Trivandrum: Thekkady, Kerala’s iconic attraction known for its jaw dropping landscape splattered with rolling hills, dense forests and spice plantations, has been named the world’s top emerging destination. Thekkady won the inaugural Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) CEO Challenge 2015 along with Albay in the Philippines.
The destination in ‘God’s Own Country’, which is home to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, bagged the Top Destination award in the second and third-tier cities category, the only category for cities.
Albay received the honour in the category for regions, states and provinces. The award, instituted by PATA, was announced in Bangkok today. Thekkady and Albay beat a large number of destinations from around the world to win the award.
The PATA CEO Challenge is aimed at utilising the 500,000-dollar award purse to develop and create a digital marketing campaign to showcase the destination to a global audience. Leading global travel site TripAdvisor, the PATA CEO Challenge 2015 partner, will provide its expertise to developing the campaign.
“It is a huge honour to be named world’s top destination. It is a proud moment for our State,” said Kerala Tourism Minister, Shri A P Anilkumar. “The award will only increase our commitment to work further towards the growth of tourism in Kerala and development of our communities and the livelihoods of our people while preserving our environment.”
The award will be presented at the PATA Aligned Advocacy dinner in London on November 2, the opening day of the World Travel Mart. A host of travel and tourism industry leaders will be present at the event.
“The top global tourism award is recognition of our pioneering efforts in creating a harmony between our distinguished visitors and our nature-endowed destinations,” said Kerala Tourism Secretary, G Kamala Vardhana Rao.
Kerala Tourism Director, P I Sheik Pareeth said the award was the result of a fruitful partnership public-private partnership, involving the local communities. “Our new products like Village Life Experience will firmly establish our state as a global tourism leader.”
Thekkady, one of the few places in the world to easily spot a wild elephant, is one of the destinations in the state developed by Kerala Tourism as a model of Responsible Tourism.
Kerala Biz News