MANILA, Philippines, March 30, 1998 ---- The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) today honoured the outstanding achievement of a number of organisations and individuals during the Association's 1998 Gold Awards ceremony in Manila, Philippines.
The awards included four Grand Awards - presented to the "best of show" entries in the categories of Marketing, Environment, and Heritage & Culture.
The Marketing Grand Award was presented to the Sarawak Tourism Board for its sophisticated programme, "Sarawak -- The Hidden Paradise of Borneo." The campaign targets very specific niche markets, supporting Sarawak's goal of managing its visitor numbers while giving the Malaysian state recognition as "Asia's Last Great Wilderness Adventure." The Sarawak Tourism Board received an impressive total of five awards for various elements of this campaign
Turtle Island, Fiji was honoured with a Grand PATA Green Leaf Environmental Award for "From Barren to Beautiful: The Revitalisation of Turtle Island." This initiative has incorporated a turtle protection programme, a pesticide free vegetable garden, eco friendly waste-disposal processes and scheduled environmental audits into life on Turtle Island, Fiji.
Two Grand Awards were given out in the Culture & Heritage category. Turtle Island, Fiji received an award for "Continuing the Tradition: Preserving Fijian Culture in the Yasawas," a programme ensuring that everything on the island -- from staffing and entertainment to ceremonies, lovo feasts and thatched bures -- serves to preserve Fijian culture and educate guests about that culture. A second award in this category recognised the Department of Tourism, Philippines for its Katutubong Filipino Foundation, which brings together the public and private sectors to support the traditional pina weaving industry.
In addition to the four Grand Awards, PATA Gold Awards were presented for achievement in a number of categories. Several of this year's entrants won awards in multiple fields, such as the Singapore Tourism Board, which was presented with awards for Travel Web Site and Travel Video.
The winning programmes were selected from nearly 300 Gold Award entries by panels of international experts in each category. The awards are open to PATA and PATA Chapter members, with the exception of PATA journalism awards, which are PATA Chapter members, with the exception of PATA journalism awards, which are open to all published writers and photographers.