Hall of fame award for Somatheeram; Creative Travel, Intersight, Cholan & Concord Exotic Voyages among winners
Tourism Minister presents the National Tourism Awards, 2016-17; Launches Incredible India mobile App
“Tourism industry in the country should lay emphasis on improving hospitality services” K J Alphons
National Tourism Awards 2016-17 were presented on September 27, 2018 ,the World Tourism Day, in New Delhi by Mr. K.J. Alphons, Union Minister of State for Tourism, Government of India. The Minister also launched the ‘Incredible India Mobile App’ and the “Incredible India Tourist Facilitators Certification” programme.
“India has taken great strides forward in the field of tourism during the last four years of the Government and tourism is the cornerstone of the Indian economy, as it is a major source of employment and foreign exchange, and in order to tap the full potential of this sector, industry has to join hands” said while presenting the awards.
Andhra Pradesh won the award in the category of Best State/Union Territory: Comprehensive Development of Tourism and Kerala Tourism bagged second prize, while Goa and Rajasthan shared the third spots jointly.
Caper Travel Company and Concord Exotic Voyages (I) Pvt Ltd are the First Prize winner of Foreign Exchange Earnings of Rs.100 crore and above (Category I) and Foreign Exchange Earnings of Rs.50 crore and above but less than Rs.100 crore (Category II).
M/s Intersight Tours & Travels Private Limited, Kochi bagged the first prize in Best Domestic Operator – Promoting and selling Tourism Products of the Rest of India with Turnover of Rs. 25.00 Crore and above (Category I) and M/s Creative Travel Private Limited, New Delhi marked as the Best MICE Operator.
Mr. Alphons also shared the concern that the tourism sector needs to improve its hospitality services since the hospitality offered is the distinguished feature of India which gives it an edge over other countries. He also added that it is the responsibility of every citizen to build the image of the country as safe for anyone to travel.
The Minister also announced that, India will be the host country for official World Tourism Day celebrations for the UNWTO, in 2019. The theme for the World Tourism Day 2018 being “Tourism & Digital Transformation”, the Minister recounted the various digital initiatives taken by the Ministry in harnessing technology for tourism promotion, which include, launch of a new Incredible India website; 24 X7 Chat bot interface on this website; launch of a new website on Buddhism in India and many more initiatives..
Mr. Alphons informed the industry that the flood-stricken Kerala is rapidly recovering from the disaster and is now ready to receive tourists since the hotels and tourist sites are now operational. The Minister also said that the Ministry of Tourism has formulated a voluntary scheme for Approval of Operational Motels with an aim of recognizing the Motel segment as a component of the overall tourism product, and set standards of facilities and services of Motels.
Delivering the welcome address, Ms. Rashmi Verma IAS, Union Tourism Secretary said that in the last four years, India has aggressively implemented its promotion strategies in branding, advertising, and selling of its tourism potentials. Ms. Rashmi Verma also added that the Ministry in tune with the changing times, has brought in new initiatives like the Adopt a Heritage scheme where in collaboration with corporate, schools and other stakeholders was initiated to improve facilities at monuments, initiation of 12 iconic sites, MoUs for bilateral tourism with countries, first ever India Tourism Mart and the International Buddhist Conclave 2018. The Secretary also congratulated the industry stakeholders without whose partnership the achievements in the Tourism sector in the last few years, would not have been possible.