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 Kerala Tourism sweeps PATA Awards 2011

Kerala Tourism sweeps PATA Awards 2011

:Kerala Tourism walked away with four of the top honours at the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Awards 2011 for outstanding achievement in tourism announced in Bangkok recently. Kerala Tourism’s new global campaign film ‘Your Moment is Waiting’ bagged an unprecedented three PATA Gold Awards.

Kerala, which is the only Indian state to figure in the PATA awards list this year, also picked up one of the four PATA Grand Awards in the environment category for its ‘Responsible Tourism’ efforts in Kumarakom. PATA has announced four Grand and 22 Gold Awards this time and Kerala is the only winner from India among the four prestigious PATA Grand Awards. Kerala Tourism won three Gold Awards making it the largest haul ever by a state government in the history of PATA Awards. Prominent Kerala resort chain CGH Earth won the PATA Gold Award in the Corporate Environmental Programme category for best eco-friendly practices, taking the awards tally for Kerala to five.
Expressing satisfaction, Kerala Tourism Minister Sri. Kodiyeri Balakrishnan remarked, “The Grand Award puts an even greater responsibility on us to ensure that the achievements of Responsible Tourism in Kumarakom are sustained and taken to the next level to create a replicable model in tourism practices. The three awards for ‘Your Moment is Waiting’ signify the creative edge, which our marketing campaigns have been acclaimed for. But this is the first time that Kerala has won four international awards of significance. We are very proud of it.”
Kerala Tourism’s film ‘Your Moment is Waiting’ won three PATA Gold awards in Marketing: Secondary Government Destination, Marketing: Media-Travel Advertisement Broadcast Media and Marketing: Media-Public Relations.
Kerala Tourism Secretary Dr. Venu V. said, “This is an unprecedented honour. It is a recognition of the hard work put in by Kerala Tourism, its department, its associates and its agencies in managing the Kerala brand and devising an innovative marketing strategy.”
Kerala Tourism Director Mr. M. Sivasankar said, “It is a remarkable achievement for Kerala and its tourism industry. Kerala Tourism has won several awards in the past, but it is the first time the department has swept the awards at an international level.”
Launched in September 2008, the ‘Responsible Tourism’ programme of Kerala was the first such initiative by a tourism board in the country. Under the project, ordinary people of Kumarakom worked with industry representatives like hotels and resorts, tour operators, travel agents, home-stay operators and souvenir shop owners, NGOs and government agencies to protect the environment in this high-profile destination. Some of the steps taken under the initiative were declaring Kumarakom a ‘plastic-free zone’, organic farming, promotion of cycling as a means of transport, efforts to transform Kumarakom into a ‘waste-free area’ and green practices in hotels and resorts.
Last week, Kerala had won the ‘Favourite Indian State’ award at the Outlook Traveller tourism awards 2010 besides the CNBC Awaaz Awards for the ‘Most Preferred Destination’ and ‘Best Tourism Board’ in September last year.
There were 223 entries from 102 organizations and individuals from the Asia Pacific region this year for the PATA awards. Kerala Tourism’s four awards are the maximum that any entity has got from 26 awards at stake.
Sponsored by the Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO), the awards will be presented in Beijing on April 11 to coincide with PATA’s 60th anniversary celebrations. More than 500 travel industry executives from across the world are expected to attend the awards ceremony.
“Our heartfelt congratulations to all the winners on receiving the Grand and Gold Awards. The winning entries this year have established another benchmark of excellence, innovation and advancement in the responsible development of travel and tourism.” Said Joao Manuel Costa Antunes, Director, MGTO.

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