Kerala made a clean sweep of a host of awards instituted by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, including the 'Best Tourism Performing State Award, 2000-2001' for the third consecutive year.
Kerala had earlier won the 'Best Performing State Award' for excellence in 1998-1999 and 1999-2000.
Apart from the 'Best Tourism Performing State Award', Kerala also bagged awards for the 'Most Innovative Use of Information Technology' and the 'Best Tourism Film'.
The awards for the best resort in the four-star and the three-star category also went to Kerala with Spice Village, Thekkady winning the award in the four star category and Marari Beach, Mararikulam, Alappuzha in the three star category.
The Minister for Tourism, Kerala, Prof. K V Thomas, along with the Mr. T Balakrishnan, Secretary, Kerala Tourism and Mr. Alkesh Kumar Sharma, Director, Kerala Tourism received the 'Best Tourism Performing State Award', at a function held at Hotel Ashok, New Delhi on the 25th of January 2002.
The 'Best Tourism Performing State' award was given to Kerala on the basis of the State's promotional and marketing efforts, investment facilitation efforts, infrastructure development, performance of State owned tourism complexes, human resource development, development of sustainable tourism and quality tourist arrivals, both domestic and international.
According to sources, focused marketing and target specific promotion are two factors that helped Kerala emerge as the winner. Much of what Kerala Tourism has been able to achieve can be attributed to the innovative marketing strategy it has adopted.
The State, plans to frame a piece of legislation for bringing in stringent quality control in all tourism activities, has evolved a scheme by which Ayurveda centres and houseboats will be classified based on the quality of their facilities and services.
The State has signed MoUs with Indian Airlines (IA) and Indian Railways, towards this end. Emphasis is laid on sustainable tourism, especially since all the tourism products of Kerala are natural.
To provide a clear vision and direction for optimising the tourism potential of the State the Tourism Vision 2025 was outlined. The State also initiated the Tourism Research Study, which will be conducted by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) to examine the key economic contribution in the travel and tourism sector.