Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Tourism's internationally-acclaimed 'Human by Nature' campaign on Thursday bagged the prestigious PATA Grand Award 2020 for Marketing, giving a huge stimulus to the state's tourism industry, which has been severely impacted by COVID-19.
Kerala Tourism has bagged one of the three PATA Grand Awards, which were announced live during a virtual presentation ceremony in Beijing.
The distant event was attended virtually by Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran, Tourism Secretary Rani George; Tourism Director P Bala Kiran; PATA Chief Executive Officer Mario Hardy; and Macao Government Tourism Office (MGT) Director Ms Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes.
It was for the first time that this year's PATA Gold Awards, supported and sponsored by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), were announced online since its inception in 1995.
This year's awards recognised the achievements of three Grand title winners and 21 Gold awards.
Expressing happiness over winning the top award, Surendran said Human by Nature was a brilliant marketing strategy to revive tourism that had suffered a severe knocking in the wake of the 2018 floods and the outbreak of the Nipah virus.
The campaign, which showcased the culture and daily life of the people of the state, was aired in national and international channels, newspapers, portals and airport displays in key cities, which went a long way inhelping Kerala achieve a record growth rate of 17.2 per cent in 2019.
The award would provide a huge stimulus to the state's ongoing efforts to rev up our tourism sector through innovative means as it is the mainstay of Kerala's economy and contributes around 10 per cent of the state's GDP.
"In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have to reboot the travel sector with focus on domestic tourism and safety at every point of destination," the minister noted.
Rani George said, "The PATA Grand Award is a huge affirmation of the creative brilliance of our marketing campaigns and it shows that the Human by Nature campaign has struck the right note with global travellers."
Presently, the state was in the process of supporting the tourism sector with revival package schemes.
"Our efforts are also geared towards putting in place SOPs for the tourism stakeholders and be a responsible tourism destination, thereby giving the tourists confidence to visit the State," she added.
Tourism Director Bala Kiran said, "We are trying to rejuvenate our tourism sector by innovative business models that would create reassurance for travellers and ensure a responsible and sustainable tourism industry.
We need to win the trust of travellers. That is going to be the cardinal driving force for the tourism industry in the state."
The PATA Gold Awards 2020 attracted 121 entries from 62 organisations and individuals worldwide.
The winners were selected by an independent judging committee of 16 personalities from various destinations.
Overall, PATA 2020 presented 21 Gold Awards and three Grand Title Winners for best of show entries in the categories of Marketing, Sustainability and Human Capital Development.
This year, PATA enhanced the Gold Awards by introducing several new categories in order to reinforce its position as an innovative and prestigious award for the Asia Pacific travel and tourism industry.
New categories included Climate Change Initiative, Tourism for All, and Youth Empowerment Initiative.