Kerala’s Responsible Tourism & The Great Backwaters campaigns get four awards at FilmAT festival
Thiruvananthapuram, June 16: Further buttressing the state’s position as a prime destination for responsible tourism, Kerala Tourism has bagged a clutch of awards at FilmAT, one of the biggest international film festivals dedicated to tourism, art and ecology, in Poland.
Its much-feted Responsible Tourism initiative won three gongs at the 11th edition of the festival held recently in the Polish city of Lublin, taking top honours for the ‘Best Promotional Social Campaign’ and in the ‘Protection of Nature’ and ‘Eco-Food’, categories for, respectively, the ‘New Worlds’ films Sowing the Seeds of the Future and A Taste of Life.
A fourth award, for ‘Best Editing’, was conferred on Kerala Tourism for the film The Great Backwaters of Kerala, which showcased life in and around the legendary backwaters.
“Winning four awards at such a prestigious festival is a significant achievement for Kerala. It speaks to our commitment to realising the state’s potential for international tourism in a responsible manner – always with the best interests of the people and the environment at heart,” said Shri A.C. Moideen, Honourable Minister for Tourism.
“Since our campaigns are built upon an awareness of the uniqueness of ‘God’s Own Country’, they will undoubtedly have a positive impact and come in for more such recognitions,” the minister added.
Starring real people and site-authentic stories of tourists visiting local communities, sharing home-made meals, and watching and engaging in cultural performances, the ‘New Worlds’ films reflect the idea that when the world comes to Kerala, new horizons open up.
“The films demonstrate the benefits of implementing Responsible Tourism initiatives, which have brought about a number of life-altering narratives that have now become the soul of the campaign,” said Principal Secretary (Tourism) Dr Venu V. IAS.
“The campaign’s continuing success is an affirmation of both responsible tourism’s potential as a force of positive change and what it can do for the traveller, the local community, their traditions and culture, as also nature,” he added.
The stories of truly transformative experiences for the traveller are married to tales of local aspiration and conservation that are as inspiring as they are authentic.
“They are lessons for tourist destinations and tourism organisations to travel down the road to sustainability, which is a two-way street with a delicate balance of old ways and new frontiers; traditions and opportunities,” said Kerala Tourism Director Shri U.V. Jose IAS
“Framing these twin themes in an intricate yet easily accessible manner is the reason for the campaign’s continued success,” he added.
Conceived and scripted by Stark Communications, Kerala Tourism’s creative and brand management agency and directed by reputed Malayalam filmmaker Anwar Rasheed, the New Worlds films are snapshot vignettes into one of the world’s best implemented Responsible Tourism campaigns.
Since its launch by United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Secretary General Taleb Rifai at the World Travel Mart 2014 in London, the New Worlds campaign has been prolific on the awards front, winning the prestigious Golden City Gate Award -- dubbed the Oscar of Tourism communication – in March at the world’s leading travel trade show, the Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin (ITB-Berlin) 2016.
Kerala Tourism had earlier won the Ulysses Prize of the UNWTO for its contribution as a global leader to sustainable tourism.
The FilmAT festival is associated with the International Committee of Tourism Film Festivals (CIFFT) and its juries include Oscar winning filmmakers, international film award winners as also specialists from each field: Tourism, Arts and culture and Ecology.
The awards for Kerala Tourism were received by Shri Jitendra Jadhav, Assistant Director, India Tourism, Frankfurt.
Among the other winners were the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Polish Tourism Organization, the Austrian National Tourist Office, the National Tourism Organization of Serbia, the South Australian Tourism Commission, The Ministry of Tourism of the Bahamas, Visit Finland and Visit Denmark.
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