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Tourism award for Thankam Philip

By Our Staff Reporter


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, JAN. 19. Thankam E. Philip has been selected for the prestigious Col. G. V. Raja Award instituted by Kerala Tourism for lifetime achievement in tourism for her outstanding contributions to the tourism and hotel management sector and Kochi-based Kumar Taxies has been selected for the special award for tourist carrier for their contributions to the tourism sector for the last 75 years.

Announcing this along with the State awards for best performers in the travel and tourism industry during the year 2002-2003 at a press conference here today, the Tourism Minister, K. V. Thomas, said the five-member jury, headed by the former Additional Chief Secretary, Babu Paul, also lauded the contributions of Mrs. Philip for popularising Kerala cuisine outside the State and abroad.

The Father of the Nation, the late Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and almost all the Presidents and Prime Ministers of the country had travelled in the fleet of Kumar Taxies headed by K. K. Mohandas.

Mrs. Thankam, a Padmashree winner, was selected by a jury comprising Mr. Babu Paul, the Tourism Secretary, T. Balakrishnan, the Director, Alkesh Kumar Sharma, the vice-president of the Indian Hotels, T. Damu, and the president of the Kerala chapter of the Travel Association of India, K. C. Chandrahasan.

The Tourism Minister said the Travel Corporation of India, Ravipuram, was selected for the State tourism award for the best tour operator/travel agent that handled the maximum number of tourists and the award for earning the maximum amount of foreign exchange in Kerala. The Great India Tour Company, based in Thiruvananthapuram, was selected for the award for the best tour operator during the year 2002-2003.

In the hotel category, Prof. Thomas said Manaltheeram Ayurveda Beach Village, Chowara, has been selected for the best one-star hotel, The KTDC's Hotel Samudra, Kovalam (two-star), the Travancore Heritage, Chowara (best three-star) and Taj Garden Retreat, Varkala (best four-star), the Muthoot Plaza (best five-star hotel), Le Meridien, Kochi (best five-star deluxe hotel) and the Malabar House, Fort Kochi, for best heritage hotel.

The Nagarjuna Ayurvedic Centre, Kalady, has been selected for the award for the best Ayurvedic centre, G.K's River View Home Stay, Kumarakom, best home stay facility, Lake's and Lagoons tour company, Alappuzha, best houseboat operator, and KTDC's Motel Aram, Kannur, for the award for the best wayside amenity centre.

The Tourism Minister said Far Horizon Tours, New Delhi, has been selected for the special award for the best individual/agency that introduced innovative project in the tourism sector.

The award for introducing most eco-friendly tourism project was bagged by Coconut Lagoon, Heritage Resort, Kottayam, and the award for the best performing District Tourism Promotion Council was bagged by the DTPC, Wyanad.

Hans Jorg Hussong of Com Tour Communications and Tourism, Germany was selected for the award for the most Kerala-friendly overseas individual, the freelance writer from Alappuzha, Joby Cherian, the best tourism related article, and the Cochin Cultural Centre, Kochi was selected for the award for the best performing arts centre.

N. R.Anil Kumar, an autodriver from Kottayam, was selected for the award for the best tourist friendly auto/taxi driver, V. Balaram, Thiruvananthapuram (best tourist guide), Mannuel Immannuel, Kumily Police Station, Idukki (best tourist police), Darul Uloom VHSS, Ernakulam (best tourism club), V. Prasanth, NSS College, Ernakulam (best student coordinator of tourism club) and C. Pushpalatha, SSHSS, Kattukukke, Kasaragod was selected for the special award for best teacher coordinator of tourism club.

The jury for the State tourism awards was headed by Mr. Balakrishnan.

The Additional Secretaries of Expenditure, Finance, Planning and Economic Affairs were the members and Mr. Sharma was the member-cum-convener.

The awards would be presented by the Chief Minister, A. K. Antony, at a function to be held at 7 p.m. on January 21 at the Convention Centre of Hotel Mascot in the capital.

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