The ‘God’s Own Country’ has been voted the top travel and tourism destination in India by a poll conducted by the Outlook Traveller magazine. The results of the poll handed the ‘Favourite Indian State in Travel and Tourism’ award to Kerala at the Outlook Traveller Awards 2010 presented on Saturday night in New Delhi.
Kerala’s Tourism Secretary Dr Venu V received the award from Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit at a glittering ceremony at the Hotel Claridges attended by leaders of the country’s travel and tourism industry.
The awards were decided by a survey conducted by the reputed global consumer
research company Nielsen among the magazine’s readers. Readers were polled through the magazine and the Outlook Traveller website. “More than 4,000 readers took part in the survey and responded to an eight-page questionnaire to decide which is the best destination,” said Outlook Group editor-in-chief Vinod Mehta.
“The online and offline polls surprisingly agreed with each other, The winners are those our readers chose,” said Outlook Group publisher Maheshwer Peri.
The Outlook Traveller survey is an authoritative benchmark of consumer preferences in travel and tourism across 17 categories including hotels, airlines and holiday destinations. The awards were given away in all the 17 categories. Dr Venu said the award was an honour for Kerala. “Coming from a respected travel magazine, it’s an honour. I accept it on behalf of all the stakeholders, the private sector and the government of Kerala,” he said in the acceptance speech.
Kerala had to face the toughest competition in the entire 17 categories of awards. Compared to four choices for winners in categories like ‘Favourite Summer Destination’ (won by Himachal Pradesh) and ‘Favourite Winter Destination (won by Goa), the readers had to choose from the country’s 29 states to decide the ‘Favourite Indian State for Travel and Tourism’.
This is the fifth award for the state, which is famous for its breathtaking backwaters, pristine beaches, calm countryside and misty hills, in the last six months. In August last year, subscribers of the online travel portal SmartTravelAsia.com voted Kerala ahead of Phuket and Bali as Asia’s ‘best destination’. In September, the state was adjudged the ‘Most preferred destination’ in India at the CNBC Awaaz Awards 2010. Kerala Tourism also won the Best Tourism Board award at the CNBC Awaaz Awards 2010. Last week, Kerala Tourism won the award for the best international stand at FITUR, the second biggest tourism exhibition in the world, held in Madrid, Spain during January 19-23. Kerala was voted ‘One of the Ten Paradises in the World’ by the National Geographic Traveller in 2000.
Sheila Dikshit, who joked that she would collect the Outlook Traveller magazine copies henceforth for using “after retirement”, complimented the Indian travel and tourism industry for the strides it had made in the past few years. “The travel and tourism industry has become vibrant,” she said while congratulating the winners.
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