The eighth annual Mekong Tourism Alliance Awards (MTAA) were held on September 7 at the Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s Gem Center as part of the 12th International Travel Expo Ho Chi Minh City (ITE HCMC 2016).
Supported by the tourism ministry’s of the five CMLVT (Cambodia, Myanmar, Lao PDR, Vietnam, and Thailand) countries, the awards are aimed at instilling a greater sense of pride in the regions tourism professionals and organisations as well as to highlight their excellence in delivering quality tourism and hospitality services.
In addition to the five historic categories of Best Airline, Best Outbound Travel Operator, Best Inbound Travel Operator, Best Five-star Hotel, and Best Resort, three new categories – Best Tourism Website, Best Festival and the Broadcast Excellence Award for Destination Promotion – were added to this year’s awards to acknowledge increasing specialisation in the Mekong Tourism industry.
One of the most notable categories was Best Airline, in which the flag carriers of the regional countries cleaned up. Cambodia Angkor Air, Lao Airlines, Myanmar Airways International, Thai Airways PLC and Vietnam Airlines all won in their respective home countries.
The Best Five-star Hotel and Best Resort categories only featured three winners each, with the five-star Naga World in Cambodia, Sule Shangri-La Hotel Yangon in Myanmar and JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi in Vietnam taking home prizes.
Meanwhile, for resorts, Cambodia’s Sokha Hotels & Resorts, Myanmar’s Ngwe Saung Yacht Club & Marina Development Limited and Vietnam’s The Nam Hai Resort Hoi An claimed the titles of The Best Resorts in the CMLV.
The new Best Festival category also saw three winners, the Thatluang Festival, Songkran and the Southern Fruit Festival in Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, respectively.
Oxalis Adventure Tours won the Broadcast Excellence Award for Destination Promotion category for Vietnam thanks to their pioneering work in bringing adventurous visitors into the massive caves of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.
Other winners in the 2016 Mekong Tourism Alliance Awards are:
- Best Outbound Travel Operator:
Cambodia: Mekong Discovery Co., Ltd
Laos: Wonderland Tour
Myanmar: Shan Yoma Travel & Tour Co., Ltd
- Best Tourism Website:
Laos: MICT Laos
Myanmar: MT&K Tourism Co., Ltd
Thailand: Phuket E-Magazine
Vietnam: REX Hotel Saigon
- Best Inbound Travel Operator:
Cambodia: Charming Cambodia Tours Co., Ltd.
Laos: Asia Reveal Tours
Myanmar: One Stop Travels & Tours
Thailand: Phuket Jet Tour Co., Ltd
- Broadcast Excellence Award for Destination
Thailand: The Nation
Vietnam: Oxalis Adventure Tours
He is a former contributing editor for AsiaLIFE Magazine and a former English-language editor for Tuoi Tre News Online
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