The Ministry of Tourism, in collaboration with the state government of Andhra Pradesh, hosted the 25th Joint Meeting of the United Nation's World Tourism Organisation's Commissions for East Asia & Pacific and South Asia and the UNWTO Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development in Hyderabad during Apr 12-14.
The inaugural function was attended by about 100 international delegates from 24 member countries, stakeholders from the travel and hospitality industry, senior officials from the central and state governments and representatives from the media.
Union Tourism Minister K. Chiranjeevi inaugurated this United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Conference on sustainable tourism development in Hyderabad. The releasing of the balloon garland was lead by the special guest of the campaign H.E. Mr. N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, India and the installation of the giant balloon was done by the chief guest of the campaign H.E. Dr. K. Chiranjeevi, Minister of State for Tourism, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. It was also installed as the sign of UNWTO’s recognition of the lake as the Heart of the World.
Speaking on the occasion, Chiranjeevi said that in the coming years, the Asia and Pacific regions with their vast range of destinations and products can achieve higher growth in tourism by developing synergy to promote tourism products and destinations jointly.
The Tourism Minister said India is one of the first countries to have developed guidelines for sustainable tourism and guidelines for hotel classification encouraged the industry to adopt eco-friendly practices.
Speaking as the Chief Guest, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy mentioned that the city of Hyderabad is now a host to a number of leading conferences and said "The goal is to attract tourists to visit the city again."
He mentioned that travel is now for business and leisure and the world is becoming a global village. He hoped that the discussions in this city of pearls and Nizami culture and heritage will benefit the tourism sector.
Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of UNWTO in his opening address referred to Hyderabad as the city of smiles. He mentioned that 2012 was a historical year which saw 1035 million people crossing international borders.
This year, Dr. K. Chiranjeevi, Minister of State with Independent Charge for Tourism, Government of India announced the National Tourism Awards for 2011-2012. The National Tourism Awards was held in New Delhi on 18th March 2013. The Chief Guest Pranab Mukherjee, President of India, presented the awards in various categories.
In this Pretigious Event, Andhra Pradesh has bagged Awards in seven major categories, including the Best State for Comprehensive Development
of Tourism which is considered to be the highest award in the Industry of Tourism in India.
The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad, Hyderabad was awarded the "Best Airport" among the seven Tier-1 cities. In the Tier-2 category (Rest of India), the "Best Airport" award was given to Visakhapatnam Airport.
The Prestigious Award for "Best Heritage City" was given to Warangal. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation was honoured for "Best Civic Management of a tourist destination". Apollo Health City in Hyderabad was named the “Best Medical Tourism Facility” and the International Convention Centre at Hyderabad won in the category of “Best Standalone Convention Centre".
Speaking on the occasion, President of India, Pranab Mukherjee appluaded the efforts of Tourism Industry in the Country and said that the industry had commendably expanded its operations and range of offerings as the number of foreign tourists to India crossed 6.65 million last year. This denotes a growth of 5.4 per cent in such arrivals over the previous year. Foreign exchange earnings in this segment of our economy are estimated to be about Rs 94,500 crore for 2013 - A significant 21.8 per cent increase over the previous year.
National Tourism Awards – 2011 – 2012
An Interview with Union Minister of Tourism Sri. Chiranjeevi, who attended the International Travel Exhibition in Fitur, Spain as published in The Hindu: