National Tourism awards announced

National Tourism awards announced

Andhra Pradesh has bagged the best state award for comprehensive development of tourism in the National Tourism Awards 2011-12. Rajasthan and Gujarat won second and third awards in the category.

President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday gave away the awards in the presence of Union Tourism Minister and film star Chiranjeevi.

Hyderabad won the best civic management of a destination category “A” city while Warangal, also in Andhra Pradesh, won the best heritage city award.

The award of excellence for best tourism promotion publicity material went to Karnataka while the Mysore railway station won the “tourist-friendly railway station” award.

The Coconut Creek Farm and Home Stay, Kumarakom, Kerala, won the best bed and breakfast establishment award. Among the hotels, New Delhi’s the Oberoi won the best hotel award in the five star deluxe category, the Vivanta By Taj-Ambassador, New Delhi, in the five star category, the Vivanta by Taj, Kumarakom, Kerala, in the four star, the Gateway Hotel, Vadodara, Gujarat in three star, and the Resorte Marinha Dourada, Goa, in the two star category.

Speaking on the occasion, President Mukherjee said India’s tourism industry had commendably expanded its operations and range of offerings as the country welcomed about 6.65 million foreign tourists last year. “This denotes a growth of 5.4 per cent in such arrivals over the previous year. Foreign exchange earnings in this segment of our economy are estimated to be about Rs 94,500 crore for 2012. This, too, is a significant 21.8 per cent increase over the previous year.”

The President praised the Incredible India campaign launched by the Union government but called for improvement in infrastructure facility and maintaining cleanliness es around the heritage sites.