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Regions Top Travel and Tourism Leader Named at the Inaugural CNBC Travel Business Leader Award

Singapore, 18 October, 2011 – CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, launched the Travel Business Leader Award Asia Pacific (TBLA) to recognize the business leader who has demonstrated leadership excellence in the travel and tourism industry – driving growth, success and profitability.

CNBC announced the winner of its inaugural TBLA during an award ceremony that was held this evening at the Asia Travel Leaders Summit opening dinner at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

The inaugural Travel Business Leader of the Year was awarded to Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes of AirAsia Bhd for his leadership in the travel industry.  AirAsia, a Malaysian-based airline, was incorporated in 2001, and today it covers over 60 destinations in 18 countries.  Mr. Fernandes successfully defines a strategic direction for AirAsia, adapting to new market conditions as they arise.  Eschewing the market tendency to focus mostly on the larger markets of China and India, AirAsia has put its effort into serving the ASEAN region, growing its staff of 200 to 5000 since 2001.  Mr. Fernandes fosters an environment for innovation, creating an open atmosphere for his employees, helping to guide and develop new leaders along the way.

“The CNBC Travel Business Leader Award is our way of celebrating and recognizing business leaders in this industry who through strong innovation and effective managerial skills have demonstrated leadership excellence and are paving the way forward in this dynamic sector,” said Satpal Brainch, President and Managing Director, CNBC in Asia Pacific.  “Congratulations to Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes and all the nominees for their outstanding achievements throughout the year.”

Tony Fernandes was awarded the CNBC TBLA at the ATLS opening dinner, which was organized by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). 

Aw Kah Peng, Chief Executive of the Singapore Tourism Board said, “We are delighted that CNBC has chosen to launch the inaugural Travel Business Leader Award (Asia Pacific) in conjunction with the Asia Travel Leaders Summit.  As part of TravelRave, the Awards and Summit brings together thought leaders who have a shared commitment of establishing a strong foundation for the future growth of Asia.  We would like to applaud the candidates for their exemplary successes and congratulate Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes for showing us what it means to be a forerunner in this industry.”

Chicago Booth and Millward Brown are the Knowledge and Research Partners for TBLA.  They have worked closely with CNBC to ensure a rigorous selection criteria and judging process.

For more information on TBLA, please log on to:

About CNBC in Asia Pacific
CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news, providing real-time financial market coverage and business information to more than 380 million households worldwide. In Asia Pacific, CNBC is distributed to over 70 million households and is uniquely positioned to speak to viewers from across the region. Headquartered in Singapore, the network provides eight and a half hours of live Asia-produced programming every weekday, which is complemented with coverage of live market action from Europe and the US. CNBC Asia Pacific's channels, which include CNBC Asia, CNBC-TV18 (India), CNBC Awaaz (India), CNBC Pakistan, Nikkei-CNBC (Japan) and SBS-CNBC (South Korea) are available in more than 21 countries across the Asia Pacific region. CNBC also has a strategic alliance with Shanghai Media Group, which wholly owns a subsidiary, China Business Network and a collaboration with China Central Television (CCTV). In China CNBC reaches 400 million homes via CCTV’s Business Channel programme, Global Connection Show. The channels are distributed via satellite, cable and terrestrial broadcast networks, as well as through digital platforms. More information is available at

The CNBC Travel Business Leaders Award Asia Pacific recognizes the business leader who has demonstrated leadership excellence in the travel & tourism industry - driving growth, success and profitability. Qualities including innovation, management skills and the leader's ability to formulate strategies and capitalize on key trends are the main judging criteria.  Candidates for this award are distinguished business leaders in the travel and tourism industry, including Airlines, Hospitality (hotels & resorts), Attractions, Tour Operators, Travel Agents and Airports. To ensure transparency and credibility, only listed companies with publicly available data are considered for the award. Candidates must have been in their current role for at least two years in order to qualify for the award.

The Asia Travel Leaders Summit (ATLS) is held on 18-19 October 2011. As part of TravelRave, Asia’s mega travel and trade festival that serves as a regional platform to fuel collaboration and growth in the Asia Pacific tourism industry, the second edition of ATLS will continue to gather the thought leaders of the Asian travel and tourism industry and inspire purposeful dialogue in response to key issues facing the industry.

Intended to be an intimate two-way conversation between the invited delegates, the Summit seeks to lay the foundations for collaboration and initiatives in response to key issues discussed. Attendance is by invitation only and will comprise of eminent business leaders from within, as well as outside of the travel and trade industry.