall business performance. Growing numbers of travel companies, airlines, operators and resorts compete to walk away with one of the coveted titles. Organisers say research has shown that winners increase international brand recognition, building consumer loyalty.

Nearly 3000 travel companies were nominated in over 200 categories in the prestigious ceremony.

A total of 750 senior management and decision makers came together to celebrate their achievements during the ceremony. VIPs in attendance included: Kamal Tapossea, Chairman, Air Mauritius; Jesus Almaguer, CEO, Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau; Sek Min Foo, Executive Vice President, Changi Airport Group; Bruce Nobles, President & CEO, Air Jamaica; John Watson, CEO, Diethelm Travel Group, Dato' Lee Choong Yan, President, Resort World Genting, Sir Vivian Richards and Richie Richardson.

Graham Cooke, President, World Travel Awards commented: "The past 12 months have brought several challenges, namely the economic downturn and the outbreak of swine flu, which has impacted travel and tourism worldwide; today?s winners have remained focused on their long term objectives, and continued to deliver above and beyond the call of duty, setting an industry example."

Throughout the evening, winners were presented with their prestigious awards by key industry figures, with live entertainment which included performances from the Todd Miller Orchestra, singer songwriter John Scott and comedian Steve Nallon.

These inspirational organisations will continue to reap profile and commercial benefits over the next year.
Cooke explained: "This year's winners can display the official World Travel Awards symbol with pride on their sales and marketing literature, offering travellers a cast-iron assurance that what they are buying is a guarantee of travel excellence."

Worldwide travel and tourism companies have partnered with the prestigious World Travel Awards including: Mexicana, Safar Travel & Tourism and Illusions. Media partners include: BBC World News, Travel Daily News, Publituris, Xenios & Xenios World, Breaking Travel News and Travel World News.

Each winner has automatically been put forward for the spectacular World Travel Awards Grand Final which will take place at the Grosvenor House on November 8th.

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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 16th 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.

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