Madhya Pradesh was adjudged the best state for comprehensive development of tourism, followed by Gujarat and Karnataka respectively, at the National Tourism Awards for the year 2014-2015.
The Ministry of Tourism annually presents National Tourism Award to various segments of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry.
While Rajasthan’s Sawai Madhopur railway station received the Best Tourist Friendly railway station award, Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport got the Best Airport award.
Telangana’s Warangal received the best heritage city award.
Monuments of Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh were declared the best maintained and disable-friendly monument.
Among the hotels, Taj Exotica, Salcette, Goa was conferred the best hotel award under the five star deluxe category. Best heritage hotel awards in three different categories were given to Fateh Prakash Palace in Udaipur, Coconut Lagoon at Kumarakom in Kottayam and Gajner Palace in Bikaner.
The Lalit in New Delhi received an award under the category of hotel providing best facilities for the differently-abled guests.
Apart from these, there were also awards for tour operators, bed and breakfast establishments, tourism promotion and publicity, best chefs, et al.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan was the Chief Guest and Union Minister for Tourism Mahesh Sharma presided over the event.
Addressing the gathering Sharma said, “We attract less than one per cent of tourists globally. Prime Minister’s dream is to turn tourism industry into a strong pillar for employment generation and foreign exchange earnings…
“By 2020 we aim to attract one per cent tourists and by 2025 we should get two per cent of tourists globally.”
The Foreign Tourist Arrivals in India during the period January-June 2016 has witnessed a growth of 8.9 per cent with 41.86 lakh tourists as compared to January-June 2015.
The Foreign Exchange Earnings from tourism during January-June 2016 has also increased by 14.1 per cent at Rs 73,065 crore during the same period last year.