National Tourism Awards announced
New Delhi, Mar 12 : Andhra Pradesh has bagged the Best State Award for comprehensive development of tourism in the rest of India category of National Tourism Award 2011-12.
The Best Heritage City Award has gone to Warangal (AP).
Amritsar Heritage Walk and Delhi Heritage Walk have been declared joint winner of the Best Heritage Walk Award.
Announcing these awards in New Delhi on Tuesday, Union Tourism Minister Chiranjeevi said every year the categories of awards are reviewed with new categories being added to recognize excellence in diverse fields, in accordance with the requirements of changing times.
He said it is an ongoing endeavour of the Ministry to diversify the tourism products of the country by developing and promoting new niche segments, so as to attract different categories of tourists with diverse interests and to promote India as a year - round destination.
In keeping with this thrust of the Ministry, new categories of awards for "Medical Tourism Facilities" and for "Tour Operators Promoting Niche segments" had been introduced in 2011.
The Tourism Minister said in an attempt to encourage States and Union Territories to adopt effective mechanisms for maintaining cleanliness at tourist destinations, a new Category of award for "Best State: Campaign Clean India" was introduced in 2012.
New categories of awards for "Best Heritage City" and "Best Heritage Walk" were also introduced in 2012.
He said recognising the importance of Cinema as a powerful tool for the development and promotion of the destinations, the Ministry has instituted a National Tourism Award for "Best Tourism Film".
Chiranjeevi said the Tourism Ministry has also announced special National Tourism Awards for Yann Martel, author of the Book "Life of Pi", for promoting India (Puducherry and Munnar) through the film.
The Ministry of Tourism, annually presents National Tourism Awards to various segments of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry.
These awards are being given since the early 1990s and are presented to State Governments/Union Territories, classified hotels, heritage hotels, approved travel agents, tour operators and tourist transport operators, individuals and other private organizations in recognition of their performance in their respective fields and also to encourage healthy competition with an aim to promote tourism.
The National Tourism Awards for the year 2011-12 will be given away at a function to be held at New Delhi on Mar 18.
President Pranab Mukherjee will grace the occasion as Chief Guest and give away the awards in various categories.