Winners of 2023 PATA Gold Award Announced

Winners of 2023 PATA Gold Award Announced - TRAVELINDEXBangkok, Thailand, August 24, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / Winners of the 2023 PATA Gold Awards are announced today by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). Generously supported and sponsored by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) since 1995, this year’s awards recognise the achievements of 23 separate organisations and individuals, including the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA), Galaxy Entertainment Group, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Incheon Tourism Organization, Jeju Tourism Organization, Kerala Tourism, Korea Tourism Organization, MGM China, Nepal Tourism Board, Sabah Tourism Board, Sands China Limited, Sivatel Bangkok Hotel, SriLankan Airlines, SOTC Travel Ltd, Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Tourism Fiji, and TTG Asia Media Pte Ltd.

The 2023 PATA Gold Award Presentation hosted by MGTO will take place in New Delhi, India on Thursday, October 5 during PATA Travel Mart 2023.

Ms Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office said, “Congratulations to all winners for the talent displayed in this year’s amazing initiatives which bring a new vigour to tourism in the post-pandemic era. With Macao committed to build a diverse and quality destination, we are honoured to support the PATA Gold Awards and help inspire a vibrant and sustainable development of the industry in the Asia Pacific region.”

“On behalf of PATA, I would like to extend our warmest congratulations to all PATA Gold Award winners and Grand Title winners, as well as all of this year’s participants for their submissions. I look forward to celebrating the accomplishment of this year’s winners who truly represent the values of the Association in working towards a more responsible travel and tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region,” added PATA Chair Peter Semone. “In addition, I would also like to once again thank MGTO for their valuable support and cooperation towards this mission.”

Under the guidance of PATA headquarters, 22 independent judges from around the world selected the winners of the 21 Gold Awards and two Grand Title Winners.

The PATA Grand Title Winners were presented to outstanding entries in two principal categories: Marketing, and Sustainability and Social Responsibility.

MGM China, China received the PATA Gold Award 2023 Grand Title in Marketing for its “Turning A Traditional Cultural Symbol Into A Marketing Catalyst” campaign. Ten years ago, MGM launched the Lion IP brand strategy with the first Lion Dance Championship, leveraging the lion dance – an internationally recognised Lingnan culture icon — and turned this local cultural symbol into long-term brand engagement strategy. The company proposed the development concept of “tourism+”, which champions local culture as its central theme under the Lion IP strategy. Using this one element, the team injected new vitality with modern techniques to create multiple touch points and experiences that ranged from art, exhibitions, and performances, to competitions and training programs. These initiatives transformed a common, everyday language into a powerful cultural symbol that was embraced by audiences of all ages, transcending generations and regions. The success of this strategy is seen through the results that proved how it resonates – and continues to resonate – with a local and global audience. Just as importantly, the strategy has not only inspired MGM, but has also reinvigorated the city of Macau.

The PATA Gold Award 2023 Grand Title in Sustainability and Social Responsibility was awarded to Waterbom Bali, Indonesia for its innovative ‘Karmic Returns’ program. The renowned waterpark, located in Bali, Indonesia, is at the forefront of sustainability practices. Since becoming the first waterpark to achieve carbon neutrality in 2017, Waterbom has set ambitious goals to become the world’s leading sustainable waterpark, focusing on waste, water, and energy reduction. Through its vigilant ‘Green Team,’ the park meticulously monitors, records, and reports its resource consumption, fostering a team culture of ecological awareness. Waterbom employs various methods to conserve water, including rainwater harvesting and a closed-loop filtration system, while also replacing groundwater with recharge wells. The park has an onsite waste management facility, where they create their own compost for gardens. In Q1 2023, they achieved a 97% recycling rate for materials and reduced waste sent to landfills to just 3.4%. Sustainability is deeply ingrained in the park’s ethos, influencing staff training and all operational facets. This highlights Waterbom Bali’s exceptional dedication to environmental responsibility.

Open to both PATA and non-PATA members, this year’s awards attracted a total of 108 entries from travel and tourism organisations and individuals from around the globe.

PATA Grand Title Winners 2023

Turning A Traditional Cultural Symbol Into A Marketing Catalyst
MGM China, China

Sustainability and Social Responsibility
Karmic Returns
Waterbom Bali, Indonesia

PATA Gold Award Winners 2023 – Marketing

Marketing Campaign (National – Asia)
Through the lens of GenZ
Hong Kong Tourism Board, Hong Kong SAR

Marketing Campaign (National – Pacific)
Where Happiness Comes Naturally
Tourism Fiji, Fiji

Marketing Campaign (State and city – Global)
Pack Up for Kerala
Kerala Tourism, India

Marketing – Carrier
Around the Island
SriLankan Airlines, Sri Lanka

Marketing – Hospitality
Melco Style x B. Duck @ Studio City
Melco, Macao, China

Marketing – Industry
Kick – starting travel again & connecting diverse Indian traveler
SOTC Travel Ltd, India

Digital Marketing Campaign
Incheon smart tourism project
Incheon Tourism Organization, Korea (ROK)

Printed Marketing Campaign
Korea Unique Venue Promotion Project
Korea Tourism Organization, Korea (ROK)

Travel Video
Catching Sabah
Sabah Tourism Board, Malaysia

Travel Photograph
A Valley in Bloom
Tourism Authority of Thailand, Thailand

Destination Article
Hiking in Australia’s Healing Lands
Rachel Lees, Australia

Business Article
Fancy Feasts
TTG Asia Media Pte Ltd, Singapore

PATA Gold Award Winners 2023 – Sustainability & Social Responsibility

Climate Change Initiative
Galaxy Entertainment Group Environmental and Sustainability Practices
Galaxy Entertainment Group, Macao, China

Corporate and Social Responsibility
Beacon of Sustainability
Sivatel Bangkok Hotel, Thailand

Community-Based Tourism
Kareum Stay
Jeju Tourism Organization, Korea (ROK)

The Revitalization of Old Phetchaburi Town Riverside Community through the Establishment of Cultural Community-Based Tourism
Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration – DASTA, Thailand

Rejuvenating and Appreciating
MGM China, China

Human Capital Development Initiative
Sands Retail Academy – “Ticket To A Lifestyle Journey”
Sands China Limited, Macao, China

Tourism Destination Resilience (Asia Pacific)
Alabao Bay Secret Land Reappearance Plan
Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Chinese Taipei

Tourism for All
Leofoo Senior Travel Service
Leofoo Tourism Group, Chinese Taipei

Women Empowerment Initiative
Sustainability and Social Responsibility
Nepal Tourism Board, Nepal


Ms. Ana Savšek, Head of Department, Content Digital Marketing, Slovenian Tourist Board, Slovenia, Slovenia
Ms. Ana Tripković Marković, Phd, Director, National Tourism Organisation of Montenegro, Montenegro
Mr. Chris Adams, Global Head of Research & Insights, Miles Partnership, New Zealand
Mr. Fabrizio Orlando, Global Director, Industry Relations, Tripadvisor, United Kingdom
Dr. Faith Ong, Senior Lecturer, The University of Queensland, Australia
Ms. Hannah Pearson , Regional Director APAC, Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), USA
Ms. Jen Grover, Senior Regional Manager, Business Development APAC, Expedia Group Media Solutions, USA
Ms. Jessie F. McComb, Senior Private Sector Development Specialist – Tourism, World Bank Group, USA
Mr. Justin Farmer, SVP, Business Strategy, MMGY Global, USA
Prof. Kaye Chon, Dean and Chair Professor, School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR
Mr. Kok Kee LIM, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific Public Sector Lead, Mastercard Inc., Singapore
Mr. Leon Rais, Head of Cross Border Travel Asia Pacific, Visa Worldwide Pte Ltd, Singapore
Ms. Montakarn Suvanatap Kittipaisalsilp, Programme Officer for Culture, UNESCO Bangkok, Thailand
Ms. Natalia Bayona, Executive Director, United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Spain
Ms. Natalie Kidd, Managing Director, Asia, Intrepid Travel, Australia
Mr. NobuTaka ISHIKURE, Chairman, Goltz et ses amis, Japan
Mr. Ralf Ostendorf, Director Market Management & Media Relations, Berlin Tourismus & Kongress GmbH / visitBerlin, Germany
Mr. Shiva Dhakal, Managing Director, Royal Mountain Travel, Nepal
Mr. Steven Liew, Director of Public Policy – APAC, Airbnb Singapore Pte Ltd, Singapore
Ms. Suyin Lee, Managing Director, Discova Travel, Singapore
Ms. Topaz Smith, Community Lead, Aviation, Travel & Tourism, World Economic Forum (WEF), USA
Ms. Verra Wang, Senior PR manager, Group, China

About PATA
Founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a not-for-profit membership association that acts as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its member organisations, which includes government, state and city tourism bodies; international airlines and airports; hospitality organisations, and educational institutions, as well as thousands of young tourism professional (YTP) members across the world. The PATA network also embraces the grassroots activism of the PATA Chapters and Student Chapters, who organise numerous travel industry training programmes and business development events across the world. Thousands of travel professionals belong to the 32 local PATA Chapters worldwide, while hundreds of students are members of the 28 PATA Student Chapters globally. The PATAmPOWER platform delivers unrivalled data, forecasts and insights from the PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre to members’ desktops and mobile devices anywhere in the world. PATA’s Head Office has been in Bangkok since 1998. The Association also has an official office in Beijing. Visit


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