Mr. Praveen Shetty, Chairman – Fortune Group of Hotels, UAE wins the Tourism Ambassador (Overseas) Award at South India Travel Awards, held in Vishakhapatnam, India

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Nominated in the second edition of the South India Travel Awards 2015, Mr. Praveen Shetty, Chairman – Fortune Group of Hotels, UAE won the trophy for Tourism Ambassador (Overseas) on Thursday – April 16, 2015. The highest accolade in travel and tourism in the country, the awards hail as ‘the Oscars of the travel industry’ for identifying and rewarding excellence.

This ceremony rewards the work of those involved in the travel and tourism industry worldwide in the Indian market in the sectors of aviation, promoting tourism, hospitality, travel and technology.

The South India Travel Awards organized by DDP Publications (TravTalk) presented some forty trophies, called “Maya,” to the winners of the different categories competing for the occasion. Mr. Praveen Shetty, received the Purple Maya prize, only 2 of such kind have ever been presented. This distinction rewards his company’s efforts in promoting the South Indian Culture in Middle East.

Like all winners of the South India Travel Awards 2015, Mr. Praveen Shetty was awarded by a jury of leading names in the travel industry in India, in a process of fair and impartial selection, these awards are based on a unique system of jury judgment and voting.

The awards were presented by the Minister of Human Resources Development, Andhra Pradesh and the Principal Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, Andhra Pradesh and Miss Vishakhapatnam during the official ceremony held at the Novotel Visakhapatnam, Varun Beach in Andhra Pradesh in South India. The event was a formal Black-Tie ceremony that was glitzy, glamorous and graced by the who’s who of the travel industry.

Thanking the jury, Mr. Shetty gave a very inspiring speech which was hugely applauded by the audience. Excerpts from his speech is mentioned below.

These awards are supported by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and esteemed trade bodies viz TAAI, IATO, WTTCII, PATA, FHRAI, ADTOI, ATOAI and OTOAI to name a few.

Mr. Praveen Shetty`s Speech on receipt of Tourism Ambassador (Overseas) Award at South India Travel Awards, held in Vishakhapatnam, India


This is a bollywood song but an eternal truth of my life :
Mera joota hai japani, Yeh patloon englistani..
Sir par lal topi russi..Fir bhi ‎dil hai hindustani!

India hasn’t been my Karam-bhumi (my work place) but it’s my Janambhumi (my birth place) I may have been away from my Janambhumi for many years but I am happy that I have been thoroughly connected to our roots. Whatever food we eat, whatever language we speak, wherever in the world we are, there’s ‎one thing that binds us, and I am sure we will all agree to that – our heart beats and bleeds for our motherland “India”. Be it a cricket match or raising voices against a social issue, we always stand up united.

Being a Kannadiga, I am a proud South Indian. I can proudly say that I have been successful in making an organization based on our Indian values, culture and ethos.

With the diversity we have, India has shown unity in diversity and deserves to be the top tourist destination of the world.

Having said that, now on being awarded as the “Ambassador of India” ‎I have a much bigger responsibility to shoulder.

I would like to sincerely thank DDPL Publications, members of the jury for South Indian Travel Award, honourable dignitaries, ladies and gentlemen present in the hall tonight. I would also like to take ‎this opportunity to thank my family, my parents for keeping me close to India, even when I was far from the country.

‎Last but not the least, I have a strong belief that as business people we should measure our effectiveness, not just by the profits our enterprise makes but by how we use those profits to make our contribution to serve our community and discharge our Social responsibility.

I may be the one tonight being awarded as the Ambassador of India, but truly speaking, each one of us here are the ambassadors of India. What we do for our country is what creates an impression globally. Let’s not just do things right, let’s do right things.

I am a huge fan of Modi Ji, I appreciate when he says – MAKE IN INDIA. ‎But we people in the Industry know the challenges in tourism industry. I think it’s time now to First “MAKE INDIA” and make it a Global destination for tourism to grow with the Make In India Campaign of our respected PM.!! And it’s not possible by just one. We all have to rise and give our best efforts to do this mighty task together.

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