India voted 7th best holiday destination

06:53AM Wed 8 Sep, 2010

CHENNAI/BANGALORE: While preparations for the Commonwealth Games is causing severe embarrassment to the country, Brand India as a tourist destination is scaling new heights.

Globetrotters and tourists from around the world are warming up to the country's people and hospitality by voting India as the seventh-best destination in the world in the recent Conde Nast Readers' Travel Awards 2010, a head of countries like Thailand, Greece, Brazil and France. Last year, India stood at the 13th position.

According to the results, Turkey was adjudged the favourite holiday destination as people gave it top marks "for range of accommodation and that increasingly important component of any holiday: value for money", says the Conde Nast Traveller website.

Egypt, in second position, scored highest on culture, while Australia in third position was voted for having the best climate. Italy at fourth position and Spain in sixth position were voted for having great food and restaurant offerings, while New Zealand at number five scored highest on environmental friendliness.

India scored highest for the warmth of its people and hospitality with a score of 94.44 on 100. "In the first seven months of this year, inbound arrivals have gone up by about 10%. Besides, India attracts the long haul travelers who spend on an average of 15 days," said Karan Anand, head (relationship and supplier management), Cox & Kings. "New products like the Maharajas Express - the luxury train that is considered among the top ten trains in the world introduced early this year has added a new dimension to the tourism scene."

Three Indian luxury hotels were voted as the best 'Overseas Business Hotel' in the same awards. Taj West End, Bangalore, was rated the second-best overseas business hotel with an overall score of 93.22. The Leela Palace Kempinski, Bangalore, at fifth position had an overall score of 88.94 and was rated highest on having the best conference facilities. The Oberoi, New Delhi, stood tenth with an overall score of 84.81.

Swati Anand & Anshul Dhamija, TNN, Sep 8, 2010,