Sarawak Tourism bags PATA ‘s Gold Award in Kazakhstan

A screeshot of the Sarawak Tourism Board being featured in this Winners’ Showcase souvenir booklet of the PATA Gold Awards 2019. 

KUCHING, Sept 19: Sarawak Tourism Board and Borneo Eco Tours won the Gold Awards for their ourstanding achievements in the travel and tourism industry at the prestigious 2019 Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Grand and Gold Awards. 

Sarawak Tourism’s “Why Limit Yourself” video received the Gold Award in the Marketing Media – Travel Video category while Borneo Eco Tours’ Sustainable Growth project scooped the Gold Award in the Corporate Social Responsibility category. 

The two organisations were among the 27 separate organisations and individuals to receive the recognitions at the 2019 PATA Gold Awards Dinner and Award Presentation held in Nur-Sultan (Astana), Kazakhstan during the PATA Travel Mart 2019 today. 

There are in total 33 Grand and Gold Awards to be presented at the event. 

According to PATA, this year’s awards attracted 197 entries from 78 organisations and individuals worldwide. The winners were selected by an independent judging committee.

Other organisations to receive the awards include Cox & Kings Limited, India; Elephant Hills Co., Ltd, Thailand; Hotel ICON, Hong Kong SAR; IECD, ASSET-H&C, Thailand; Hong Kong Tourism Board, Hong Kong SAR; Macao Government Tourism Office; Melco Resorts & Entertainment, Macao, China; Ministry of Tourism, Government of India; Palau Visitors Authority; Sri Lankan Airlines Ltd; Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Chinese Taipei; The Travel World, Bangladesh; Tourism Authority of Thailand, and YANNA Ventures, Thailand. 

PATA chief executive officer Dr Mario Hardy, in a media release to announce the winners, said the winners and their accomplishments truly represented the values of the Association in working towards a more responsible travel and tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region. 

Sarawak Tourism Board’s “Why Limit Yourself” destination film brings out the message that Sarawak welcomes all individuals with open arms through Augustine who has light-coloured eyes, fair skin and hair. 

Augustine was not Caucasian but had albinism. During filming preparations, Augustine’s condition began to raise concern among the production team. 

One day, he was asked whether he could cope with the film’s locations and activities in Sarawak, because many involved acting outdoors and exposure to the sun. 

Unfazed, Augustine replied, “Why limit yourself?” His words struck a chord with everyone present. 

He was right. If one has a thirst and desire to explore, to go far, to challenge fears, to witness other cultures and taste new flavours, to see a different side of history, to truly experience a destination, why should one limit themselves?

All these themes have been captured in this Sarawak dedicated destination film, which unnamed at the time, came to bear Augustine’s words. “Why Limit Yourself”?

Meanwhile, Borneo Eco Tours (BET), an ecotourism pioneer in Sabah since 1991, specialises in responsible tours.

PATA Gold Awards 2019.

BET group also owns and operates the multi -award winning ecolodge Sukau Rainforest Lodge (SRL), which is a charter member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World.

BET also works with various partners and travel agents from around the globe and continues to remain at the forefront of developing and implementing sustainable environment and community-based projects in Borneo through its non-profit division, Borneo Ecotourism Solutions and Technologies (BEST) Society. 

Through BEST Society, BET is able to enrich the lives of individuals, their families and the professionals who work to support and educate them.

Recent and ongoing projects include the Kiulu Farmstay Community-Based Tourism initiative; the Borneo Land Conservancy whereby 7.7 acres of land is conserved for wildlife habitat in the Kinabatangan; the Sukau Ecotourism Research Centre, a newly established research centre in Sukau which will facilitate voluntourism and research, and many other projects around Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. 

For BET, Corporate Social Responsibility is more than just an annual programme, but an ongoing practice in being a responsible and sustainable organisation. — DayakDaily