Kerala Tourism Sweeps PATA Awards 2011

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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 early this month. 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 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 the Kerala Tourism, its department, its associates and its agencies in managing the Kerala brand and devising an innovative marketing strategy.” Kerala Tourism Director 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.” Kerala Tourism’s ‘responsible tourism’ initiative in Kumarakom and the film ‘Your Moment is Waiting’ came for much praise from the jury for its high quality and standards. 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 the high-profile destination. Some of the steps taken under the initiative were declaring Kumarakom a‘plastic-free zone’, organic farming, promotion of bicycle as a mode of transport, efforts to transform Kumarakom into a ‘wastefree area’ and green practices in hotels and resorts.

The three-minute film, ‘Your Moment is Waiting’, which had its world premiere at the Saatchi Gallery in London in September last year, was feted both by the media and the tourism industry for its subtle and surreal representation of the ethereal beauty of Kerala. The world premiere was attended by a galaxy of celebrities, including Ivory Coast football captain and Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, former England striker Gary Linekar, current Olympic 400 metres women’s champion Christine Ohuruogu, British actor Bill Nighy and Indianborn British business tycoon Swaraj Paul. Directed by Prakash Varma of Vadafone Zoo-Zoo fame, ‘Your Moment is Waiting’ was conceived by Stark Communications Pvt Ltd., which manages the international marketing and promotion of Kerala Tourism

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