Thiruvananthapuram, Sept 27: Barely days after it was conferred three PATA gold awards, Kerala Tourism covered itself with more glory as it bagged two prestigious National Tourism Awards 2017-18 for the Best Tourism Film ‘Come Out and Play’ and the third prize in the category of ‘Best State/UT: Comprehensive Development of Tourism - Rest of India’ at an impressive function in New Delhi.
Private players like hoteliers and tour operators in Kerala’s travel and hospitality industry substantially increased the awards tally of the state as they were given five more awards. Overall, Kerala received seven awards at the function, organised at the imposing Vigyan Bhavan in the national capital.
Kerala Tourism Minister Shri Kadakampally Surendran and Tourism Secretary Smt. Rani George received the awards from Shri Prahlad Singh Patel, Union Minister of State (IC) for Tourism & Culture, and Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
The ‘Come Out and Play’ film, developed and produced by Stark Communications which is the advertising and marketing agency for Kerala Tourism, is an invitation to India to come out of the routine ‘everydayness’ of urban spaces - and the isolation that gadgets induce - to connect with each other and nature. It offers tourists a wide array of options to rediscover nature by activities such as trekking, Aurvedic massage, river rafting, yoga lessons, visiting a spice plantation, learning the basics of Kerala cuisine, climbing a coconut tree, sailing on a houseboat, and many more.
‘Kerala is blessed with a unique set of geographical features that have made it one of the most sought after destinations in Asia… Blessed with a pleasant and equable climate throughout the year, Kerala is truly God’s Own Country,’ read the citation for Kerala Tourism’s third prize in the category of ‘Best State/UT: Comprehensive Development of Tourism - Rest of India’.
“It is a welcome recognition of our sustained efforts to strengthen the tourism and hospitality sector that has become a mainstay of Kerala’s economy. It will further bolster the state’s profile as a coveted destination for the inbound tourism market,” Shri Surendran said.
“A defining feature of out tourism policy is a close-knit relationship between the government and private players. We have laid proper emphasis on the PPP mode for growth of tourism in the state. I am extremely happy that five private entities from Kerala figured in the 2017-18 National Tourism Awards,” he added.
Mrs. George noted that the highly-acclaimed awards are a robust validation of the innovative measures and campaigns launched by Kerala Tourism, and it would help energise tourism business in the state in a big way. “It will spur us to devise innovative measures to further boost tourism potential of the state,’’ she said.
As for the five awards for Kerala’s private players, International Pilgrimage Revolution Pvt. Ltd. received the first prize for ‘Best Inbound Tour Operator/Travel Agent (Category V) while Kalypso Adventures Pvt. Ltd. won the award for Best Adventure Tour Operators (Inbound).
Rose Gardens Homestay, Karadippara (Munnar) was given the award for ‘Best Incredible India Bread & Breakfast Establishment approved by Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India (Gold & Silver Category) while Coconut Creek Farm & Homestay, Kumarakom was the proud recipient of the ‘Best Bread & Breakfast Establishment approved by State government / Union Territory Administration’.
The fifth award received by a private player of Kerala was Manaltheeram Ayurvedic Hospital & Research Centre Pvt. Ltd., Thiruvananthapuram, which won it in the category of ‘Best Wellness Centre’.