Kerala bags Best Green Destination & Best Indian State awards

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Trivandrum: Kerala has bagged the ‘Best Green Destination’ prize at the India’s Best Awards for 2013. Besides the ‘Best Green Destination’ in India honour, Kerala also picked up the ‘Best Indian State’ prize at the awards presented every year by the Travel + Leisure South Asia magazine for the world’s top tourism and travel destinations and services.

The awards were presented by the Ambassador of Portugal to India, Jorge Roza de Oliveira, at a glittering ceremony held in New Delhi on March 31. The awards ceremony was attended by the Who’s Who of the travel and hospitality sectors.

In its third year, India’s Best Awards are given away by the Travel + Leisure South Asia magazine on the basis of an online readers’ poll conducted over five months. In the category for countries, Malaysia won the ‘Best Green Destination’ award.

“It is a significant award for Kerala because we are committed to preserving the nature and respecting our cultural heritage and local communities,” said Kerala Tourism Minister, Shri A P Anil Kumar.

“‘Responsible Tourism’ is the guiding philosophy and policy of Kerala Tourism,” said Kerala Tourism Secretary, Suman Billa, who received the two awards at the function in New Delhi. “Eco-friendly tourism with the participation of the local communities is the principal objective of the state government and all its stakeholders.”

“The third edition of India’s Best Awards boasts of the biggest number of winners,” said Travel + Leisure magazine Editor-in-Chief, Payal Kohli, adding the awards represented the ‘most authentic and credible list’ in the country.

Travel + Leisure magazine has about 60,000 readers in 12 countries in Southeast Asia, including Hong Kong and Macau.

In January, Kerala Tourism had won the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)’s Ulysses Prize for sustainable tourism, the first such prize for an Indian tourism board. Last month, Kerala Tourism bagged the Golden City Gate gold award of ITB-Berlin, the world’s leading tourism and travel trade event, for its print media campaign on the backwaters. Kerala had also won four top prizes at the National Tourism Awards for 2012-13.

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