State receives coveted award after garnering highest votes in the prestigious travel magazine poll
Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 2: Spectacular Kerala, with its rich culture, lush vistas, healing Ayurveda therapies and delicious cuisine, has taken the top prize as India’s best destination for leisure at the Conde Nast Traveller readers’ awards 2016.
‘God’s Own Country’ was voted the ‘Favourite Indian Leisure Destination’ this year by readers who responded to a survey conducted by the international travel magazine.
This is the third in the series of popularity awards that Kerala has received in the recent past, with Lonely Planet citing it as the best family destination in India and Travel + Leisure magazine listing it as a top honeymooners’ destination.
Kerala Tourism Deputy Director Shri K. Radhakrishnan accepted the travel award at a glittering ceremony held at The Lodhi hotel in New Delhi on Thursday, December 1, hosted by actress Aditi Rao Hydari and attended by Chief Guest Shri Vinod Zutshi, Union Tourism Secretary, among other important industry leaders, influencers and marquee names from travel, tourism and government bodies.
The annual awards, in their sixth year, honour the best in travel, tourism and hospitality with winners in various categories picked by readers of the magazine through a voting process spanning across two months.
“We are honoured to be recognised as a place to relax and rejuvenate by travellers to our state. Kerala is known for its natural beauty and the state’s historical connections with many other parts of the world have contributed to its popularity as a top destination for leisure,” Kerala Tourism Minister Shri Kadakampally Surendran said.
Kerala Principal Secretary (Tourism) Dr Venu V. said the award reaffirmed the state’s reputation for being a tourist’s paradise.
“Be it a stay on a houseboat on one of its numerous serene backwaters, relaxing on the pristine beaches, experiencing the bliss of village life, watching traditional arts performances or relishing its lip smacking cuisine, Kerala offers a perfect all-in-one leisure experience to travellers from near and far. The options for leisure travel in Kerala are limitless,” Dr Venu said.
Kerala, which had won the runner-up prize in the same category in 2015, shared the top honour with Goa this year.
Although Kerala’s main attractions remain the unspoilt beaches, the web of tangled backwaters crisscrossing the land and the dances and culture, the state is constantly evolving by popularising new attractions that offer the best in leisure.
“The award reflects the diversity of leisure-based offerings in Kerala today as well as the quality of their branding. Visitors looking to unwind here know they have an abundance of choices to pick from. The results of their positive experiences here have shown up through the state’s consistently strong showings at such prestigious tourism and travel awards,” said Shri U.V. Jose, Director, Kerala Tourism.
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