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Winners of the 2023 PATA Gold Award Announced

The 2023 PATA Gold Award Presentation hosted by MGTO will take place in New Delhi, India on Thursday, October 5 during PATA Travel Mart 2023.

BANGKOK, THAILAND – Winners of the 2023 PATA Gold Awards are announced today by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

Generously supported and sponsored by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) since 1995, this year’s awards recognise the achievements of 23 separate organisations and individuals, including the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA), Galaxy Entertainment Group, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Incheon Tourism Organization, Jeju Tourism Organization, Kerala Tourism, Korea Tourism Organization, MGM China, Nepal Tourism Board, Sabah Tourism Board, Sands China Limited, Sivatel Bangkok Hotel, SriLankan Airlines, SOTC Travel Ltd, Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Tourism Fiji, and TTG Asia Media Pte Ltd.

The 2023 PATA Gold Award Presentation hosted by MGTO will take place in New Delhi, India on Thursday, October 5 during PATA Travel Mart 2023.

Ms Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office said, “Congratulations to all winners for the talent displayed in this year’s amazing initiatives which bring a new vigour to tourism in the post-pandemic era. With Macao committed to build a diverse and quality destination, we are honoured to support the PATA Gold Awards and help inspire a vibrant and sustainable development of the industry in the Asia Pacific region.”

“On behalf of PATA, I would like to extend our warmest congratulations to all PATA Gold Award winners and Grand Title winners, as well as all of this year’s participants for their submissions. I look forward to celebrating the accomplishment of this year’s winners who truly represent the values of the Association in working towards a more responsible travel and tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region,” added PATA Chair Peter Semone. “In addition, I would also like to once again thank MGTO for their valuable support and cooperation towards this mission.”

Under the guidance of PATA headquarters, 22 independent judges from around the world selected the winners of the 21 Gold Awards and two Grand Title Winners.

The PATA Grand Title Winners were presented to outstanding entries in two principal categories: Marketing, and Sustainability and Social Responsibility.

MGM China, China received the PATA Gold Award 2023 Grand Title in Marketing for its “Turning A Traditional Cultural Symbol Into A Marketing Catalyst” campaign. Ten years ago, MGM launched the Lion IP brand strategy with the first Lion Dance Championship, leveraging the lion dance – an internationally recognised Lingnan culture icon — and turned this local cultural symbol into long-term brand engagement strategy. The company proposed the development concept of “tourism+”, which champions local culture as its central theme under the Lion IP strategy. Using this one element, the team injected new vitality with modern techniques to create multiple touch points and experiences that ranged from art, exhibitions, and performances, to competitions and training programs. These initiatives transformed a common, everyday language into a powerful cultural symbol that was embraced by audiences of all ages, transcending generations and regions. The success of this strategy is seen through the results that proved how it resonates – and continues to resonate – with a local and global audience. Just as importantly, the strategy has not only inspired MGM, but has also reinvigorated the city of Macau.

The PATA Gold Award 2023 Grand Title in Sustainability and Social Responsibility was awarded to Waterbom Bali, Indonesia for its innovative ‘Karmic Returns’ program. The renowned waterpark, located in Bali, Indonesia, is at the forefront of sustainability practices. Since becoming the first waterpark to achieve carbon neutrality in 2017, Waterbom has set ambitious goals to become the world’s leading sustainable waterpark, focusing on waste, water, and energy reduction. Through its vigilant ‘Green Team,’ the park meticulously monitors, records, and reports its resource consumption, fostering a team culture of ecological awareness. Waterbom employs various methods to conserve water, including rainwater harvesting and a closed-loop filtration system, while also replacing groundwater with recharge wells. The park has an onsite waste management facility, where they create their own compost for gardens. In Q1 2023, they achieved a 97% recycling rate for materials and reduced waste sent to landfills to just 3.4%. Sustainability is deeply ingrained in the park’s ethos, influencing staff training and all operational facets. This highlights Waterbom Bali’s exceptional dedication to environmental responsibility.

Open to both PATA and non-PATA members, this year’s awards attracted a total of 108 entries from travel and tourism organisations and individuals from around the globe.

PATA Grand Title Winners 2023
  1. Marketing
    Turning A Traditional Cultural Symbol Into A Marketing Catalyst
    MGM China, China
  1. Sustainability and Social Responsibility
    Karmic Returns
    Waterbom Bali, Indonesia
PATA Gold Award Winners 2023 – Marketing
  1. Marketing Campaign (National – Asia)
    Through the lens of GenZ
    Hong Kong Tourism Board, Hong Kong SAR
  1. Marketing Campaign (National – Pacific)
    Where Happiness Comes Naturally
    Tourism Fiji, Fiji
  1. Marketing Campaign (State and city – Global)
    Pack Up for Kerala
    Kerala Tourism, India
  1. Marketing – Carrier
    Around the Island
    SriLankan Airlines, Sri Lanka
  1. Marketing – Hospitality
    Melco Style x B. Duck @ Studio City
    Melco, Macao, China
  1. Marketing – Industry
    Kick – starting travel again & connecting diverse Indian traveler
    SOTC Travel Ltd, India
  1. Digital Marketing Campaign
    Incheon smart tourism project
    Incheon Tourism Organization, Korea (ROK)
  1. Printed Marketing Campaign
    Korea Unique Venue Promotion Project
    Korea Tourism Organization, Korea (ROK)
  1. Travel Video
    Catching Sabah
    Sabah Tourism Board, Malaysia
  1. Travel Photograph
    A Valley in Bloom
    Tourism Authority of Thailand, Thailand
  1. Destination Article
    Hiking in Australia’s Healing Lands
    Rachel Lees, Australia
  1. Business Article
    Fancy Feasts
    TTG Asia Media Pte Ltd, Singapore
PATA Gold Award Winners 2023 – Sustainability & Social Responsibility
  1. Climate Change Initiative
    Galaxy Entertainment Group Environmental and Sustainability Practices
    Galaxy Entertainment Group, Macao, China
  1. Corporate and Social Responsibility
    Beacon of Sustainability
    Sivatel Bangkok Hotel, Thailand
  1. Community-Based Tourism
    Kareum Stay
    Jeju Tourism Organization, Korea (ROK)
  1. Culture
    The Revitalization of Old Phetchaburi Town Riverside Community through the Establishment of Cultural Community-Based Tourism
    Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration – DASTA, Thailand
  1. Heritage
    Rejuvenating and Appreciating
    MGM China, China
  1. Human Capital Development Initiative
    Sands Retail Academy – “Ticket To A Lifestyle Journey”
    Sands China Limited, Macao, China
  1. Tourism Destination Resilience (Asia Pacific)
    Alabao Bay Secret Land Reappearance Plan
    Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Chinese Taipei
  1. Tourism for All
    Leofoo Senior Travel Service
    Leofoo Tourism Group, Chinese Taipei
  1. Women Empowerment Initiative
    Sustainability and Social Responsibility
    Nepal Tourism Board, Nepal
Judging Committee For Gold Awards 2023
  1. Ms. Ana Savšek, Head of Department, Content Digital Marketing, Slovenian Tourist Board, Slovenia, Slovenia
  2. Ms. Ana Tripković Marković, Phd, Director, National Tourism Organisation of Montenegro, Montenegro
  3. Mr. Chris Adams, Global Head of Research & Insights, Miles Partnership, New Zealand
  4. Mr. Fabrizio Orlando, Global Director, Industry Relations, Tripadvisor, United Kingdom
  5. Dr. Faith Ong, Senior Lecturer, The University of Queensland, Australia
  6. Ms. Hannah Pearson , Regional Director APAC, Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), USA
  7. Ms. Jen Grover, Senior Regional Manager, Business Development APAC, Expedia Group Media Solutions, USA
  8. Ms. Jessie F. McComb, Senior Private Sector Development Specialist – Tourism, World Bank Group, USA
  9. Mr. Justin Farmer, SVP, Business Strategy, MMGY Global, USA
  10. Prof. Kaye Chon, Dean and Chair Professor, School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR
  11. Mr. Kok Kee LIM, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific Public Sector Lead, Mastercard Inc., Singapore
  12. Mr. Leon Rais, Head of Cross Border Travel Asia Pacific, Visa Worldwide Pte Ltd, Singapore
  13. Ms. Montakarn Suvanatap Kittipaisalsilp, Programme Officer for Culture, UNESCO Bangkok, Thailand
  14. Ms. Natalia Bayona, Executive Director, United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Spain
  15. Ms. Natalie Kidd, Managing Director, Asia, Intrepid Travel, Australia
  16. Mr. NobuTaka ISHIKURE, Chairman, Goltz et ses amis, Japan
  17. Mr. Ralf Ostendorf, Director Market Management & Media Relations, Berlin Tourismus & Kongress GmbH / visitBerlin, Germany
  18. Mr. Shiva Dhakal, Managing Director, Royal Mountain Travel, Nepal
  19. Mr. Steven Liew, Director of Public Policy – APAC, Airbnb Singapore Pte Ltd, Singapore
  20. Ms. Suyin Lee, Managing Director, Discova Travel, Singapore
  21. Ms. Topaz Smith, Community Lead, Aviation, Travel & Tourism, World Economic Forum (WEF), USA
  22. Ms. Verra Wang, Senior PR manager, Group, China
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