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Kerala bagged nine National Tourism Awards
  • September 2018

Kerala’s spirited efforts to rejuvenate its tourism sector in the wake of recent floods got a robust validation with God’s Own Country topping the states with the largest number of nine National Tourism Awards 2016-17 while Union Tourism Minister Mr. K. J. Alphons asserted that the worst was over for the state after the calamity and it was ready to receive tourists with full gusto.  
Overall, Kerala’s Tourism Department walked away with four awards, including the Best Tourism Film (Live Inspired) and the second prize in the category of ‘Best State/Union Territory- Comprehensive Development of Tourism in Rest of India’. 
In the Hall of Fame awards section, the two other official entries of the Tourism Department which got prizes were Excellence in Publishing in Foreign Language and Responsible Tourism Project, wayanad for being the Most Responsible Tourism Project/Initiative.
The private players swelled the kitty of awards for Kerala to nine by winning five more, including the Best Domestic Tour Operator promoting tourism products of Rest of India, Best Incredible India Bed and Breakfast Establishment and Best Standalone Convention Centre. 
The awards were presented by Mr. Alphons at an impressive function held at the Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi today. Kerala Tourism Director Mr. P Bala Kiran and Deputy Director Mr. G Sreekumar  received the awards for the official entries. Union Tourism Secretary Rashmi Verma was among the dignitaries who attended the function. 
“A month ago 13 out of the 14 districts in Kerala were under water and today every destination is open for tourists in the state. Kerala is back into action and ready to receive people. Kerala needs your support to regain its action,” Mr Alphons said at the function and invited everyone to attend the Kerala Travel Mart (Sept 27-30), one of the biggest travel marts in the country. 
“The awards underline our efforts to offer new products to tourists so that Kerala retains its image as one of the most favoured destinations of the country. The coveted awards will augment the destination pull of the state and give traction to the tourism growth, a sector which is so crucial for Kerala’s economy,” said Kerala Tourism Minister Mr. Kadakampally Surendran.
He also assured that Kerala has recovered speedily from the traumatic aftermath from the floods. “Kerala needs visitors and I assure that we are fully prepared to receive them with top-rate hospitality,” he said. 
Kerala Tourism Secretary Mrs. Rani George IAS said the awards were a testament to Kerala’s vaunted image as an alluring tourist destination and would also help in presenting the state to a wider international audience.
“The national awards have come in the wake of Kerala Tourism winning two PATA Gold Awards for its brilliant marketing initiatives. The national awards will further boost the state’s profile as a coveted destination for the inbound tourism market,” Kerala Tourism Director Mr P Bala Kiran said. 
Through its responsible tourism initiative, Wayanad has ensured the participation of local population in its ambit, making them earn their livelihoods through several tourism ventures.  Besides, it has emerged successful in packaging the traditional occupation and its culture into effective environment-friendly tour packages. 
In the private sector, Kerala’s Intersight Tours & Travels Pvt. Ltd got the Best Domestic Tour Operator promoting and selling tourism products of Rest of India (Category \" 1), while Kochi-based Concord Exotic Voyages Pvt. Ltd., won the first prize in Inbound Tour Operator / Travel Agent (Category II). 
Munnar-based Rosegardens Homestay was adjudged the Best Incredible India Bed and Breakfast Establishment approved by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India \" (Gold and Silver Category). 
Somatheeram Research Institute and Ayurveda Hospital Pvt Ltd , Kovalam was a proud winner in the Hall of Fame Awards category as it was adjudged the  Best Wellness Centre while Adlux International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Kochi got the award for Best Standalone Convention Centre.  

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