For the first time in the history of the World Travel Awards, Asia will host the grand finale of the hugely-anticipated event on December 12 in the Indian city of New Delhi. The event, which is regarded as the Oscars of the travel industry, will be held at the Oberoi, Gurgaon in New Delhi's capital region.
WTA organisers said the city was chosen as host due to the Indian capital's continuing evolution as a world-class business and leisure destination. In particular, Delhi's luxury hospitality sector is enjoying a golden age, spearheaded by the host venue.
This was reflected at last year's WTA in Qatar, when the Oberoi, Gurgaon emerged victorious in the hotly-contested 'World's Leading Luxury Hotel category'. India saw off competition from London, New York, Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro and Sydney to win the award for World's Leading Destination.
Graham Cooke, president and founder of the WTA, said: "The selection of our hosts is fundamental to the success of our awards programme, and Delhi possesses all the ingredients to rise to the challenge of hosting our grand final. "The ceremony also aims to highlight the growing contribution of travel and tourism to the Indian economy. The number of international tourists has doubled in less than a decade, and by 2015 the industry is expected to create an additional 25 million jobs in India." He added, "The Oberoi, Gurgaon exemplifies India's emergence as a new tourism superpower. Since opening last year, this exquisite property has set a new precedent for luxury, not just in India but globally, and it serves as an excellent hub both for business and for leisure."
Set over nine lush acres of landscaped gardens, the Oberoi, Gurgaon offers an urban sanctuary presiding over a quiet resort setting, personalised service and the best of modern amenities, all in the heart of the business and commercial district of Delhi.
The hotel is a 15-minute drive from Delhi International Airport, and also within easy reach from the New Delhi city centre, major sightseeing destinations and the entertainment, shopping and recreation hubs in Gurgaon city.
Kapil Chopra, executive vice president of the Oberoi Group, said, "We are indeed privileged to host the Grand Final Gala Ceremony in December 2012. WTA celebrates the best in the hospitality and tourism industries.
"Having just bagged the honour of 'World's Leading Luxury Hotel' in 2011, we are very excited to welcome the crème de la crème of the travel industry to the Oberoi, Gurgaon and look forward to offering them a memorable experience. "The event is also an excellent opportunity for the Indian tourism industry. The spotlight of the world's travel industry will definitely be shining on India this December."
WTA's grand final will attract the most important decision-makers in global travel and tourism, as they compete for the most revered accolade in the industry.
The night will mark the culmination of a year-long search for the very best travel and tourism brands in the world, and will feature the regional winners from WTA's Grand Tour 2012 competing head to head.