Agra's Amarvials declared best 5 star deluxe hotel

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New Delhi, Feb 27 (UNI) The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra was declared the best 5 Star Deluxe hotel while Sanjeev Kapoor was the proud recipient of the 'Chef of the Year Award' at the National Tourism Awards, which were announced and presented here today.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee presented the annual awards in a total of 57 categories, including best state for infrastructure development, best rural tourism project and best eco-friendly hotel and resorts.

Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh was declared the best maintained tourist friendly monument whiel Pench Tiger Reserve, Seoni (also in Madhya Pradesh), was the winner for the best maintained tourist friendly park'wildlife sanctuary.

Indian Railway Tourism Developmwent Corporation's website -- www.railtourismindia.com -- received the top award for most innovative use of IT/portal promoting tourism.

The Best Lady Chef of the Year went to Manisha Bhasin.

In the category of classified hotels, Taj Residency, Bangalore; Gateway Hotel, Bangalore; and the Brunton Boatyard, Fort Cochin, were adjudged best 5 star, 4 star and 3 star hotels.

Resort Marinha Dourada, Goa and Hotel Fifty-Fice, Delhi were declared the best in the category of 2 star and 1 star hotels while Fateh Prakash Palace, Udaipur and the Malabar House, Fort Cochin were winners of the best 'Heritage Grand' and 'Heritage Classic'.

Among the other winners in the category of hotels were The Raj Palace, Jaipur (Heritage), The Taj Westend, Bangalore (best eco-friendly hotel and resorts), Hyderabad International Convention Centre (best convention centre), and ITC Maurya, Delhi received a special prize in the category of best eco-friendly hotel and resorts.

Andhra Pradesh was awarded the prize for being the best state for infrastructure development while Madhya Pradesh and Sikkim were joint winners for being the best states in producing tourism related programmes.

The best Rural Tourism Project went to Chettinad (Karaikudi) in Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu.

In the category of travel agents and tour operators (with forex earnings over Rs 25 crore), the first top three prizes went to Le Passage to India, Kuoni Travels (India) Pvt Ltd and Travel Corporation (India) Pvt Ltd, Mumbai.

Southern Travels Pvt Ltd and Panicker's Travels (both based in New Delhi) received the top two awards in the category of Tour Operator, respectively.

Reiner Sahm of Germany received the award for the best foreign photographer for India and Ad Van Schaik of the Netherlands the best foreign journalist for India.

'Dholavira -- A Futuristic Metropolis of the Past', produced by Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited, bagged the best film for creative contributions in marketing tourism products and 'Outlook Traveller Getaways - 101 Pilgrimages' got the award for excellence in publishing.

UNI SKS LS RAI2042

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