Hailed for global leadership and innovation in tourism practices
Thiruvananthapuram, September 8: Kerala Tourism was bestowed the top Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Award for heritage conservation today, in an honour that highlights the state's trendsetting efforts in reinventing the millennia-old Spice Route heritage.
The international award, which recognises excellence and innovation in global tourism practices, was presented to Kerala Tourism at a glittering awards ceremony held during PATA Travel Mart in Bangalore.
Kerala Tourism was awarded the PATA Gold in the Heritage and Culture category, honouring the state tourism department's leadership in carrying out the Muziris Heritage Project.
The PATA awards, which are sponsored by the Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO), praised Kerala Tourism for the Muziris project's conservational aspect, uniqueness and impact on local community.
"We are humbled by this huge honour for our state," said Kerala Tourism Minister Shri AP Anilkumar.
"The award is an acknowledgement of the initiative to bring back our tradition and history for the sake of the modern generation and through it achieve the goal of growth and development for our people," he said.
"Muziris Heritage Project is a mammoth conservation undertaking never before attempted in our country in recent times in terms of its size and scale," said Shri Anilkumar.
"This is an award for the community and stakeholders in the state who are involved in the day-to-day work carried out on the ground to preserve our rich heritage," he added.
Kerala Tourism Secretary Shri G Kamala Vardhana Rao received the award at the ceremony held at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre during the PATA Travel Mart.
"The Muziris Heritage Project is a vital element in the restoration of the historical Spice Route led by Kerala Tourism and supported by the Central government and international organizations like UNESCO," said Shri Rao.
"The revival of the rich cultural heritage of Spice Route, which occupies a vast geographical area from Kerala to countries in Asia Africa, Europe and the Far East, will play a significant role in cultural tourism in the world," he added.
This year’s PATA Awards recognise the achievements of 25 separate organisations and individuals.
The Muziris project has further established Kerala as a top destination on the international cultural tourism map.
There were 269 entries from 83 organisations and individuals worldwide for this year's PATA award, the highest number since 2007.
"The list of PATA Gold Awards 2015 winners unveils once again the very best of Pacific-Asia tourism practices," said MGTO Director Ms Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes.
Ms Fernandes said the excellence and innovation revealed by the works and projects awarded were impressive and could provide inspiration to raise the standards of tourism industry stakeholders in the region.
PATA had earlier honoured Kerala Tourism for its Responsible Tourism initiative in Kumarakom and Kerala tourism's popular e-Newsletter in 2014.
Founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association is a not-for-profit association that is internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region.
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