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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs    23 October 2012 

Singapore wins as Asia's top MICE destination

Singapore won yesterday awards for being Asia's top city attraction and the best meetings and conference destination at what is touted as the tourism industry's Oscars.

The Republic lost out in both these categories last year to Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok respectively at the World Travel Awards.

"Winning awards is always a nice icing on the cake but at the end of the day, sometimes we win some, sometimes we don't," said Ms Jeannie Lim, executive director of conventions, meetings, exhibitions and conferences at the Singapore Tourism Board.

"More important to us are the pillars we are building to sustain ourselves as a vibrant destination for the future."

Now in its 19th year, the glitzy ceremony for Asia, Australasia and Indian Ocean was held in Singapore for the first time yesterday, at the InterContinental hotel.

The best of Asia, selected from 28 countries and territories, will be pitted against the winners from other regions such as Africa, Europe and North America in a grand final to be held in New Delhi on Dec 12.

The list of nominees, announced in March, was selected by a group of industry experts. After that, tourism professionals and the public voted for the best candidate on the World Travel Awards website.

Singapore and its brands took home 15 continental awards this year, almost twice its showing of eight gongs last year.

Changi Airport was named Asia's best airport for the seventh consecutive year. For the first time since 1999, Singapore Airlines was named Asia's leading carrier - a title held by Cathay Pacific from 2000 to 2008, and by Malaysia Airlines from 2009 to last year.

Marina Bay Sands retained its title as Asia's leading casino resort, pipping six nominees from Macau.

Resorts World Sentosa was named Asia's leading fully integrated resort, and Universal Studios Singapore was Asia's best themed attraction. Home-grown group Banyan Tree was also named Asia's top resort brand.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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