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Thekkady named world's top emerging destination by PATA

Thekkady named worlds top emerging destination by PATA

Thiruvananthapuram: Thekkady, an iconic attraction in Kerala's Idukki district known for its jaw dropping landscape splattered with rolling hills, dense forests and spice plantations, was Wednesday named the world's top emerging destination by an international travel trade body.

Thekkady won the inaugural Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) CEO Challenge 2015 award along with Albay in the Philippines.

"The destination in 'God's Own Country', which is home to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, bagged the Top Destination Award in the second and third-tier cities category, the only category for cities," a press release here said today.

Albay received the honour in the category for regions, states and provinces.

The award, instituted by PATA, was announced in Bangkok.

Thekkady and Albay beat a large number of destinations from around the world to win the award.

Situated on the banks of the Periyar lake, Thekkady is a leading wildlife destinations in the country. Besides the Periyar sanctuary, famous for its dense evergreen tropical forests and savannah grasslands, the destination is home to tiger, sambar deer, lion-tailed macaque and Nilgiri langurs.

The PATA CEO Challenge is aimed at utilising the USD 5,00,000 award purse to develop and create a digital marketing campaign to showcase the destination to a global audience.

Leading global travel site TripAdvisor, the PATA CEO Challenge 2015 partner, will provide its expertise to developing the campaign.

Describing it as a 'huge honour' for Thekkady to be named world's top emerging destination, Kerala Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar said it was a proud moment for the state.

"The award will only increase our commitment to work further towards the growth of tourism in Kerala and development of our communities and the livelihoods of our people while preserving our environment," he said.

The award will be presented in London on November 2, the opening day of the 'World Travel Mart'.

A host of travel and tourism industry leaders will be present at the event where United Nations World Tourism Organisation Secretary General Taleb Rifai is scheduled to be the Guest of Honour, the release said.

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