The grandest of them all


BANGKOK, THAILAND – What do an international airline, tourism and transport development organization, rainforest hideaway and tropical island resort have in common?

They are all the “best of show” Grand Award winners in the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) 2008 PATA Gold Awards program.

The Grand Awards will go to Singapore Airlines in the Marketing category; Delhi Tourism & Transportation Development Corporation for Heritage; Nihiwatu Resort, Indonesia for the Environment; and Cinnamon Island Alidhoo, Maldives for Education and Training.

In addition to the four Grand Awards, there were 22 Gold Awards, with multiple awards going to Kerala Tourism, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Tourism New Zealand and Tourism Malaysia.

All 24 travel-related organizations and individuals will receive their awards at a special presentation luncheon at PATA Travel Mart 2008, September 19, in Hyderabad, India.

Open to both PATA and non-PATA members, this year’s Awards attracted a total of 258 entries from 108 travel and tourism organizations.

The Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) has generously sponsored the PATA Gold Awards for 13 years.

MGTO director Mr. João Manuel Costa Antunes said, “By sponsoring this leading travel awards program for the 13th consecutive year, Macau Government Tourist Office is proud to contribute in encouraging organizations and individuals to excel in the travel industry in our region.”

He added, “The award winners have demonstrated a high degree of creativity and excellence, and we would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the 2008 PATA Gold Award winners!”



“First to Fly the A380”, Singapore Airlines, Singapore

The focus of the Singapore Airlines’ “First to Fly the A380” campaign was to announce the arrival of Singapore Airlines’ first A380 and to showcase the new-generation cabin products – “a class beyond first” – in Singapore Airlines’ A380 aircraft.

Originally due for delivery in 2005, the Airbus A380 became bogged down by a two-year delay. Singapore Airlines needed to sustain public interest despite the delay and to build anticipation for the first A380 flights to Sydney, London and Tokyo.

The campaign message reinforced the airline’s leadership role in innovation, and hinted at the extraordinary luxury that would be experienced on Singapore Airlines’ A380.

Substantial press coverage, partly fueled by the innovative idea to hold a global auction of seats on the inaugural flight, plus strong loads on its A380 flights bear out the success of Singapore Airlines’ campaign. “Another comprehensive and professional campaign from Singapore Airlines, which is an innovator in both aviation product and marketing, and no stranger to PATA Grand and Gold Award success.” – judge’s comment


The Pitampura Dilli Haat, Delhi Tourism & Transportation Development Corporation, India

Dilli Haat is a unique space that brings India’s old tradition of open market places to contemporary Delhi. It offers a kaleidoscope of crafts and a glimpse of the various traditions in the cultural life of India through cuisine and events.

Conceived to preserve the traditional tribal and rural arts and handicrafts of India, Dilli Haat at Pitampura, northwest Delhi is a sequel to Dilli Haat at INA in Delhi’s south. During the first 15 days after opening on April 13, more than 50,000 people visited Pittampura Dilli Haat, including many foreign tourists.

“This project has succeeded in promoting authentic Indian handicrafts to the tourist market, which is not easy to accomplish … The architecture of the space, while modern, does create the sense of a traditional bazaar.” – judge’s comment

“Excellent people-focused and multi-dimensional combination of poverty alleviation, education, and preservation” – judge’s comment


Nihiwatu Resort and The Sumba Foundation, Indonesia

Nihiwatu Resort, an upmarket hideaway destination on Sumba Island, eastern Indonesia, was conceived to benefit local communities and would not have proceeded without the approval of tribal chiefs.

After years of struggling to deliver on its social and environmental promises, via a percentage of profits, which were hard to come by, the creation of the not-for-profit Sumba Foundation, to which guests could directly donate, was a turning point for Nihiwatu. Guests are now able to see the fruits of their generosity first-hand on repeat visits.

“Last year 20% of our bookings were directly related to our social and environmental initiatives. This year, because of increased awareness, the numbers have increased to 25%. Most guests know about our humanitarian work prior to arrival.” – Claude Graves, managing director, Nihiwatu

“A shining example of what can be achieved when people have commitment and there is a close collaboration between local people, owners and guests … an inspiring and fascinating story that will serve as a model for other places.” – judge’s comment


“We Cared and We Shared”, Cinnamon Island Alidhoo, Maldives

What began as a robust local recruitment drive for the Cinnamon Island Alidhoo resort has evolved into an unprecedented opportunity for the women and young people of Barah and Utheem islands in the Maldives to become well-trained hoteliers at the new School of Hospitality on the property.

Starting this year, US$250,000 is being invested to operate a fully-staffed school and curriculum, which is focused on providing the youth of the islands neighboring Cinnamon Island Alidhoo with gardening, housekeeping and food and beverage skills.

“A win-win training program initiated by the hotel to improve the local community’s livelihood while meeting its own manpower needs … an example of combining corporate social responsibility with manpower planning.” – judge’s comment

“A moving and exciting story; a project designed and implemented by a new hotel in an area, to train local womenfolk, enhance their confidence, and develop excellent and loyal employees for the property.” – judge’s comment



1. Marketing – Primary Government Destination 100% Pure New Zealand Tourism New Zealand

2. Marketing – Secondary Government Destination APEC Bonus Long Weekend Getaway Tourism New South Wales, Australia

3. Marketing – Hospitality, No Room for the Ordinary, The Indian Hotels (Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces), India

4. Marketing – Industry, The Pirate Takeover Ambient Marketing Campaign Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong SAR


5. Ecotourism Project, Banyan Tree Bintan Conservation Lab, Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts, Singapore

6. Corporate Environmental Program, Six Senses & Environmental Conscience, Six Senses Mauritus Ltd, Thailand

7. Environmental Education Program, Klong Rua Village, Tourism Authority of Thailand


8. Heritage, Tauck World Discovery Yellowstone Guest-Volunteer Program Tauck World Discovery, USA

9. Culture, Utsavam – The Kerala Art Festival, Kerala Tourism, India


10. Education and Training, Empowering Youths for a Brighter Future Taylor’s School of Hotel Management, Malaysia


11. Marketing Media – Consumer Travel Brochure Kerala Tourism Theme Brochure Kerala Tourism, India

12. Marketing Media – Travel Advertisement Broadcast Media Visit Malaysia Year 2007 Tourism Malaysia

13. Marketing Media – Travel Advertisement Print Media Experience Macau Macau Government Tourist Office

14. Marketing Media – Travel Poster, “Among Amazing Float” / “The Rhythm of Refreshment,” Tourism Authority of Thailand

15. Marketing Media – Promotional Travel Video Recharge in a New World – Sarawak, Borneo Sarawak Convention Bureau, Malaysia

16. Marketing Media – Public Relations, The Giant Rugby Ball 2007, Paris, France Tourism New Zealand

17. Marketing Media – CD-ROM, Travel Manual Interactive CD, Tourism Malaysia

18. Marketing Media – Website, Ngong Ping 360 – Web Site Revamp, Ngong Ping 360 Limited, Hong Kong SAR

19. Marketing Media – Promotional E-Newsletter ‘Intrepid Express,’ Intrepid Travel, Australia


20. Travel Journalism – Destination Article “Sleeping with Genius,” John Borthwick, ‘Prestige,’ Australia

21. Travel Journalism – Industry Business Article “Aviation and Climate Change”
Kamal Gill, ‘Today’s Traveller Newswire,’ India

22. Travel Journalism – Photograph, “Coron,” Eastgate Publishing Corporation, Philippines


1. Education and Training, Service Improvement Project, Guilin Tang Dynasty Tours, China PRC

2. Travel Journalism – Destination Article “America’s Best Kept Secret”
P.F. Kluge, ‘National Geographic Traveler,’ USA