New Delhi, March 18: Andhra Pradesh, the home state of tourism minister K. Chiranjeevi, today swept the national tourism awards with seven major citations, including one for “comprehensive development of tourism”.
The tourism ministry gives away awards in nearly 60 categories annually.
“Andhra Pradesh has grown to become a popular tourist destination offering visitors a rich cultural feast. From legendary monuments to natural beauty; urban splendour to rural charm, the state has a diversity that few places could boast of,” the citation for comprehensive development of tourism reads.
The second and third prize in this category went to Rajasthan and Gujarat.
Both awards for best airport — in the “tier-I cities” and “rest of India” categories —went to Andhra Pradesh. The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport of Hyderabad was picked the “best airport” among the seven tier-1 cities. In the “rest of India” category, the award went to Visakhapatnam Airport, which is controlled by the Indian Navy.
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation was honoured for “best civic management of a tourist destination”.
The “best heritage city” award went to Warangal, which is located in the Telangana region.
Chiranjeevi, appointed tourism minister in October 2012, had never made his stand clear on Telangana. After having merged his Praja Rajyam Party with the Congress in 2011, he has been toeing the party’s line.
“Home to the famous thousand pillared temple, Warangal is yet another part of Andhra Pradesh that is rich in history. Located in the north east of Hyderabad in the Telangana region,” the citation reads.
Apollo Health City in Hyderabad was named the “best medical tourism facility”. This award was constituted in 2011. Sangeeta Reddy, the executive director of Apollo Hospital group, collected the award.
The last award in Andhra’s kitty was in the category of “best standalone convention centre” which went to the Hyderabad International Convention Centre.
The film on Gujarat tourism, Khushboo Gujarat Ki, which is much talked about because of actor Amitabh Bachchan’s presence, got the “award of excellence: best tourism film”.
The creative director for the campaign is Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and national creative director of Ogilvy & Mather.
Gujarat also won in the “most innovative use of information technology” award for its official website www.gujarattourism.com.