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Shanghai’s most important night for travel and tourism

Zhang Zi LinMiss World, the Chinese beauty Zi Lin Zhang is the Guest of Honour at the first ever World Travel Awards Asia and Indian Ocean Ceremony in Shanghai on Thursday 19 June.

The far-reaching event, in partnership with Asia Luxury Travel Market and the swissotel GRAND, Shanghai, is the region’s most significant travel industry occasion, recognising the ‘best of the best’ travel companies and operators.

The winners can expect massive international profile and acclaim worldwide.

As the World Travel Awards event team rolled into town to make final arrangements before the big day, tourism chiefs greeted their arrival with delight.

Mr. Dao Shuming, Chairman, Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administrative Commission said: “We feel deeply proud that the World Travel Awards has chosen to host its inaugural Asia and Indian Ocean Ceremony in our city of Shanghai.

“This prestigious event acknowledges the cream of the travel industry – those players who are setting new boundaries in travel excellence – so we are delighted and honoured to be associated.”

More than 800 organisations have been nominated, spanning every sector plus overall Asian categories. They include awards for 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.

“There are many travel and tourism awards and industry competitions”, said Graham Cooke, President and Founder of the World Travel Awards, “but none are more important – or more influential – than the World Travel Awards. They offer the winners an opportunity at the very highest level to promote themselves on a global stage.

“The awards have been described by the respected Wall Street Journal as the ‘Oscars’ of the travel industry. But it is perhaps more appropriate here in Shanghai to call it the ‘Olympics’ of the travel industry!”

He explained that over the past 15 years, as the World Travel Awards have became recognised and valued worldwide as a supreme symbol of excellence, they are now much sought after.

“The winners are able to display the official World Travel Awards symbol with pride on their sales and marketing literature, increasingly offering travellers a cast-iron assurance that what they are buying is an excellent customer experience.

“The World Travel Awards have come a long way since it was established 15 years ago”, continued Cooke.” We are now seeing international travellers taking note of who wins and where, using this as a means of seeking peace of mind when making their plans.

“It’s because of the major commercial and competitive advantages for the World Travel Award winners that inevitably the tension is mounting in the region as to who will finally walk off with the prizes,” he added. Zi Lin Zhang, the reigning Chinese Miss World, who comes from Shi Jia Zhuang City in Hei Bei Province, will be presenting some of the key awards. She attended the University of Science & Technology in Beijing, has a Degree in Business Administration and is now working as a company secretary. The man charged with hosting this spectacular evening is well known television presenter, Varun Sharma who has presented programmes for both BBC World News and Bloomberg TV, which focuses on key international financial and business news. The Asian and Indian Ocean Ceremony is 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.

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