NATIONAL

Tourism awards presented

NEW DELHI JAN. 25. The Union Minister for Tourism and Culture, Jagmohan, yesterday urged the tourism industry to take advantage of the various initiatives taken by the Government to improve tourism in the country.

Addressing the National Tourism Awards function here, he said the industry should try to project a better image of Indian tourism by improving the quality of hospitality services.

In all, 42 awards were presented in various categories with the award for Best Tourism Performing State going to Andhra Pradesh.

The State also bagged the Best Tourism Friendly City Award for Hyderabad, More Innovative and Unique Tourism Projects Award for Belum Caves, Best Maintained Tourism Friendly Monument Award for Golkonda Fort, the Most Effective Use of Information and Technology Award, and the award for Best Tourism Poster.

While Cochin International Airport was adjudged the Best Tourism Airport, Sikkim was declared the Best Performing State in the North-East and Goa received the award for Best Audio-Video Presentation.

Besides these States, several key players in the tourism industry, including Stic Travels bagged awards.

And, a special award was given posthumously to Raja Patil of Raja Rani Travel, Mumbai, for his efforts to promote tourism in Kashmir by taking 9,154 tourists to the strife-torn State between 1994 and 2002.