Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: Vice-President M. Hamid Ansari on Wednesday handed over the National Tourism Award to Rajasthan for the best tourism-related programmes. Rajasthan Tourism Minister Beena Kak received the award at a function held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, in the evening. The Award contains a trophy and a certificate.

On the occasion, Samode Haveli near Jaipur received the award in Heritage Category and Fateh Prakash Palace, Udaipur, in Heritage Grand category. The ethnic resort near Jaipur, Chokhi Dhani, was awarded the ‘Most Innovative Tourism Project” prize.

The Taj Hari Mahal Hotel of Jodhpur was felicitated for providing the best facilities for the “differently-abled guests”. Alwar Tourist Transport Service was given first prize in the category of generating more foreign exchange earnings.

Union Tourism Minister Kumari Selja and Minister of State for Tourism Sultan Ahmed were present. Rajasthan's Principal Secretary and Commissioner (Tourism) Usha Sharma also attended the function.

79 awards presented

A total of 79 awards were given away to various States and Union Territories during the function. The awards were also for the best performing hotels in various star categories, best heritage hotels and best tour operators and travel agents according to their foreign exchange earnings.

Also awarded were prizes for excellence in tourism publication, tourism film and various other categories of tourism promotion.