Albay bags Top Destination award

Rhadyz B. Barcia
Albay bags Top Destination award
Albay wins the Top Destination Award for the Pacific Asia Travel Association CEO Challenge 2015, and will work with TripAdvisor to develop a marketing campaign

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines — Owing to its unique ecotourism destinations, the province of Albay was chosen for the Top Destination Award by the Pacific Asia Travel Association’s (PATA) $1 million CEO Challenge 2015.

There are two categories for the Top Destination Award. PATA chose the province of Albay for the category of “Regions/States/Provinces,” while Thekkady, Kerala, India, was chosen for the category of “Second and Third Tier Cities.”

In a statement, PATA Chief Executive Officer Mario Hardy said, “The two winning submissions had the most authentic, culturally diverse, and innovative offerings but needed the most assistance in helping promote these assets.”

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. Each campaign is valued at $500,000.

“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,” Hardy said on the first ever US$1 million PATA CEO Challenge.

The CEO Challenge 2015 Top Destinations awards will be presented at the forthcoming PATA Aligned Advocacy Dinner in London on November 2, with United Nations World Tourism Organization Secretary General Taleb Rifai as guest of honor, as well as other high-level dignitaries and senior executives from TripAdvisor.

Albay governor Joey Salceda said, “It was a tight global competition with a $1 million promotion award. Albay, Philippines shared the award with Kerala, India.” (READ: Albay shows how caring for the environment can be profitable

The two winners will also receive other benefits, including a complimentary pass to the PATA Annual Summit 2016 in Guam, USA from May 18 to 21, free stand space at PATA Travel Mart 2016 in Jakarta, Indonesia from September 7 to 9, and extensive international brand exposure through a variety of well-established PATA communications channels.

The company will also support the winners by helping small and local hospitality businesses to get listed on TripAdvisor.

“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 – which both have fantastic tourism offerings that we will now work together on to showcase their story to the world,” Martin Verdon-Roe, VP Global Display Sales, TripAdvisor, said.

The PATA CEO Challenge 2015, which attracted entries from a broad range of destinations, embraces the uniqueness and diversity of heritage, cultures, customs, and natural beauty of many destinations, in line with the theme of this year’s PATA Advocacy Dinner in London. (READ: Albay beach reveals ancient ‘pillow lava’

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. – Rappler.com

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