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PATA announces Grand and Gold Award winners 2018

Winners of the 2018 PATA Grand and Gold Awards are announced today by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

These awards, generously supported and sponsored since 1995 by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), this year recognise the achievements of 27 separate organisations and individuals.

The awards ceremony takes place in Langkawi, Malaysia on Friday, September 14 during PATA Travel Mart 2018. The 34 Grand and Gold Awards will be presented to such organisations as Amadeus Asia Limited, Thailand; AirAsia, Malaysia; Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, UAE; Hong Kong Tourism Board; Jetwing Hotels Ltd, Sri Lanka; Kerala Tourism, India; Local Alike, Thailand; Marianas Visitors Authority; Melco Resorts and Entertainment, Macao; PEAK DMC, India; and Tourism Authority of Thailand. 

This year’s awards attracted 200 entries from 87 organisations and individuals worldwide. The winners were selected by an independent judging committee consisting of fourteen senior executives from the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors (see full list below). 

Ms Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office said, “This year’s PATA Gold Awards winners present us with yet another wide array of remarkable accomplishments in the different branches of the tourism industry. MGTO is honoured to help facilitate this PATA awards programme, which for the past over two decades has been bringing into the limelight so many exceptional contributions, inspiring tourism stakeholders throughout the Asia Pacific region to build a vibrant whilst sustainable tourism industry.”

Dr. Mario Hardy, PATA CEO, added, “On behalf of PATA, I would like to congratulate the 2018 PATA Grand and Gold Award winners, as well as all of this year’s participants for their submissions. This year’s winners exemplify the true values of the Association in working towards a more responsible travel and tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region. I look forward to celebrating all of their accomplishments at the PATA Gold Awards Luncheon and Presentation at PATA Travel Mart 2018 in Langkawi, Malaysia.”

The PATA Grand Awards are presented to outstanding entries in four principal categories: Marketing; Education and Training; Environment, and Heritage and Culture.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will receive the 2018 PATA Grand Award for Education and Training for its ‘King's Wisdom for Sustainable Tourism’ project, a collaboration between the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Thailand. It uses the principles of His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s “sufficiency economy philosophy” in its work towards four primary objectives: to be able to continue working on the king's principle to restore local wisdom and promote sustainable tourism, stimulate domestic tourism, create value in the tourist areas in order to increase revenue, and promote human resources development and strengthen the community to think and do by themselves leading to sustainable development.

The Environmental award will be presented to Elephant Hills Luxury Tented Camps, Thailand for their various activities including its Elephant Conservation Project, Children’s Project, and Wildlife Monitoring Project. They also organise a smaller project called CO2 offset which allows them to seek ways of reducing their carbon footprint.

The Heritage and Culture Award will be awarded to the Hong Kong Tourism Board for its ‘Art is Everywhere’ project. Two talented artists collaborated on the photography project, which showcased the hidden art gems in Hong Kong. The project was the first time for an Asian destination organisation to initiate a photography project which was designed to focus on promoting art scenes, collaborate with a US photographer and professional dancers for social media promotion, and raise awareness of Arts month and local cultural hubs, creating conversations on social media among local and international art lovers.

The Marketing Award will also be presented to the Hong Kong Tourism Board for its ‘Hong Kong Neighbourhoods: Old Town Central' campaign. To raise awareness and encourage visitors to explore the dynamic district of Central and Sheung Wan, the Hong Kong Tourism Board repackaged the area into ‘Old Town Central (OTC)’. Instead of creating an advertising campaign to talk about OTC, they created an immersive experience by featuring the characteristics of the area and developed a strategic model to guide travellers all the way from ‘I have never heard of Old Town Central’ to ‘I enjoy walking around Old Town Central’ with the ultimate goal of inviting them to go deeper into the area and learn something new about Hong Kong.


1. PATA Grand Award 2018
Education and Training
King's Wisdom for Sustainable Tourism
Tourism Authority of Thailand

2. PATA Grand Award 2018
Elephant Hills Luxury Tented Camps, Thailand

3. PATA Grand Award 2018
Heritage and Culture
Art is Everywhere
Hong Kong Tourism Board

4. PATA Grand Award 2018
Hong Kong Neighbourhoods: Old Town Central
Hong Kong Tourism Board


1. PATA Gold Award 2018
Marketing – Primary Government Destination
TAT "Amazing Green Thailand: A'maze 2017"
Tourism Authority of Thailand

2. PATA Gold Award 2018
Marketing – Secondary Government Destination
Your Extraordinary Story
Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, UAE

3. PATA Gold Award 2018
Marketing – Carrier
Adventure Live
AirAsia, Malaysia

4. PATA Gold Award 2018
Marketing – Hospitality
Studio City Dinosaur Hunt
Melco Resorts and Entertainment, Macao

5. PATA Gold Award 2018
Marketing – Industry
Mekong Moments
Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office, Thailand

6. PATA Gold Award 2018
Marketing – Young Travellers
My Hong Kong Buddy
Hong Kong Tourism Board

7. PATA Gold Award 2018
Marketing - Adventure Travel
Difference Aside Reality Show
Langkawi Development Authority, Malaysia

8. PATA Gold Award 2018
Environment – Corporate Environmental Programme
The Essence of Our Being
Jetwing Hotels Ltd, Sri Lanka

9. PATA Gold Award 2018
Environment – Ecotourism Project
Cinnamon Elephant Project
Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts, Sri Lanka

10. PATA Gold Award 2018
Environment – Environmental Education Programme
300 Ways to Save - Green Practices
The Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa, Malaysia

11. PATA Gold Award 2018
Corporate Social Responsibility
Making Great Moment to the Community
MGM, Macao

12. PATA Gold Award 2018 
Women Empowerment Initiative
Empowering Women through Inclusive Work

13. PATA Gold Award 2018
India Heritage Walk Festival
Sahapedia, India

14. PATA Gold Award 2018
Online Campaign 2017 “6Senses of Local Experience in Thailand”
Tourism Authority of Thailand

15. PATA Gold Award 2018
Community Based Tourism
Local Alike, Thailand

16. PATA Gold Award 2018
Education and Training
The Official Marianas Guide
Marianas Visitors Authority

17. PATA Gold Award 2018

Marketing Media – Travel Advertisement Broadcast Media
Holidays Bring You Closer
SOTC Travel LTD, India

18. PATA Gold Award 2018
Marketing Media – Travel Advertisement Print Media
Yalla Kerala Campaign
Kerala Tourism, India

19. PATA Gold Award 2018
Marketing Media – Travel Brochure
Experiential Showcase of the Indian Journeys
Cox and Kings, India

20. PATA Gold Award 2018
Marketing Media – E-Newsletter
Experience Malaysia
Tourism Malaysia

21. PATA Gold Award 2018
Marketing Media – Travel Poster
Live Inspired Campaign
Kerala Tourism, India

22. PATA Gold Award 2018
Marketing Media – Public Relations Campaign
Journey of Me by Amadeus
Amadeus Asia Limited, Thailand

23. PATA Gold Award 2018
Marketing Media – Social Media
Guam Visitors Bureau 

24. PATA Gold Award 2018
Marketing Media – Mobile Travel Application
Visit Korea: Official Guide
Korea Tourism Organization

25. PATA Gold Award 2018
Marketing Media – Travel Video
Uncommon Experience
The Ultimate Travelling Camp, India

26. PATA Gold Award 2018
Marketing Media – Web Site
My Hong Kong Buddy
Hong Kong Tourism Board

27. PATA Gold Award 2018
Travel Journalism – Destination Article
Angkor Away, Holidays with Kids, April 2017
Aleney de Winter

28. PATA Gold Award 2018
Travel Journalism – Industry Business Article
The Technology Experience, TTGmice, June 2017
Karen Yue, TTG Asia Media Pte Ltd

29. PATA Gold Award 2018
Travel Journalism – Travel Photograph
Cruising through the Cave
Tourism Authority of Thailand

30. PATA Gold Award 2018
Travel Journalism – Travel Guidebook
An Interactive Guide to Angkor
Dougald O'Reilly



Mr. Abdulla Ghiyas, Deputy Managing Director, Inner Maldives Holidays, Maldives; Mr. Benjamin Ping-Yao Liao, Chairman, Forte Hotel Group, Chinese Taipei; Dr. Joby Thomas, Associate Professor, School of Business Studies and Social Sciences, Christ University, India; Mrs. Margaret Wilson, Managing Director, C-MW Management, Australia; Mr. Matthew Zatto, Vice President of Tourism, ADARA, Australia; Ms Natasha Martin, Managing Director, Bannikin Asia, Hong Kong SAR; Mr. Nicholas Yeap, VP, Sales & Marketing, FLEXIROAM Sdn. Bhd., Malaysia; Mr. Nobutaka Ishikure, Chairman, Goltz et ses amis, Japan; Mr. Paul Pasquale, Content Manager, Red Robot Communications (Asia) Pte Ltd, Singapore; Mr. Peter Semone, Founder and President, Destination Human Capital Limited, Ireland; Mr. Randy Durband, CEO, Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), Thailand; Ms. Samantha Hague, General Manager, Red Robot Communications (Asia) Pte Ltd, Singapore; Ms Stephanie A Wells, MSc. Co-Chair School of Tourism Management, Capilano University, Canada, and Mr. Soon-Hwa Wong, Founder and CEO, Asia Tourism Consulting Pte Ltd, Singapore.

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