Sabah Tourism Board clinches gold in international travel awards

Bangkuai (second right) receiving the PATA Gold Award from the director of Macao Government Tourism Office Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes. Also seen in photo are PATA chairman Peter Semone (left) and STB CEO Noredah Othman.

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Tourism Board (STB) won a gold award in the prestigious Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Travel Mart in New Delhi on Thursday (Oct 5).

The state agency was selected by PATA's independent judging panel as the 2023 PATA Gold Award Winner in the category of “Travel Video - Catching Sabah” in conjunction with its travel event.

Collaborating with Huntwo Studios, STB crafted a captivating 5-minute 45-second video portraying Sabah's diverse allure, encompassing urban exploration and nature's wonders.

The video also showcased wildlife encounters, underwater marvels, a culinary paradise, cultural heritage, and the state’s multi-ethnic communities.

Sabah Tourism, Culture, and Environment Assistant Minister Datuk Joniston Bangkuai received the award during the PATA Gold Awards lunch and presentation hosted by the Macao Government Tourism Office.

Bangkuai – who is also the STB chairman – was accompanied by the board's chief executive officer Noredah Othman.

Macao Government Tourism officer Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes and PATA chairman Peter Semone presented the award held at the International Exhibition Convention Centre.

In his remarks, Bangkuai highlighted the transformative power of STB's promotional videos.

“Winning such an award emphasises the need for STB to maintain its momentum and live up to expectation, showcasing our agency's capable leadership and dedicated team in driving the state's tourism,” he said.

“The board will persist in creating innovative and creative marketing and promotional efforts to showcase Sabah from every angle,” added Bangkuai.

He said that the board’s mission is to exhibit the abundance Sabah has to offer, adding STB is actively engaged in creating video content with fresh perspectives to appeal to travellers across all categories, either for leisure or business.

Last month, STB won Asia's Leading Regional Tourist Board at the 30th Annual World Travel Awards in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

It also won bronze for Best Communication of Social Media at the 4th Asean PR Excellence Awards with its "Fly Me To Sabah" campaign.

Bangkuai was in India not only to receive the award but also to lead STB delegates in attending forums at the PATA Travel Mart and meet with key industry players.

This engagement was also aimed at building valuable business connections with key players in the travel industry, fostering a deeper understanding of travel trends, and enticing them to explore the wonders of Sabah

Also present were deputy chief executive officer Julinus Jimit and senior marketing manager Humphrey Ginibun.

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