Trivandrum: Kerala Tourism’s pioneering use of Information Technology to boost tourist arrivals and the hugely successful Kochi-Muziris Biennale along with Kumarakom’s Responsible Tourism model have helped ‘God’s Own Country’ scoop the National Tourism Awards for the year 2012-13. In all, Kerala Tourism won four awards, including the second prize in the Best State category.
Tourism Minister, Shri A P Anil Kumar received the National Tourism Awards for 2012-13 from Minister of State for HRD, Dr. Shashi Tharoor at a function held in New Delhi.
In the Niche Tourism segment, the award for the ‘Most Innovative and Unique Tourism Project’ went to Kochi-Muziris Biennale. The first edition of the mega art event, supported by the Department of Tourism and held during December 2012 – February 2013 had attracted nearly half a million visitors, including tens of thousands from outside the State and abroad.
Kumarakom Grama Panchayat won in the Civic Management of a Tourism Destination in India category. The award for Kumarakom was received by Grama Panchayat President Dhanya Sabu.
Kumarakom, the first ever destination in India to successfully implement Responsible Tourism, has set a model for the rest of India. Kerala Tourism, together with Kumarakom Grama Panchayat, has been bringing in positive changes at the destination in the environmental, social and economical spheres.
Presented every year, the National Tourism Awards are acknowledged as a benchmark of excellence and recognition for the outstanding achievements of tourism industry stakeholders in the country.
“The awards are an honour for the State, Kerala Tourism and all its stakeholders,” said Shri Anilkumar. “It is a recognition for our unceasing efforts to promote sustainable tourism with the help of the local community even while we make use of the advantages of technology. In the coming years we will bring more innovations and newer products, and strive to remain among the leaders in tourism.”
In the private sector too, Kerala got four awards. Kumarakom Lake Resort, Kottayam was named the best five-star hotel; Vivanta by Taj at Kumarakom was the best four-star hotel and Brunton Boatyard in Fort Kochi, the best three-star hotel. Trivandrum based Great India Tour Company won the award for the Best Inbound Tour Operator (Category VI).
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