Actress Chitrangada Singh host the eighth edition of Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Award’s 2018

Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Award’s eighth edition saw many eminent industry leaders, influencers, and recognized names from the travel and tourism sector including government bodies. The 8th edition hosted by Chitrangada Singh took place at The Lodhi, New Delhi on 29th November 2018.

This year the Excellence Awards witnessed five winners, all of whom are striving to make India more inclusive today.The names included Padma Shri award winner and India’s celebrated contemporary dancer-choreographer Astad Deboo, Museum of Art’s Kiran Nadar, Lalit Suri Hospitality Group’s Keshav Suri, Patu Keswani of Lemon Tree Hotels and Indian celebrity chef and restaurateur Ritu Dalmia.

This year’s RTA showcased some interesting results: Kashmir and Gujarat are high up on the evolved Indian traveller’s wish list, while Goa continues to remain the Favourite for leisure, third time in a row. Internationally, readers are most keen to visit Santorini and Iceland. Among airlines, while Vistara was announced the winner of Favourite Domestic Airline, Etihad Airways bagged the title of Favourite International Airline for the third time in a row.

Boutique hotels like The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa, Gulmarg and Samode Haveli in Jaipur were also honored, along with properties such as the Leela Palace New Delhi and the iconic The Oberoi, Mumbai.Brand new hotels like the JW Marriott Jaipur Resort & Spa, The Park Baga River Goa, and Weligama Bay Marriott Resort & Spa Were also recognised by readers. In terms of food, New Delhi emerged as the clear winner, with Indian Accent and The China Kitchen at the top of the list. With the wedding season setting pace, readers voted for Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur and Grand Hyatt, Goa as the Favourite destination wedding hotels in India.

The ceremony saw several eminent personalities from the industry like Satyajeet Rajan, Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India; Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India; Vijay Kumar Gautam, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra; Isidora Petropoulou, First Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Greece; Kristin Eva Sigurdardottir, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Iceland; His Excellency, Gautam Mukhopadhyay, former Ambassador of India to Syria, Afghanistan and Myanmar; Her Excellency, and Nengcha Lhouvum, former Ambassador of India to Lebanon and Indonesia; amongst others who showed up to celebrate the best in business.

Divia Thani, Editor, Condé Nast Traveller India said, “Year after year, we have seen the participation and enthusiasm of our Condé Nast Traveller readers’ voter base increase significantly. Our readers form India’s most discerning travellers, the kind that set the travel trends. The Readers’ Travel Awards are a barometer of what the discerning, affluent Indian traveller looks for and appreciates when he or she travels. It also puts into perspective what tourism boards, hotels, airlines and other travel companies should focus on to attract this audience and helps them identify and cater to new trends. For us at Condé Nast Traveller India, it is an honour to announce the results and felicitate the winners in the presence of the creme de la creme of the travel and hospitality industry.”

The annual Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards has set the benchmarks in the hospitality and travel industry year on year, since its inception in 1989 in the United States of America.

The glittering ceremony witnessed Ritu Dalmia being felicitated as the first Excellence Awardee for the evening. The award-winning chef bagged this honour for championing the initiative of equal rights for India’s LGBTQ community and received this honour from Vir Sanghvi. Renowned author, columnist and journalist Madhu Trehan introduced Padma Shri Astad Deboo, who was felicitated with the Excellence Award for five decades of his contribution to contemporary dance and for his pioneering work with the differently abled.

The Condé Nast Traveller and Forest Essentials Excellence Award went to Kiran Nadar for increasing visibility of Indian modern and contemporary art worldwide. Nadar received this honour from Tarana Sawhney, Chairperson of the CII Task Force on Art & Culture.

Hotelier Keshav Suri was also lauded for his efforts of championing equal rights for India’s LGBTQ community. Having taken upon the cause to build an inclusive nation, Keshav Suri is all set to launch the Keshav Suri Foundation.Satyajeet Rajan, Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India felicitated Patu Keswani for championing employment opportunities for the disadvantaged and differently abled. Presently, 20% of the employees at Keswani’s Lemon Tree Hotels are from the disadvantaged segment of the population.

The Readers’ Travel Awards are chosen through a readers’ voting process spanning two months, without any nominations for the award categories.Considered indicative of what discerning travellers really want and enjoy, RTA recognized the best in the travel and hospitality industry across hotels, destinations, airlines, spas, websites, apps, cruise lines, and more. The event was held in association with Forest Essentials and was supported by The Glenlivet.

The Readers’ Travel Award 2018 winners will be featured in Condé Nast Traveller India’s milestone 50th, December 2018— January 2019issue.To read more about the awards,please log on to http://www.cntraveller.in/ or follow #ReadersTravelAwards on Condé Nast Traveller’s handles on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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