Winners of the 2016 Global Travel Entrepreneurship Challenge Announced

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Picture: L/R: Mr Gary Albert, Principal Secretary for Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine Department, Seychelles; Sherin Francis, CEO Seychelles Tourism Board; Emre Kanik, Grand Prize Winner of GTEC 2016; Mr Alain St. Ange, Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine, Seychelles; Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO PATA, and Mrs Anne Lafortune, Principal Secretary for Tourism, Seychelles.

BANGKOK, December 15, 2016 — The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and with the support of FWD Hong Kong, Gobi Partners and the Seychelles Tourism Board, are pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Global Travel Entrepreneurship Challenge (GTEC 2016).

PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy said, “GTEC gave us the perfect opportunity to engage and empower today’s young tourism professionals. The winning entries embodied one of the fundamental advocacy themes of our Association in showcasing authentic trips in lesser-known aspects of a destination. Congratulations to the winners as well as all the participants for their enthusiasm and hard work.”

Hai Ho, CEO of, added, “GTEC 2016 was an incredible success. We had over 7,000 people from around the world enter the challenge, and so many interesting and authentic local experiences given to travellers as a result. I just want to take a moment and recognise our grand prize winner Emre Kanik in Seoul, and also our FWD Best Local Expert in Hong Kong SAR, Bella Wong. These two truly embody the spirit of millennial travel and innovation at the heart of GTEC. Many congratulations to all challenge participants and to our winners.”

David Wong, CEO of FWD Hong Kong & Macau, said, “As a brand that embraces innovation and celebrates living, FWD is amazed by the ground breaking, where global travellers and young entrepreneurs can meet and create new travel experiences, and even turn their passion for travelling into a career. Congratulations to all the GTEC 2016 global participants and to Bella Wong who won the FWD Best Local Expert in Hong Kong SAR with her ‘Taste the Weirdness of Hong Kong’ trip! We look forward to meeting Bella and exploring new possibilities for the next generation of travel insurance together.”

The grand prize was awarded to Emre Kanik from Seoul, Korea (ROK) for his tour of the lesser-known parts of the city where visitors can travel back in time to 20th century Seoul.

“I have been photographing Seoul for over four years and know every nook and cranny of this amazing place. I realised I had something valuable that I wanted to share,” said Mr Kanik. “That’s why I decided to join Triip and participate in the GTEC 2016. I’m am very glad I made that decision, because I met some amazing people and could provide them with a unique experience on their trip to Seoul.”

As the winner of the grand prize, Emre Kanik was given complimentary round trip air ticket and accommodation for two nights in the Seychelles to attend the Seychelles Ocean Festival (December 3-10). He also received US$5,000 and will benefit in the coming months from mentoring support provided by Gobi Partners Venture, PATA, FWD Hong Kong and’s elite team will also be providing support to Emre Kanik in technology, best practices and marketing.

In addition to the grand prize, four first place awards were also given. A team consisting of Wan-Hsiang “Tina” Liu, Hung-sheng “Duke” Chen, and Yu-xuan “Shelly” Liao from Chinese Taipei was awarded Most Creative Triip for their TAYAL – Heros triip, where travellers can explore a local Atayal aboriginal community. Yuk Fan “Bella” Wong from Hong Kong SAR was awarded the FWD Best Local Expert Hong Kong Award where visitors could experience her unique “Taste the Weirdness of Hong Kong” triip. Kieu Anh Nguyen from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam was awarded the Customer Happiness Award for her well-loved “Discover Saigon the Way You Like” triip. Finally, Chen Yi “Evelyn” Wu from Chinese Taipei was given the Best Video Award for her “Hidden Treasures of Taipei” triip.

All information about GTEC 2016 is available at:


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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 95 government, state and city tourism bodies, 27 international airlines, airports and cruise lines, 68 educational institutions, and hundreds of travel industry companies in Asia Pacific and beyond. Thousands of travel professionals belong to the 40 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.