labels: industry - general, pacific asia travel association
Kerala Tourism bags 3 golds at PATA meet news
James Paul
21 April 2004

Kochi: On 19 April, Kerala Tourism was feted before over 2,000 delegates who had come for the 53rd Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) annual conference at the International Convention Centre in Jeju in Cheju resort island of South Korea,.

Rathi Vinay Jha, secretary, union ministry of tourism received
three 2004 PATA gold awards in front of the likes of Chris
Cramer, managing director, CNN International, Tony Wheeler, founder of the Lonely Planet, and eight ministers from as many countries.

``This is a significant achievement for the state, more so for the
department as no state tourism department in the country has received three PATA awards in a row. The state will be represented by union tourism secretary Rathi Vinay Jha as most of us are on election duty,'' said Alkesh Kumar Sharma, director, Kerala Tourism, who was unable to attend the event, because of general elections.

The three awards have been won by the state tourism department for its Thenmala eco-tourism project, East Fort heritage project and the Ayurveda promotional CD-ROM titled `Ayurveda: the mantra of niramaya.'

While the award for East Fort heritage project is for the state government's efforts in implementing a comprehensive strategy for protecting the area around East Fort in Thiruvananthapuram by declaring it a heritage zone, the award for Thenmala eco-tourism project, the first of its kind in India, lauds the state's initiatives in promoting eco-tourism on the basis of sound principles of ecological sustainability in the surrounding areas of  Thenmala.

The last award went to the Ayurveda promotional CD-ROM titled `Ayurveda: the mantra of niramaya'. The CD-ROM, produced by Kerala Tourism in association with Invis Multimedia, is in five sections, with well-researched texts, video clips, photographs and mural paintings.

Last year too, Kerala Tourism had won the PATA gold award for the CD-ROM titled `Kerala - the green symphony', jointly produced by Kerala Tourism and Invis Multimedia.

The five-day PATA convention will debate extensively on sustainable development and innovative tourism products and services and has as its theme, `tourism is everybody's business'.

``The key to future of tourism in the state is sustainable development as the pressure on the land increases. The destination has to sustain and should not exceed capacity. Also, standards have to go up both in tourism products and services. Currently, we are framing guidelines for eco-friendly development and also for certification of products and services,'' Alkesh Kumar said.


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Kerala Tourism bags 3 golds at PATA meet