US$1 million boost for emerging tourism destinations in new PATA CEO Challenge

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Categories now include nations with less than 100,000 annual arrivals


BANGKOK, March 10, 2016 — The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), in an exclusive partnership with TripAdvisor®, is looking for new and emerging destinations to take part in the PATA CEO Challenge 2016. TripAdvisor will once again work with the two winning entries in developing and creating a digital marketing campaign to showcase their destination to a global audience. Each campaign is valued at US$500,000. In addition, the winners will be honoured at the PATA Aligned Advocacy Dinner in London, United Kingdom as part of the Association’s programme for World Travel Mart 2016. Deadline for the submission of entries is September 23, 2016.

The PATA CEO Challenge, launched in 2015, is an awards programme that embraces the uniqueness and diversity of different heritages, cultures, customs and nature of world destinations. Although there are literally thousands of destinations that are well known, regularly visited and experienced by world travellers there are now an even greater number of destinations that are ready to be discovered and enjoyed. They deserve to be recognised for their authenticity and beauty and PATA is honoured to highlight these new and emerging destinations in the CEO Challenge 2016.

Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA, said, “This is an amazing opportunity for emerging destinations to enjoy a major boost to their marketing campaigns. Effective use of digital media is an essential ingredient in any successful marketing campaign. Once again PATA and TripAdvisor are working together to support new and emerging tourism destinations and I look forward to meeting the winners in London later this year. “

Sarah Mathews, TripAdvisor’s Head of Destination Marketing for Asia Pacific said, “As the world’s largest travel site*, TripAdvisor and its community inspire people to travel and discover new places. This challenge reinforces our commitment to supporting and shining light on destinations to enable traveller discovery, and we are pleased to team up with PATA to run it.”

“TripAdvisor recently announced newly-redesigned destination pages to help global destination marketing organisations find new opportunities to reach TripAdvisor’s community of millions of travellers. The new features allow them to complement the site’s user-generated content with their own, with added insights on great things to see and do in-destination,” added Sarah Mathews.

The PATA CEO Challenge 2016 is open to all regions, states and provinces. This year the rules have been amended to include those smaller nations that currently attract less than 100,000 international visitor arrivals in a calendar year. The PATA CEO Challenge 2016 also invites entries from second-tier cities, and third-tier cities worldwide. First-tier cities are not qualified to participate. Both PATA member and non-member organisations and destinations are invited to submit entries.

Two awards will be presented during the PATA Aligned Advocacy Dinner on Monday, November 7, 2016, as part of PATA’s extensive activities at World Travel Market London, United Kingdom, in the categories of State, Region, Province and Country; and Second-tier/Third-tier Cities. This annual Aligned Advocacy Dinner is always attended by an impressive cross-section of travel industry professionals.

Download the brochure for the PATA CEO Challenge 2016 or view the video at

For more information about the PATA CEO Challenge 2016, please visit or email [email protected].



About PATA
Founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a not-for profit association that is internationally acclaimed for acting 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, comprising 97 government, state and city tourism bodies, 27 international airlines, airports and cruise lines, 63 educational institutions, and hundreds of travel industry companies in Asia Pacific and beyond. Thousands of travel professionals belong to the 43 local PATA chapters worldwide. The chapters organise travel industry training and business development events. Their grassroots activism underpins PATA’s membership of the Global Travel Association Coalition (GTAC), which includes ACICLIAIATA, ICAOWEFUNWTO and the WTTC. 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 official offices or representation in Beijing, Sydney and London.



Media Contact:
Paul Pruangkarn
Manager – Communications
+66 (02) 658-2000 | [email protected] | Bangkok, Thailand