Kerala Tourism wrapped itself in glory as its internationally-acclaimed ‘Human by Nature’ campaign today bagged the prestigious PATA Grand Award 2020 for Marketing, giving a huge stimulus to tourism industry in the state that is grappling with the adverse aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The icing on the cake for Kerala Tourism is that it 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 by Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran, Tourism Secretary Rani George; Tourism Director P. Bala Kiran; PATA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Mario Hardy; and Macao Government Tourism Office (MGT) Director 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 virtual since its inception in 1995. This year’s awards recognized 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 idea of a new campaign showcasing the culture and daily life of the people of Kerala put forth by Kerala Tourism was conceptualized and scripted by Stark Communications. The campaign which was carried out in national and international channels, newspapers, magazines, portals and airport displays in key cities helped in achieving Kerala’s record growth rate of 17.2 per cent in 2019, the highest growth rate in tourism arrivals in 24 years.
“I believe the latest 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.’’“Right now we are 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 P 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 tourism industry in the state.” The PATA Gold Awards 2020 attracted 121 entries from 62 organizations 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.