Thursday, October 22, 2015

Albay wins 2015 Top Destination Award
By Nancy Ibo Mediavillo

LEGAZPI CITY, Oct. 21 (PNA) -- The province of Albay won the Top Destination Award in the category of Regions/States/Provinces, while the Thekkady, Kerala, India won the Top Destination Award in the category of Second and Third Tier Cities.

This was announced on Monday by Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) CEO Mario Hardy who said they found difficulty in choosing only two winners in the first-ever USD1-million PATA CEO Challenge.

“We received some excellent submissions from destinations both near and far. All the submissions had unique stories that every traveler should get to know and experience,” Hardy said.

He said the two winning submissions had the most authentic, culturally diverse, and innovative offerings but needed the most assistance in helping promote these assets.

The two winning entries will work with PATA CEO Challenge 2015 partner, TripAdvisor, to develop and create digital marketing campaigns to showcase their destination to a global audience, valued at USD 500,000 each.

The two winners will also receive other benefits including a complimentary pass to the PATA Annual Summit 2016 in Guam, USA on May 18 to 21, free stand space at PATA Travel Mart 2016 in Jakarta, Indonesia on Sept. 7 to 9 and extensive international brand exposure through a variety of well-established PATA communications channels.

The PATA CEO Challenge 2015 Top Destinations awards will be presented at the forthcoming PATA Aligned Advocacy Dinner in London on Nov. 2, in the presence of UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai, as guest of honor, and other high-level dignitaries and senior executives from TripAdvisor.

A dedicated team at TripAdvisor will work with both winners in creating marketing campaigns designed to ensure that they are effectively utilizing the digital environment to encourage travelers to visit their destination.

The company will also support the winners by helping small and local hospitality businesses to get listed on TripAdvisor.

“As the world's largest travel site, we take great pride in promoting wonderful travel destinations to our global travel community.

"Working with PATA on the PATA CEO Challenge, we are very pleased to be supporting the two winning destinations -- Albay, Philippines and Thekkady, Kerala, India -- which both have fantastic tourism offerings that we will now work together on to showcase their story to the world," Martin Verdon-Roe, VP Global Display Sales, TripAdvisor, said.

The PATA CEO Challenge 2015, which attracted entries from a broad range of destinations, embraces the uniqueness and diversity of heritages, cultures, customs and natural beauty of many destinations in line with the theme of this year’s PATA Advocacy Dinner in London.

It aims to promote and enhance the number of visitors to emerging destinations (regions, states and provinces, and second-tier/third tier towns and cities), and to enhance tourism development in a sustainable manner. (PNA) LAP/LOR/FGS/NIM/CBD/EDS