Forty-five top-performing hotels and travel companies received the 2008 Vietnam Tourism Award at a ceremony held in Hanoi on July 2.

Initiated a decade ago, the annual award has become the most prestigious prize granted by Vietnam ’s tourism industry.

Sofitel Plaza Hanoi topped the list of the 10 leading five-star hotels. At the event, organisers also handed over awards to the 20 best four and three-star hotels.

Meanwhile, Saigontourist held on to its leading position in the tourism industry as the company took top honours in the fields of both international and domestic travel.

This year the Vietnam Tourism Association debuted two new awards: “Renowned Transport Company” and “Renowned Tourism Shopping Destination”.

To mark the 10th anniversary of the award, the Tourism Human Resources Development Project bestowed its own prizes to five hotels and travel firms which have led in training personnel in accordance with the standards of Vietnam ’s Tourism Occupational Skills system (VTOS).

The VTOS is part of a five-year project with a total investment of 10.8 million EUR funded by the European Commission./.