New Delhi: India has been chosen to host World Tourism Day celebrations for the World Tourism Organisation of the United Nations (UNWTO), in 2019, said Tourism Minister K. Alphons.
This was announced at a function organised to present National Tourism Awards 2016-17 on World Tourism Day yesterday. While Andhra Pradesh bagged the first prize for promoting “Andhra Pradesh Tourism” as a global brand, Kerala came second for comprehensive development of tourism. Rajasthan and Goa shared the third spot.
The Taj Gateway Hotel in Chikkamagalur, Karnataka, won the best hotel award under the four-star hotel category. The Taj Gateway, which was opened in 1999, offers serenity, privacy and exquisitely restored colonial architecture.
A total of 77 awards were presented to the tourism industry stakeholders, State governments, Central agencies and individuals by the Union Tourism Minister.
Addressing the event, Alphons noted that India has made “great strides” in the field of tourism during the last four years of Modi government, saying that the sector has become “a major source” of employment and foreign exchange.
“The tourism sector needs to improve its hospitality services since it is the hospitality offered which is the distinguishing feature of India and gives it an edge over other countries,” the Minister said.