Utsavam, the Kerala Arts Festival, has completed three editions and is now on to its fourth. The event is doing a world of good for Kerala’s rich cultural heritage in reviving the state’s traditional art forms, while attracting tourists and travellers alike. Thanks to it, Kerala Tourism literally drove away the economic gloom with a song and a dance.Utsavam has underlined the role of tourism as an instrument for cultural revival and for the enrichment of the local community. The event ensures participation of more bodies like NGO, youth clubs, and suchlike. The successful completion of the 2009-10 edition of the event was grander in scale and scope, with over 1000-artists and 364-performances spread across the state. Utsavam has provided a shot in the arm for the development of cultural tourism. Besides helping the traditional folk and classical art forms that are fading into oblivion, Utsavam, which is now an annual event, greatly benefits many artistes, for whom these art forms are the only source of livelihood.
PATA Gold Awards 2008 – Promotional Travel Video
Sarawak Convention Bureau, Malaysia
Winning the PATA Gold Award for ‘Meet in Sarawak Short Film I: Recharge in a New World’ has aided the Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB) to build Sarawak’s profile as an emerging international meetings destinations. SCB will continue to use the award winning short film in a bid to bring more successful meetings to the destination.
In 2010, the Bureau’s calendar of events is boosted by the successful bid for 41 new conventions with an impressive strike rate of 80%. Sarawak will also host major conferences in 2011 such as the Asia Infrastructure 2011 Expo & Conference; Borneo International Culinary & Hospitality Week 2011; Malaysian Society for Surgery of the Hand Annual General Meeting and National Conference 2011 (MSSH); ASEAN Australian Engineering Congress AAEC 2011; 2nd World Biodiversity Congress; 5th International Congress of Chemistry & Environment (ICEE-2011) and much more. These conventions are expected to bring in 25,110-delegates to Sarawak with a total of 90,575-room nights, which will generate RM51, 893,196-million in delegate expenditure.
SCB has also produced a sequel of the short film, which uses the same tongue-in-cheek humorous approach and retains many of the same characters from the original so that it can be used in tandem. The sequel is called ‘Meet in Sarawak Short Film II: Recharge in a New World – Changing Perspectives’. To watch this please visit http://sarawakcb.com/downloads/videos/
Six Senses Resorts & Spas has continued responsible business practices in line with its core purpose ‘to create innovative and enlightening experiences that rejuvenates their guests’ with a love of SLOW LIFE (Sustainable-Local-Organic-Wholesome Learning-Inspiring-Fun-Experiences). With a strong focus on improving its carbon footprint and deeper understanding, Six Senses has developed its own
carbon calculator that measures not only energy emission, but also air and ground travel, freight, food, paper, and waste and water emission. A target of being decarburising by 2020 has been set; amongst the initiatives to achieve this, Soneva Fushi installed a 70 KW solar PV plant in 2009 and replaced its light bulbs with LEDs.Another important step was to ban imports of bottled water to reduce carbon emissions from both freight and plastic waste. Water is served in glass bottles that are washed and used again. Furthermore, 50% of water revue is dedicated for ‘Clean Water Projects’ that provide clean water to people without access. In less than a year, a quarter million people have been helped through 168-projects in 32-countries, from USD215,000 raised.
Six Senses has also raised USD 1.7-million to build a 1.5 MW wind turbine in Tamil Nadu, India, which provides clean energy for the local community and enables mitigation of 70,000-ton carbon emission and another 30,000-ton through local community projects. A large reforestation project in Thailand is planned from November 2010, planting 200,000-trees and mitigating a 180,000-tonnes of carbon annually.
The Hotel Industry Apprenticeship Scheme (HIAS) is a programme developed by Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad (PSMB) and first conducted in Taylor’s College, School of Hospitality and Tourism. In 2009, Taylor’s University College continued to promote the HIAS program to all Malaysian school leavers, especially targetting rural areas and Federal Land Development Authorit(FELDA) settlers.
Many graduates from the programme had enrolled into Taylor’s Certificate in Hotel Operations and Diploma Programmes. Some have already started their career in the hotel industry and have a solid foundation to grow within their hotels and groups PSMB plans to package the HIAS modules to allow students to continue their studies in all specialised modules (front office, housekeeping, food & beverage and kitchen practice). The modules have been adopted by the Ministry of Human Resources where the local Northern Corridor (NCIA) and Eastern Corridor Economic Region (ECER) bodies further provide such training programme to school leavers.
In the future a National Apprentice Centre will be set up that offers apprenticeship programme to all youth in Malaysia (between 17-to-25 years old) a unique study experience.
Bon Ton Sdn Bhd won the 2009 Grand Award for its property Temple Tree – A Resort of Many Cultures, in the Heritage category. Antique buildings of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian origin make up this eight-villa property.
For Malaysia this is a new concept of hotel, where the villas can be rented as one, or as individual hotel rooms. Each building has over a 70-110 year old history, with a heart and soul of its own. These houses are now the continuing story of people who live in them – the guests.
Bon Ton Sdn Bhd has also continued to work with other tourism players in promoting Penang as a cultural and heritage tourist destination. To date, the company has invested RM five-million in restoring historic shop-houses in George Town’s heritage enclave. Last year, the company acquired 10 shop-houses in George Town, along Lebuh Stewart and Lebuh Armenian, which have been converted into boutique residences, retail outlets and a cafe.
In Langkawi, the company has invested some RM12-million where it has been operating Bon Ton Resort since 1994 and more recently, has also opened a luxury resort called Temple Tree at Pantai Cenang.
Since its launch in 2007, the ‘Dream Season’ campaign has been gaining popularity among the domestic travellers at whom the campaign is targetted.
Currently in its fourth year, ‘Dream Season’ has succeeded in featuring great value packages ranging from backwater houseboat cruises to hill station holidays, as also Ayurvedic rejuvenation packages to monsoon honeymoon trips offered by hotels, resorts and tour operators in Kerala. In 2009,around 160-tour operators, hotels, resorts, home stays, and Ayurvedic centres were registered in this programme. What is perhaps more remarkable is the participation of more travel trade personnel in the campaign.
Kerala Tourism is perfecting its role in promoting the campaign by organising exclusive road shows across the country. In 2010, more than 15 road shows were held in major cities across north India, which were runaway successes. The high point of the campaign is that it has also helped Kerala Tourism to tide over the crisis caused by the global economic downturn. Thanks to ‘Dream Season’, the lacuna of international tourist arrivals is being filled by domestic consumers. It has helped to convert the offseason into season of opportunity for the trade.
Wuzhen was awarded the PATA Gold Award 2009 for its ecotourism project, and continues to develop sustainable tourism.
Wuzhen attended the Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China to introduce the ‘Harmony of Man with Nature’ preservation mode.
This mode is applied to preserve the ancient town and maintain its modern facilities, in balance. For the safety of the town, Wuzhen people buried the required cabling underground, including wires, communication cables, water pipes and domestic sewage pipes.
Wuzhen will carry on the sustainable development mode to achieve the aim of perfect combination of heritage preservation and modern life.