October 9, 2019
Andaman Holidays, a leading destination management and yacht agency in the Andamans, has bagged the prestigious National Tourism Award 2017-18 for organising India's first ever yacht carnival – Sail the Andamans – in 2018 and 2019 at Andaman Islands. The Award recognizes the the Andaman Yacht Carnival as the most innovative and unique tourism product.
Andaman Holidays bags National Tourism Award for Organising India’s First Ever Yacht Carnival
Mrs. Sushma Rathnam, Director of Andaman Holidays
Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, the Secretary-General, United Nations World Tourism Organization
Mr. Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism & Culture, Government of India
Mr. Rathnam, Founder and CEO of Andaman Holidays
The carnival was organized with the support of Ministry of Tourism – Government of India, Andaman & Nicobar Administration, Directorate of Tourism, Port Management Board and the Andaman Chamber of Commerce and Industries with a vision to make Andamans as a prominent yachting destination in the Asia Pacific region.
The award was presented by Mr. Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism & Culture, Government of India, in the presence of Mr. Venkaiah Naidu, the Vice President of India, and Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, the Secretary-General, United Nations World Tourism Organization, at the World Tourism Day 2019 function organised by the Ministry of Tourism on September 27 at New Delhi.
Commenting about the carnival, Mr. Rathnam of Andaman Islands, said that yacht carnival was a breakthrough in the tourism in the islands. "The first edition of the event itself attracted 13 yachts and 27 guests. Going forward, we feel that the outreach initiatives like the yacht carnival can attract a lot of yachts that sail the southeast Asian seas, whose owners and captains that are constantly on the lookout for newer, more exciting destinations."
He further said every docking yacht brings the top dollars in exchange of several on-board and off-board services and support. The yacht tourism also facilitates immersive tourism as the guests sail to off-beat islands, undertake village tours, and itinerary-free travels. These would create a number of self-supporting livelihood opportunities for the local population in the far-flung parts across the islands.
The carnival would contribute to the growth of the cruise tourism in the islands, and as the majority of the yachters are avid travelers, it can also give a solid boost to tourism in the Indian subcontinent.
Mr. Rathnam said that yacht tourism is one of the most sustainable of the travel and tourism categories. “As all of the tourists who come on yacht are adequately exposed to sailing and visiting the highly bio-diverse marine ecosystems across the world, it becomes easier for us to achieve responsible tourism objectives like conservation of corals, controlled fuel spillage into the sea.”
The Andamans Islands has a huge potential to become an international yacht destination, provided the government invests in creating an internationally matching yacht-friendly infrastructure in the islands.