Major tourism institutions from around the world have begun to offer their support to India ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
Despite sensationalist stories emanating from the build up to the opening ceremony in October, World Travel Awards has confirmed it will go ahead with its planned Asian & Australasia Gala Ceremony in Delhi on October 14th – offering a significant boost to regional industry.
This will be only the second time the event has visited India, with WTA founder Graham Cooke arguing global media coverage of the preparations for the Commonwealth Games has been wildly disproportionate.
“India maintains a fantastic, world-leading, tourism product,” he explained.
“Millions of visitors from around the world visit India each year to take in everything from the Taj Mahal to the beaches of Goa.
“The destination will grow to become one of the most important on the map over the next decade, despite misplaced perceptions over the Commonwealth Games.”
India has some of the most famous sights in the world
The Claridges Hotels & Resorts president, Peter Leitgeb, said: “As one of the fastest growing economies, India today is on the radar screen of everyone and a key player in the world economy. No one can afford to ignore it.”
“The business climate and the economy in India is very bullish, especially so the hospitality industry. The industry has enjoyed an amazing run in this part of the world in the last five years.”
“The country itself has so much to offer to a visitor. It is fascinating to see the amazing diversity of the country and its vibrant and colourful culture.”
The Claridges Hotels & Resorts will host the World Travel Awards ceremony on 14 October.
Chairman of Air India, Arvind Jadhav, told Breaking Travel News: “It is a matter of pride for Air India to be associated with the World Travel Awards India, Asia and Australasia, a very prestigious and sought after award in the global travel and tourism industry.”
“The Commonwealth Games-Delhi 2010, will no doubt unfurl into an outstanding sporting spectacle, the greatest that has ever been hosted in our country. Air India is proud to be associated as the Official Partner Airline to the Commonwealth Games-Delhi 2010. The hosting of the Games has created state-of-the-art infrastructure in New Delhi which will no doubt contribute to the city’s numerous historical and cultural facets, which are the delight of all visitors to the nation’s capital.”
“India is one of the favorite tourism destinations of the world, offering abundant choices to the most discerning traveler. Ranging from eco tourism, adventure sports, beaches, mountains, wildlife, spirituality, wellness, medical tourism etc., India has it all.”
“We look forward to welcoming the World Travel Awards Asia & Australasia Ceremony 2010, to India, at Surajkund, Delhi, India,” he added.
The beaches of Goa are among the most popular destinations in India
A continent in its own right, visitors to India can spend months exploring without scratching the surface. And more are choosing to do so, according to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Tourism.
At the start of the decade India attracted a total of 2.6 million guests, but this has subsequently doubled to 5.2 million holidaymakers annually.
From the luxury hotels lining the seafront of Mumbai – including the newly reopened Taj Mahal Palace – to the bustling streets of New Delhi, guests have a wide array of destinations to enjoy when visiting, prompting many to return many times.
United States president Barack Obama is also set to show his support in the coming months, with rumours circulating he will stay at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, which was under siege during the 26/11 terror attack, during his maiden visit to India in November.
While India is exceptionally popular with travellers from Australia, Japan, United States and the United Kingdom, it attracts guests from around the world.
Many flood to the popular destinations of Madurai (the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Indian peninsula), Ellora or Goa, but there are many more on offer, including the picturesque destination of Pushkar in the north of the country.
India, then, will survive the current uncertainty and appears likely to bolster its position on the world stage.