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The Inaugural Tourism Alliance Awards (Cambodia, Lao & Vietnam)

The first Tourism Alliance Awards (TAA 2009) took place on 1 October 2009 at the Phu Tho Exhibition Centre, Room 45. The event, which was co-organized by Vietnam Tourism Association, Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, Cambodia Hotel Association, Lao Association of Travel Agents and IIR Exhibitions Pte Ltd and supported by Vietnam National Administration of Tourism; Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia and Lao National Tourism Administration, marked a significant milestone that represented the commitment on the part of Cambodia, Lao and Vietnam to strive for service excellence in their tourism and hospitality industries.

The inaugural event was graced by special dignitaries representing all three countries. They included Mr. Pak Sokhom, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia, Mr. Soukaseum Bodhisane, Vice Chairman, Lao National Tourism Administration, Lao and Mr. Tran Chien Thang, Vice Minister, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Vietnam, who presented the awards for their respective countries. Mr. Tran Chien Thang, who was also the Special Guest of Honor at the TAA 2009, gave a speech at the event highlighting that the recognition of the brightest tourism stars in the three countries through the TAA 2009 would serve as an encouragement for the tourism industry professionals in Cambodia, Lao and Vietnam to achieve service quality excellence within the tourism industry. Ms Rosalind Ng, Managing Director (Asia) of IIR Exhibitions Pte Ltd, which was part of the organizing committee, gave a speech on thanking the co-organizers, official supporters, winners, judges and all participants. She also gave a special note of thanks on behalf of the organizers to Mr. La Quoc Khanh for his and the Department of Tourism Ho Chi Minh City's invaluable assistance in making the TAA 2009 possible.

All categories were awarded after a rigorous examination by an internationally recognized panel of judges, which consists of Mr. Michel Van Der Hoeven, Senior Vice President Development, Minor International PCL, Mr. Stephen Morton, General Manager and Managing Editor of e-Travel Blackboard, Mr. Michael Loh, Founder, CEO, Editorial Director, AGELESS & Spa Asia, Singapore, President of International Medical Spa Association - Asia Pacific and President of Day Spa Association - Asia Pacific, Mr. Bill Barnett, Managing Director, C9 Hotelworks Company Limited, Mr. Marc Kramer, Director, HVS Global Hospitality Services, Ms. Sue Francis, Director, Interline Reservation Service, Mr. Kai Marcus Schröter, CEO of HTM Management Consultancy, Mr. Nigel Sharman, Chief Executive Officer of TCK Group and Mr. Amit Gilboa, writer of the book "Off the Rails in Phnom Penh".

These are the quotes from some of our winners of the Tourism Alliance Awards 2009:

"We are so delighted to receive the Domestic Airline of the Year (Vietnam) and International Airline of the Year (Vietnam) awards at the Tourism Alliance Awards. This shows that the effort of Vietnam Airlines has been acknowledged and highly appreciated by the customers. With these awards, we will do our best to improve our products and services to better meet our customers' demands in the future."

Mr. Cao Anh Son, General Manager Sales & Marketing, Southern Regional Office of Vietnam Airlines, a double award winner at the Tourism Alliance Awards 2009 "We are of course very proud and delighted to receive these awards. The most pleasing thing however is that it gives our associates a reason to walk a little taller in their shoes. They can be proud of the hotel they work for and they can feel rewarded for their hard work and effort", Mr. Dietmar Kielnhofer, General Manager, Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers, Winner of the Spa Operator of the Year (Vietnam) and Luxury Hotel of the Year (Vietnam).

"We are absolutely delighted that Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort & Spa has won the Resort Hotel of the year (Vietnam) category despite facing very stiff competition from a stellar cast of established resorts in Vietnam. This news is welcome respite for our staff in Hoi An, as they faced trying times in recent days with the resort and entire area affected by Typhoon Ketsana", Ms. Irene Wong, Regional Director of Sales & Marketing, Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort & Spa, Winner of the Resort Hotel of the Year (Vietnam).

In total, more than 100 nominations were received for the 10 categories at the TAA. The second TAA will be happening next year alongside with ITE HCMC 2010 in September 2010.

APPENDIX: LIST OF TAA 2009 WINNERS

TOURISM ALLIANCE AWARDS (Cambodia)
Restaurant of the Year - Nest Angkor Bar
Outbound Travel Operator of the Year - Asia Explorer Travel- Cambodia
Inbound Travel Operator of the Year - Intrepid Cambodia Ltd
Resort Hotel of the Year - The Pavilion

TOURISM ALLIANCE AWARDS (Laos)
Restaurant of the Year - Joma Bakery Café
Inbound Travel Operator of the Year - Viengchampa Tour
Business Hotel of the Year - Don Chan Palace, Hotel & Convention
Resort Hotel of the Year - Rivertime Resort and Ecolodge
Luxury Hotel of the Year - Lao Plaza Hotel

TOURISM ALLIANCE AWARDS (Vietnam)
Domestic Airline of the Year - Vietnam Airlines
International Airline of the Year - Vietnam Airlines
Restaurant of the Year (Vietnam) - Orientica Seafood Restaurant & Bar
Spa Operator of the Year (Vietnam) - Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers
Outbound Travel Operator of the Year - Vietnam Travel & Transport Service Company
Inbound Travel Operator of the Year - Saigon Tourist Travel Service Co.
Business Hotel of the Year - Caravelle Hotel
Resort Hotel of the Year - Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort
Luxury Hotel of the Year - Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers


 

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