The Province of Albay in the Philippines has been awarded the Top Destination Award in the category of Regions/States/Provinces of the inaugural US$1 million PATA CEO Challenge 2015.
Thekkady, Kerala, India has been granted the Top Destination Award in the category of Second and Third Tier Cities.
The two winning entries will work with PATA CEO Challenge 2015 partner TripAdvisor to develop and create digital marketing campaigns to showcase their destination to a global audience, valued at US$500,000 each.
“It was difficult to choose only two winners, as we received some excellent submissions from destinations both near and far. All the submissions had unique stories that every traveller should get to know and experience,” said PATA CEO Mario Hardy. “The two winning submissions had the most authentic, culturally diverse and innovative offerings but needed the most assistance in helping promote these assets.”
A dedicated team at TripAdvisor will work with both winners on creating marketing campaigns designed to ensure that they are effectively utilising the digital environment to encourage travellers to visit their destination. They will also benefit from TripAdvisor’s wealth of knowledge, experience and proven global digital penetration. The company will also support the winners by helping small and local hospitality businesses to get listed on TripAdvisor.
Martin Verdon-Roe, VP Global Display Sales, TripAdvisor said, “As the world’s largest travel site, we take great pride in promoting wonderful travel destinations to our global travel community. Working with PATA on the PATA CEO Challenge, we are very pleased to be supporting the two winning destinations, Albay, Philippines and Thekkady, Kerala, India, who both have fantastic tourism offerings that we will now work together on to showcase their story to the world.”
The PATA CEO Challenge 2015, which attracted entries from a broad range of destinations, embraces the uniqueness and diversity of heritages, cultures, customs and natural beauty of many destinations in line with the theme of this year’s PATA Advocacy Dinner in London. It aims to promote and enhance the number of visitors to emerging destinations (regions, states and provinces, and second-tier/third tier towns and cities), and to enhance tourism development in a sustainable manner.
The province of Albay in Bicol welcomed 953,000 domestic and international travellers in 2014, including 339,000 overseas travellers.The province looks at welcoming close to 1.1 million tourist arrivals in 2015.