New Delhi: Kerala Tourism on Saturday bagged six National Tourism awards for 2014-15 in the marketing category for states.
It received two more awards, including the one for its Responsible Tourism (RT) initiative in Wayanad.
Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan presented the awards to principal secretary Venu V and director U.V. Jose in the presence of union tourism minister Mahesh Sharma at a function at Vigyan Bhavan here.
Kerala Tourism received three out of the six awards for states in the Tourism Promotion and Publishing category, including the one for 'Most Innovative use of Information Technology' - social media/mobile app.
The Wayanad initiative, which has transformed the hilly district's economy through intensive participation of the local people, was selected for the award in the 'Responsible Tourism' category.
Sargaalaya Arts and Crafts Village at Iringal, a small but thriving village in Kozhikode, fetched the award for Kerala Tourism in the Rural Tourism project category.
"The awards are a heartening and robust reaffirmation of our Responsible Tourism initiative, which has emerged as a trailblazing tourism product for the entire country. We also received three national awards for our brilliant marketing initiatives which are designed to woo travelers from both inside the country and abroad," Kerala tourism minister A.C. Moideen said in a press release.
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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.
Kerala and the Spice Routes, a coffee-table book designed by Stark, won the award in the category of Excellence in Publishing in English language.
The book takes readers through the Malabar Coast that was the starting point for Kerala's spice trade with the rest of the world.
'The Great Backwaters', a brochure in German language, details out the unique, standalone and once-in-a-lifetime experience of the Kerala backwaters to the international travelers, was adjudged the best in foreign language segment.
The third award for Kerala Tourism in 'Tourism Promotion and Publishing' category came for its most innovative use of information technology for the website designed by Invis Multimedia and social media managed by Stark Communications. Kerala Tourism has 12.8 lakh Facebook followers, the largest figure for any Tourism Board in India.
Turtle on the Beach, Kovalam, was the adjudged the best hotel in the Five Star category; Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom, bagged the award for Best Heritage Hotel in Classic Category; Coconut Creek Farm and Homestay, Kumarakom, was given the award for 'Best Incredible India Bed and Breakfast Establishment' approved by State Governments / Union Territory Administrations' and Somatheeram Research Institute and Ayurveda Hospital Pvt. Ltd, Thiruvananthapuram, was declared the Best Wellness Centre.
(With agency inputs)