DELHI: “National Tourism Awards for the year 2014-15” to various segments of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry were presented by the Speaker, Lok Sabha Sumitra Mahajan at a function organized by the Ministry of Tourism here on July 30.
Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism & Culture presided over the function.
Tourism Ministers of many States, Central and State Government Officials, Members from the Travel and Hospitality Industries, including leading Hoteliers, Travel Agents and Tour Operators and Travel Media attended the function.
Kerala and Madhya Pradesh were big winners among the states. Madhya Pradesh won the first prize in the category of Best State/Union Territory for Comprehensive Development of Tourism for being able to provide a complete and varied travel experience to tourists.
Kerala Tourism won six awards in the marketing category for states. Kerala Tourism Director U V Jose said the national awards have come in the wake of Kerala Tourism winning two PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) Gold Awards for its brilliant marketing initiatives.
Mahajan opined that the tourists are the brand ambassadors of their respective countries and Tourism is a mode of improving the image of their countries abroad. She quoted the Prime Minster Narendra Modi describing the African nationals, who studied in India, as the ‘Alumini of India’. It is a unique gesture. She also said that Tourist Guides play a pivotal role in Tourism industry as they play an important role in promoting tourism. She called for positive news reporting about our country so that good image of our country can be portrayed abroad.
She said that the continuous strive for service excellence is all the more important as India’s Tourism Sector is on an upward growth track. She opined that we should look to tourism as a way of transforming not just the economy, but the lives of its people, within and outside the sector. The idea of transformation goes so much wider. It is about creating opportunities, through tourism, for each and every individual of the destination to play a direct role.
Sharma in his address, lauded the roles played by various segments of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry in our country and said that our focus is to encourage the tourism industry to deliver positive and unforgettable travel experience to all visitors and countrymen by embracing the highest standards of service excellence. The National Tourism Awards ceremony recognises the best service providers in each of their service domains. The objective of recognising and rewarding the tourism sector Stakeholders, State Govts & UTS is intended to set and consistently raise the standards of what is attainable and desirable in the competitive global tourism market, thereby helping to raise overall standards in the industry over time. The categories of these Awards are being updated from time to time.
For more on the awards, see http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx