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The Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy, inaugurating the tourism award distribution ceremony in Thiruvananthapuram. — S. Gopakumar
The Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy, inaugurating the tourism award distribution ceremony in Thiruvananthapuram. — S. Gopakumar

The Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy, has said that the Emerging Kerala event would showcase State’s staple products and destinations.

Scheduled to begin on September 12, the three-day event would be a boost to the tourism sector in the State, he said.

Presenting the Kerala State Tourism Awards 2010-11 here on Thursday, the Chief Minister said the tourism potential was high but largely untapped.

The state government has been taking steps to improve infrastructure in the tourism sector in an organised and systematic manner.

According to Minister for Tourism, A. P. Anil Kumar, who presided over the function, the plan funds for the tourism sector had gone up to Rs 180 crore.

He sought the co-operation of all stake-holders in increasing tourist arrivals. Later, the Chief Minister gave away 22 awards for excellence in the tourism sector.

The award for the best inbound tour operator went to Intersight Tours and Travels. The rest of the award winners were: Best outbound tour operator - The Great India Tour Company; Best heritage hotel - Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom.

Best five-star deluxe hotel - Le Meridian Resort and Convention Centre, Kochi; best five-star hotel - The Gateway Hotel, Marine Drive, Kochi; best four-star hotel - Vivanta By Taj, Kumarakom.

Best three-star Hotel - The Marari Beach, Mararikulam; best approved and classified ayurvedic centre - Somatheeram Ayurvedic Beach Resort, Kovalam; best approved and classified houseboat operator - Rainbow Cruises.

Best approved and classified homestay - Anavilasom Luxury Plantation House, Kumily; best tourism destination - Wonderla Holidays, Kochi; and Best Hotel Manager - Mervin Issac, General Manager, The Malabar House.

Suman Billa, secretary to government, tourism, welcomed the gathering. Vijayan Thomas, chairman, Kerala Tourism Development Corporation; Rain George, director of tourism; and E. M. Najeeb of the Confederation of Tourism Industry, Kerala, spoke on the occasion.

vinson.kurian@

thehindu.co.in

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 11, 2012)
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