This year we have a batch of outstanding initiatives contributing creative approaches to the common challenges we face in the tourism industry,
NUR-SULTAN – The PATA Gold Awards 2019 took place on Sept 19 in the spectacular Congress Centre in Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan as part of the PATA Travel Mart 2019.
Sponsored by Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), this year saw 33 winners across the categories of education and training, environment, heritage and culture, market campaigns, marketing media and travel journalism.
“This year we have a batch of outstanding initiatives contributing creative approaches to the common challenges we face in the tourism industry,” said Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, director of MGTO, who opened the evening.
WHO WON WHAT?
For instance, SriLankan Airlines won a Gold Award for their Marketing campaign “Two Cities, One Spirit”, while the “Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance” won Hong Kong Tourism Board the Young Travellers Marketing Gold Award. Cardamom Tented Camp by YANNA Ventures won the award for Environment – Ecotourism Project.
Winner of the Environment PATA Grand Award was Elephant Hills in Khao Sok National Park in the south of Thailand, a luxury tented jungle camp that is also an elephant sanctuary. There, visitors can feed elephants and watch them roam freely – sans chains – in their jungle habitat. Riding of elephants is not allowed.
“We are ecstatic to win the award for environment,” said Elephant Hill’s corporate responsibility manager Meneerat Timmanee. “We keep the environment as natural as possible for the elephants and are also working hard to reduce single-use plastic, handing out steel water bottles for guests and using solar panels for energy.”
India won a number of awards, including the Women Empowerment Initiative, which went to Ethnic Restaurant at Kumarakom implemented by the government of Kerala, and which serves up locally sourced produce and native cuisine.
Meanwhile India Heritage Walks won the Heritage and Culture Grand Award. “Set up in 2016, it covers walks in 60 cities and is helping rejuvenate communities and introduce tourists to India’s old world charm,” said Runeep Sangha, executive director of PATA – Indian Chapter.
Further afield, the Experience Macao Food Truck, which introduced Los Angelinos to pork chop buns, egg tarts and lion dance performances won the Grand Award for Marketing.
The event also played the recently launched Kazakh Tourism Travelstan video clip, showcasing the very best of the country with taglines such as Epicstan, Photostan and Tastystan.
“This is my first trip to Kazakhstan and I find it very forward-looking. I’m dying to learn more about the place,” said de Senna Fernandes.