The award, sponsored by the Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO), was bestowed on the Muziris Heritage Project for its conservational aspect, uniqueness and impact on local community.
“This award is recognition of the Muziris project, aimed at restoring the historical and cultural significance of the ancient town that stretches across North Paravur in Ernakulam to Kodungalloor in Thrissur,” said Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar.”The flagship project of government of Kerala is one of the biggest heritage conservation projects of modern India,” he added.
Supported and sponsored by MGTO for the last 20 years, this year’s PATA Grand and Gold Awards recognise the achievements of 25 separate organisations and individuals.
“Being a part of the Spice Route Project, which is supported by UNESCO, the Muziris project already has a key status in the cultural tourism map,” said Kerala Tourism Secretary, G Kamala Vardhana Rao. The award further highlights its prominence in international heritage tourism,he added.
There were 269 entries from 83 organisations and individuals worldwide for this year’s award, the highest number since 2007. The awards will be presented on September 8 at PATA Travel Mart at Bangalore. Over 800 industry executives will attend the award ceremony.
“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. She added that the excellence and innovation revealed by the works and projects awarded are impressive and can provide inspiration to raise the standards of tourism industry stakeholders in the region.
Noting that no other tourism department in the country could win this much-admired award this time, Tourism Director P I Sheik Pareeth said the PATA award acknowledges Kerala Tourism’s excellence in heritage conservation.
PATA had honoured Kerala Tourism for the Responsible Tourism initiative in Kumarakom and Kerala tourism’s popular e-Newsletter in 2014.
Founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) 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.