Kerala has been adjudged India’s Best Wellness Destination by the leading tourism magazine Outlook Traveller for the year 2020, in a robust validation of the state’s authentic Ayurveda and other traditional systems of holistic healing.
Mr P. K. Sooraj, Tourism Information Officer, received the award on behalf of Kerala Tourism from the former parliamentarian, columnist and author Mr Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda.
Kerala was also in the final round of awards for the best tourism state and the best wedding destination. The other tourist attractions of the state that made it to the final round were Jatayu Earth Centre, the world’s largest bird sculpture, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (both in the category of Best Tourist Attraction), Niramaya Retreats Cardamom Club, Thekkady (Best Hill Resort) and Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom (Best Heritage Hotel).
The award winners who were asked about the favourite destination by the host replied Kerala as their favourite destination, which also was welcome recognition for Kerala at the event.
“Ayurveda has always been the USP of Kerala Tourism, bringing in tourists from all parts of the globe. In addition, the state provides a range of other relaxing therapies that rejuvenate people who are tired of monotonous city life,”said Mr Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Tourism. “The Outlook Traveller Award is a huge recognition that will further bolster the state’s reputation as a destination for holistic healing.”
Kochi has bagged the top spot in the list of ‘Trending Destination’ in the world by Tripadvisor, pushing behind cities in countries such as Thailand, Morocco, Russia, Portugal and Austria, and has been ranked first among 25 other destinations in the world. The online travel company Tripadvisor noted: “These incredible spots (that travellers love) saw the biggest spikes in top reviews and ratings last year.”
The list was announced as part of Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best Award. “Look for spicy dishes flavoured with tamarind and coconut in Kochi, and don’t be surprised if your dinner is served up on a banana leaf. The region is a major banana-growing area, and traditional Kochi cuisine employs the fruit in many dishes, both sweet and savoury,” Tripadvisor noted about Kochi in its website while announcing the winners. It has further listed ‘Kerala Kathakali Centre,’ ‘Chottanikkara Temple’ and ‘Kerala Folklore Museum,’ apart from suggesting 631 other things to do in Kochi. Interestingly, Kochi is the only destination in India to bag a spot on this list.
According to the company, the awards are given on the basis of reviews, ratings and “saves” that travellers share from around the world every year.