BANGALORE and DELHI - HolidayIQ, an indian online travel community and holiday planning website, announced the best in Indian travel and tourism at the Better Holiday Awards - 2017on 11th May, 2017. These annual tourism awards have been established to celebrate the sheer beauty in diversity that India offers and equally importantly acknowledges the role of the Indian traveller that is driving Indian tourism like never before.
The award ceremony was attended by a host of dignitaries including Dr. Jitendra Singh, Hon'ble Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region; Mr. Arun Nanda, Chairman & Founder, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd.; Mr. Priyank Kharge, the Hon'ble Minister of State (Independent Charge) Tourism and Information Technology, Government of Karnataka, and Mr. Umang Bedi, Managing Director, Facebook (India & South Asia).
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Hari Nair, Founder & CEO, HolidayIQ said, "The Better Holiday Awards are the most credible awards in Indian tourism simply because they represent the authentic voice of the Indian traveller. All the winners are chosen purely on the basis of Ratings & Reviews shared by the millions of Indian travellers on the HolidayIQ.com platform. The Better Holiday Awards are an acknowledgement of the best in Indian tourism products and services; the winners being those who have been able to not just meet but exceed the expectations of a very large number of Indian travellers."
Mr. Nair added, "The Indian traveller today is not just discovering India more than ever before, but is also sharing detailed advice through text and video reviews - using technology to enable fellow travellers to have better holidays. We are happy to be part of this journey where a whole new identity and community is in the making - 'The Indian Traveller' is both a badge of pride and a movement to help others discover the best in India."
Speaking on the occasion, guest of honour Dr. Jitendra Singh, Hon'ble Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Prime Minister's Office and North Eastern Region spoke on the immense potential of North East India with respect to tourism. He highlighted how platforms like HolidayIQ are key to people from across India discovering new destinations, specially the North East and thus inspire Indian citizens to travel. Dr. Singh gave out the top awards at the event and congratulated the winners.
While speaking on the occasion about disruptive practices that impact tourism growth, guest of honour Mr. Priyank Kharge, Hon'ble Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism and Information Technology, Government of Karnataka emphasised how critical it was to keep a direct ear to the ground with respect to travellers' feedback, experiences and reviews which is why platforms like HolidayIQ were important for policy makers to engage with.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Arun Nanda, Chairman and Founder, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. said, "I am delighted to receive this award as it is a tribute to our team that has continuously created 'magical moments' for over 211,000 member families who holiday at our 46+ resorts. I congratulate the HolidayIQ team for creating such a wonderful platform which helps vacationers in making informed travel choices based on experience sharing."
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Venu V, IAS Principal Secretary, Kerala Tourism said, "It is an honour to receive an award which recognises the efforts of the tourism department. This award reiterates the popularity of the state tourism as it was chosen by over 15 crore Indian travellers. Kerala Tourism department is always keen in implementing new and innovative ideas and projects for the growth of Kerala as the best destination. Prestigious awards like these are an inspiration to raise the benchmark in taking up new initiatives, which will further enhance our projects to provide best-in-class experience in the future as well."
"I'm excited to learn that Alleppey, the evergreen backwater destination of Kerala, continues to be the favourite among the travellers and tour operators. Getting an award for another individual feature of the state in itself shows how versatile our state is as a tourist destination. And I'm so overwhelmed by the fact that Kerala is gaining popularity and is preferred by people all over," commented Shri. Kadakampalli Surendran, Minister for Tourism, Government of Kerala.
A key highlight of the evening was a Knowledge Seminar jointly presented by Facebook's Managing Director (India & South Asia) Umang Bedi and HolidayIQ Founder, CEO Hari Nair. The presentation brought to fore the importance of mobile in the travel planning lifecycle and how it has impacted the path to purchase for travellers. Attendees found it a very informative session with deep insights that would help them plan their own user engagement strategies. Facebook also set-up a booth with Oculus Virtual Reality headsets that had attendees queue up to enjoy the unique experience provided by these headsets.
The HolidayIQ - 'Better Holiday Awards' have multiple categories that include the old and the new, an indication of changing travel trends. Resorts find their place along with new age Hotel Networks. In addition, the Better Holiday Awards recognise the best Indian tourism services in airlines, airports, bus operators and railway stations making this the most comprehensive tourism awards for India.
The awards are critical at a time when India seeks its place on the global tourism map. Increased domestic tourism indicates a higher level of trust and acceptance of what Indian travel and tourism has to offer. For travellers, it is a wonderful opportunity to set new expectation benchmarks for service standards, be it in the hotels they stay at or the destinations that they visit and recommend. Tourism businesses will have to exceed these expectations if they are to cater to a population that is aware, discerning and most importantly not hesitant to share feedback.
For an Indian that is increasingly focusing on work-life balance, reviews enable them to holiday better by giving them a range of options and trusted reviews to make a better choice and enjoy their holidays.
Over twelve million travellers logging in every month through the site and the app make HolidayIQ India's largest travel community. The platform places great emphasis on innovation, differentiates itself with frequently-held offline traveller community meets and has global firsts like video reviews. HolidayIQ's traveller reviews and content now reach millions of additional Indians by powering many third-party websites and apps including MakeMyTrip, JustDial, trivago, MSN and Daily Hunt.
Photo caption (left to right): Mr. Hari Nair, Founder & CEO, HolidayIQ ,Dr. Jitendra Singh, Hon'ble Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region and Mr. Priyank Kharge, the Hon'ble Minister of State (Independent Charge) Tourism & Information Technology, Government of Karnataka