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Crowd favourites: TWA Readers’ Choice Awards 2019

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Nine awards were handed out to winners in the cruise category at Travel Weekly Asia’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2019.
Nine awards were handed out to winners in the cruise category at Travel Weekly Asia’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2019.
The Travel Weekly Asia Readers’ Choice Awards is the perfect platform to honour outstanding travel suppliers in Asia Pacific, who have distinguished themselves by setting new benchmarks for the future of tourism,– Robert Sullivan, president of the Travel Group, Northstar Travel Group

SINGAPORE – Leading cruise brands Royal Caribbean and Dream Cruises led an impressive roll call of award winners at the fifth edition of Travel Weekly Asia’s Readers’ Choice Awards in Singapore on Tuesday (Oct 15).

Fifty awards were handed out to travel organisations at the intimate awards ceremony held at Mandarin Orchard Singapore, which saw more than 160 tourism and hospitality leaders from Asia Pacific and other regions in attendance.

The awards spotlighted industry contributions across 10 key segments, including destinations, accommodation, airlines, cruise lines, travel agencies and service providers. The winners were determined by travel industry professionals following a period of voting from June 12 to August 5.

“The Travel Weekly Asia Readers’ Choice Awards is the perfect platform to honour outstanding travel suppliers in Asia Pacific, who have distinguished themselves by setting new benchmarks for the future of tourism,” said said Robert Sullivan, president of the Travel Group, Northstar Travel Group.

“We believe that this year’s winners will continue to inspire their peers, and each of them deserve to be recognised and celebrated.”

Notable winner Royal Caribbean International sailed home with two awards for Best Cruise Line (Asia Pacific) and Best New Ship for Spectrum of the Seas.

“It's the trust and travel partnerships in Asia that enables us to drive the success and grow the overall pie and awareness around cruising,” shared Angie Stephen, managing director, Asia Pacific at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

“As more and more cruise brands come to Asia, the consumer relies on travel partners to help decipher which cruise brand is going to be the best fit for them. And that's why the job of the travel agent is to be educated about the different brands and making sure that they put the right clients on the right brand - because it's a win for everyone.”

Asian cruise line Dream Cruises scored a hat trick, bagging the awards as the best in class for cuisine, entertainment and the family segment.

Dream Cruises president Michael Goh revealed that the awards recognised the brand’s continual drive to innovate and bring new experiences to cruisers in these three categories.

“In today’s business, we believe we must have a story to tell, and we are proud to share the Dream Cruises story. Looking towards 2020, we have interesting and new destinations such as Christmas Island, Puerto Princesa, Brunei, and even Myanmar.”

In the hospitality category, Mandarin Orchard Singapore took home the accolade for Best Upscale Hotel in Asia Pacific.

The recognition is among many in the property’s illustrious 49 years and speaks to its commitment to “go the extra mile”.

“An award like this helps to spur the staff and give them some conviction and extra faith in what they’re doing – and to do that even better. It’s always about taking the extra step going beyond, and really touching you as the customer in the right spots,” explained Tan Kim Seng, COO of Meritus Hotels & Resorts.

Airline Scoot was singled out as the winner in the competitive low-cost carrier segment.  

The winning attribute to its success was sincerity and the “desire to excel, delight and bring flying to greater heights”, commented Scoot COO Ng Chee Keong.

“The award inspires us to do even better. It shows that our effort has gone through the hearts and minds of our passengers, and that they truly appreciate what we are doing.”

The airline is looking forward to welcoming nine new destinations by the end of 2020.

Abu Dhabi stood out as the winner among destinations in Middle East.

“We recognise Asia's potential as the fastest growing travel market, with exciting opportunities in different segments from silver travellers to couples and honeymooners,” said Saeed Suleiman, senior executive promotion, travel trade & market development, Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi.

In 2020, it is looking to achieve double-digit growth in visitor arrivals from Southeast Asia. “We know it is an emerging market for us, but it's growing every so much now,” he added.

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Northstar Travel Group’s vice president and group publisher, Asia, Irene Chua commended the industry’s top performers at the awards held in Singapore.

“In our fast-changing industry, businesses need to reinvent themselves constantly to stay on top of their game,” said Irene Chua, vice president and group publisher, Asia, Northstar Travel Group.

“This year, we continue to be impressed by the calibre of our winners who have undoubtedly made a big impression on our readers with their dedication to overall excellence, and relentless commitment to blazing the trail for new business models, products and ideas.”

Here are the award winners:

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