Top internatinal honours for 'Incredible India'

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New Delhi, Oct 2 (UNI) India received the coveted Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) 'Grand Award' for Marketing under the banner of a highly successful 'Incredible India'campaign at a special awards ceremony in Bali, Indonesia.

PATA, a recognised authority on travel and tourism in the Asia-Pacific region, also presented two Gold Awards for Cultural Tourism (Aranmula) and Marketing Brochure (Kumarkom) to Kerala Tourism.

Leveraging India's rich heritage of composite culture and intelligent use of traditional and interactive media like micro-sites and online contests targeted at the international visitor, the Incredible India campaign has helped drive double-digit growth rate of foreign visitors arrival into India.

''Excellent visuals and print material have been combined in a creative way to highlight the many little known reasons to visit India. And strong growth in visitor arrivals during the period proves that it has worked. This is a memorable, evocative, emotive campaign,'' the jury commented.

Accepting the Award, Mr S Banerjee, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, said, '' PATA's recognition of our efforts was a great honour and encourages the Indian tourism industry to promote India as a destination for all seasons.'' Initiatives are underway for development of tourism infrastructure and facilities in the country and the work on identified thrust areas has already been undertaken for enhancing the experience of the tourists, he said.

The Ministry of Tourism has undertaken a series of promotional and marketing activities during the year to position India nternationally as a destination of choice, Mr Banerjee added.

India is the host country for PATA Travel Mart being held in Hyderabad in September next year. At a glittering invitation reception hosted by the Ministry of Tourism for PATA dignitaries and delegates in Bali yesterday, Mr Banerjee highlighted the tourism preparedness of India for organising the Mart and invited members of the prestigious international body to visit India for a delightful experience.

While addressing the gathering, Mr Brian Deeson, Chairman of PATA said the enthusiasm for India was evident from the large turnout and the PATA members and the Board were looking forward to visit this most preferred tourism destination -- Incredible India.

A strong contingent from Andhra Pradesh led by Tourism Minister A Ramnarayan Reddy attended the PATA Travel Mart and the reception in which tourist destinations of Andhra Pradesh were showcased through a Kuchipudi dance recital by Ms Deepika Reddy and her students.

It was followed by a percussion music item showcasing musical traditions of various parts of the country by Rajeev Mahaveer and his ethnic fusion group.

UNI

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