The best in Travel & Tourism with CNBC at Leela Palace

CNBC Awaaz and Karnataka Tourism honour the best in the Indian Travel & Tourism industry. Honorable Minister for Culture & Tourism, Ms. Kumari Selja felicitated the winners

It was an evening of entertainment, great food, good cheer and a lot of muscle from the Indian Hospitality and Travel and Tourism Industry. It was the CNBC AWAAZ awards, giving recognition the cream of Travel and Tourism in India, held at the Leela palace Hotel, on Thursday the 30th of July 2008.

Bangalore city walked away with the honors’ of being the Best Travel Destination City, (with traffic issues to boot) .Though Kingfisher in the midst of its delayed salary controversy, walked away with Best Airline awards, the King of Good Times Vijay Mallya was conspicuous by his absence. But Bangalore’s Leela Palace that played host to this mammoth event, did take a grand bow as the best Luxury Hotel in India.

Mr. Nair, the man behind the Leela Hotel spoke with us to share his delight at walking away with the award, receiving this award has been a thrilling experience, it brings recognition to, my hotel, my staff, and myself, and it is inspiring. We are a small hotel chain of seven hotels and we are trying to be the best. Last year the Oberoi chain got the award and this year it is us and it makes me proud."

CNBC AWAAZ, India’s No.1 business channel along with Karnataka Department of Tourism, supported by Incredible India, presented ‘Travel Awards 2009’ in the city yesterday. The ceremony was graced by the presence of Kumari Selja, Honourable Union Minister for Tourism and Culture who presided over the awards and felicitated the winners. Kumari Selja spoke about the trends in the travel and tourism sector and also extended her support to this initiative. CNBC AWAAZ ‘Travel Awards 2009’, a focused platform initiated in 2007 recognizes and honors the best in the Travel and Tourism sector.

Rajan Momin , Deputy head Maharashtra tourism on winning the best hill station award for Mahabaleshwar said, " Its an Honor for us and the state as a whole to receive this award. This award was given for the best hill destination, Mahabaleshwar. Till now there was no recognition for our work, thanks to CNBC, this is very encouraging."
Bijesh Sharma, Asst General manager, HP Tourism, on winning the award for the best travel destination State for Himachal Pradesh said, " It feels great to have received this award, and that to in a beautiful city like Bangalore. In Himachal this year we are concentrating on village tourism and home-stay kind of, tourism. The recession has not had much of an effect of tourism in Himachal."
Ananth Reddy, Head of foreign exchange, Thomas Cook , Karnataka.- "We are receiving this award for the second time in a row and that has made us proud. The recession has affected business, but it has also led us to venture into new alleys, volumes have fallen but new business is coming in."

The Indian Tourism Industry, though affected by the world economic slowdown, is back on its path to recovery with tourism revenues expected to rise by 47% from 2007 to 2017. India is expected to see an influx of 10 million international tourists by 2010, up from 5 million in 2007. The country’s share in global tourism is expected to reach 1.5% by 2010. With India hosting the Commonwealth Games 2010, the country is expected to see an upsurge in both domestic and inbound tourism. This level of promise and potential is brought to light the various service providers from the tourism industry who have, over the years, strategically grown their businesses and contributed to the country’s growing sector. CNBC Awaaz Travel Awards 2009 will felicitate such people and their organisations through various categories.

CNBC AWAAZ Travel Awards is divided into 41 award categories which include 28 research based categories, four categories decided by the jury panel and 9 citations.

Mr. Neel Chowdhury, VP-Marketing, CNBC TV18 & CNBC AWAAZ while commenting on the awards said, “This initiative is more than just an award. It is a comprehensive study to gauge the preference of today’s traveler while selecting the Best Destinations and Service Providers across various categories. In order to have relevant responses for each category, consumer choice is verified against trade opinions. The travel & tourism Industry contributes significantly to the Indian GDP, making it a great opportunity for newer players to venture which in turn would lead to increase in competition. In such a scenario, CNBC AWAAZ Travel Awards sets a benchmark for the Industry by recognizing and honoring the best.”

The CNBC AWAAZ Travel Awards brought together many renowned dignitaries from the Travel & Hospitality sector to witness one of most spectacular events for the industry. The guests present for the occasion included Janardhanan Reddy – Minister of Tourism, Karnataka, Surjit Banerjee – Secretary of Tourism and other dignitaries from the Travel and Tourism industry.

The winners in each category for the ‘CNBC AWAAZ Travel Awards 2009’ are:
Category Winners
Best tourism income generating project Samode (Rajasthan)
Site with best eco-tourism practices Eagle’s Nest Wildlife Sanctuary (Distt. West Kameng, Arunachal Pradesh)
Best NGO engaged in sustainable tourism Help Tourism
Best example of community based tourism Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu
Tourism site best demonstrating women’s empowerment Nepura Village, Bihar
First Generation Entrepreneur in the Budget category Sayaji Hotels Ltd., Indore
Special Commendation for Redefining Indian Railways Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation Limited
Jury Award Categories
Best Medical Value Tourism Apollo Hospital
Indian Holistic Health Resort Kalari Kovilakom
Best Low Cost Carrier Indigo Airlines
Trade Categories
Best Forex Company Thomas Cook
Best Luxury Train Palace on Wheels
Best Heritage hotel Clarke's Hotel ,Shimla
Best Travel Destination Kerala
Best International Tourism Board Singapore
Award Categories
Best Business hotel ITC Grand Central, Mumbai
Best Lifestyle hotel Grand Hyatt , Mumbai
Best Resort For Health And Rejuvenation Taj Exotica, Goa
Best Budget Hotel Ginger Hotel
Best Domestic Airline - Economy Class Kingfisher Airlines
Best Domestic Airline - Business Class Kingfisher Airlines
Best International Airline Lufthansa
Best Managed Airport The Mumbai Airport
Most Preferred Travel Portal
Most Preferred Tour Operator Thomas Cook
Best Managed Historical Monument Taj Mahal
Best Weekend Getaway North Agra
East Digha
West Mahabaleshwar
South Mysore
Best International Destination Singapore
Best Religious Destination Tirupati
Best Mountain /Hill destination Shimla
Best Beach destination Goa
Best WildLife Destination Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary (Tamil Nadu)
Best State Tourism  Board Kerala
Best Travel Destination - City Bangalore
Best Travel Destination - State Himachal Pradesh
Special Commendation for Revitalizing Tourism Jammu and Kashmir
Special Commendation for Bravery in the Face of Terror Karambir Kang and the Staff of The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower
Lifetime Achievement in The Travel & Tourism Industry Capt. C.P. Krishnan Nair

CNBC AWAAZ is India's No. 1 Business channel. The channel reaches out to India's affluent Hindi speaking consumers and is a credible source for timely information on intelligent investing, saving, spending decisions, as well as the latest career opportunities. The CNBC AWAAZ editorial team brings with them more than 15 years of experience and a nation wide network spanning more than 45 cities. The reporting team is backed by a strong research set up, the first of its kind in India that specializes in research including consumer research, commodity markets, small business related information and stock markets.

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