Macao received a record-breaking tally of four PATA Grand and Gold Awards for its exceptional achievements in the tourism industry, at this year’s Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Gold Awards presentation. The Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) received two Gold Awards and the Macao Institute for Tourism Studies (IFTM) received one, while resort operator MGM China Holdings Ltd won a PATA Grand Award for its work in human capital development.
The presentation ceremony was a high point of the 2020 PATA Travel Mart, held from 23 to 27 September. The event was held online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. MGTO Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes joined PATA Chief Executive Officer Mario Hardy at the presentation ceremony to announce the 2020 winners.
Twenty Gold Awards and three Grand Awards were presented to organisations and individuals for innovation and excellence shown in three aspects of tourism: marketing, sustainability and human capital development. The haul of three Gold Awards and one Grand Award won by Macao was the biggest collected by tourism stakeholders in the city in any year yet.
MGTO received a Gold Award for digital marketing campaign with “Sustainable Gastronomy – The Great Green Food Journey, Macao. Celebrating Creativity, Sustainability and Culture”, which was in partnership with National Geographic. The campaign used videos and written articles to tell stories about the growing trend towards making the food industry more sustainable, positioning Macao as a place for visitors to find food produced sustainably, and inspiring better practices, in line with commitments Macao has assumed as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy.
“Macao’s Mobile Cafe 2019” by the MGTO representative office in the United States, received a Gold Award in the category of Marketing Campaign (National – Asia). The campaign captivated the market in San Francisco by integrating a Macao-themed food truck serving samples of Macanese cuisine, travel deals, cultural performances and other elements, with a broader campaign in the broadcast and social media, and events such as cooking classes, in order to raise the profile of Macao in the United States market.
The IFTM Tourism Education Student Summit (TEd Summit) won a Gold Award for Human Capital Development Initiative. The IFTM TEd Summit plays an important part in the IFTM effort to groom talented people to work in the tourism and hospitality industries. The annual event is an occasion for IFTM students in the final year of Bachelor of Science degree programmes to present to key stakeholders in those industries the findings of research which the students have done for their theses or other projects.
MGM China won the Grand Award for human capital development for “Unleashing Greatness – MGM’s Human Capital Development Initiative”. The MGM China talent development strategy rests on the belief that effective human capital development and success in business are closely intertwined. The strategy includes continuing education courses for staff, opportunities for Macao students to serve internships, and community outreach programmes such as online lessons in sign language.
Some 62 organisations or individuals around the world together submitted 121 entries for Gold Awards, including 14 entries from Macao. The winners were selected by an independent judging committee with 16 representatives. The purpose of the awards is to set standards for excellence and innovation in the tourism industry in the Asia-Pacific region. MGTO has supported the awards since 1995, as a contribution to the fostering of sustainability in the tourism industry in the region.
MGTO had a Macao virtual booth at the 2020 PATA Travel Mart. More than 20 Macao travel agencies, hotels and other tourism facilities were represented in the virtual booth. Their representatives attended online appointments made in advance of the event and networked online with representatives of the travel trade in the Asia-Pacific region to look for new opportunities to do business.
The highlights of the 2020 PATA Travel Mart also included insights into the recovery of travel after the COVID-19 pandemic, offered in presentations and panel discussions. The event was originally to be held in Leshan, in the Mainland Chinese province of Sichuan. The virtual version was supported by the Leshan Culture, Radio, Television and Tourism Bureau, and was held concurrently with the Sichuan International Travel Expo.
The 2020 PATA Travel Mart is the second big event to be held online by PATA to stimulate the recovery of the travel industry after the COVID-19 pandemic. The first big event was the PATA Dream to Travel Festival, also attended by MGTO.
PATA has for decades been an important way for Macao to connect with the travel trade around the world and to raise the city’s profile.