Holiday IQ, Hari Nair, Better Holiday Awards


This evening will take you back to 30th of March 2016. When April is nearing an end, I am still stuck on March. Well, it suggests two things. Firstly, April has been about non-stop travel for me and second it also means that some days and events have long-lasting impressions. And this day was about one such event. It saw an inspiring gathering of India’s top travelers, luminaries from India’s tourism fraternity & dignitaries from various walks of life. It was a lovely evening in Taj Mahal Hotel in New Delhi when HolidayIQ held its first ever annual tourism awards night to celebrate holidays in a better way.



Holiday IQ, Awards, Better Holiday Awards, Delhi, Travel blogger
Better Holiday Awards by Holiday IQ



When this invitation popped in the inbox, the first thing that really caught my attention was the term-  ‘BETTER HOLIDAYS’. It sounded fresh and pleasing. ‘Holidays’ have always had a beautiful appeal about themselves and with the addition of ‘better’ in front of them, they sounded all the more glorious. When I read it further, I realized it was an awards night to celebrate the best in travel and tourism. For me as a blogger who loves traveling and reviewing, nothing could have been better to receive a personal invitation to the glittering evening. The last line multiplied the excitement manifold – ‘We also invite you to present the Award to one of the Top 30 Winners, at this impressive ceremony in New Delhi.’



Holiday IQ-First Tourism Award Night
Better Holidays Awards – one- of – its – kind  ‘Tourism Award Night”



In my opinion, the ‘best’ in any field must be awarded. It should have an upper hand over ‘better’ and ‘better’ should stand out differently from the rest. Until there is a healthy competition, none will strive to make a difference. So its very important to recognize those who have been putting up a great show. It also challenges the others to work towards improvement. Thus, Better Holiday Awards served two purposes. Firstly, they gave a lovely list to travelers to plan their holidays better and secondly, they also fueled other players to strive to be better. 



I reached the venue on time and the event kicked off soon. Shri Suresh Prabhu, Hon’ble Union Minister for Railways was supposed to grace the occasion but due to last minute engagement, he could not make it there.  Nevertheless, there were others who also play a significant role in making India a better tourist destination, like Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (IC) and Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, Sunira Bassi, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Railways, H.K Jaggi, General Manager, Northeast Frontier Railway Contraction as chief guests.


Holiday Iq, Better Holiday Awards



To start with, Mr. Hari Nair, Founder & CEO, HolidayIQ greeted everyone warmly. He talked about Holiday IQ and introduced the awards calling them most credible in Indian tourism because  they were chosen by the Indian travelers and reviewers. The ratings & reviews shared by millions of Indian travelers on HolidayIQ had been the criteria for choosing the winners. Later he took us through a 3 minutes slideshow where he presented some eye-opening stats about Indian Tourism and its needs.



These six points will interest everyone who is associated with traveling


1. Its not just metropolitan or foreign destinations, domestic travel & outbound travel is becoming much bigger than foreigners visiting India. Especially, the B cities are getting popular.


2. Tigers are Roaring and they are telling us that Tiger Tourism has a huge potential in India.


3. There is a steep rise in number of woman travelers in the country. They are not just doing it in groups or with friends but solo. This reminds everyone that ensuring safety for every women should be a priority for the authorities.


4. Home-stays are multiplying at great speed and they are being preferred over hotels for the authenticity they provide.


5. Are we even thinking about the smaller city travelers?  In today’s time, they are the most aware and curious lot and they have the potential to change the tourism trends.


6.  We need to raise the bar when it comes to Cleanliness (Swachh).


India seeks and deserves its place on the global tourism map. For this,  cleanliness and safety are the two things that must be dealt on war-footing.


I gave an award too-Better Holiday Awards
I handed over an award too at the Better Holiday Awards


It was a packed house inside Diwan-I-am. There were two rounds tables in the center which were most excited about the awards to begin. We were the travelers and the reviewers gang who not only had a voice in the selections but also we were soon going to give away awards too. But before that there was an interactive session with the dignitaries where some very relevant questions were raised. One of our friends Parminder, who is a handicap traveler but a very enthusiastic and inspiring lady asked everyone that why railways had no designated provision to put wheelchairs or why places in India were yet not prepared to cater to the handicap travelers. Yes, these questions arise from personal experiences and they tell us all that much is yet to be done in India. Next, followed a healthy discussion around what is being done by the authorities and what is the need of the hour. This did not last for long but in future we do need such sessions where the authentic travelers should be given a chance to talk about their experiences, services standards, issues and put across the reviews and satisfaction level to the authorities. Roads- Rails are as important to Travel Industry as Dal-Chawal to Food Industry.




Without a break, the winners were announced soon! Here is the list. Do tell me in the comments section below, where all have you been to and what was your experience?


Top 10 holiday accommodations in India

India’s favourite houseboat- Moonvalley Houseboat, Srinagar
India’s favourite homestay- Dhangiri Homestay, Vythri
India’s favourite holiday cottage- Tree Hill Cottage, Manali
India’s favourite boutique hotel- Old Harbour Hotel, Kochi
India‘s favourite holiday camp- Winds Desert Camp, Jaisalmer
India’s favourite farm stay- Jungle Retreat, Wayanad
India’s favourite heritage hotel- Oberoi Cecil, Shimla
India’s favourite city hotel-Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai
India’s favourite resort- Mayfair Gangtok resort and spa, Gangtok
India’s favourite apartment hotel- Oakwood Premier, Pune


Top Tourism Attractions in India

India’s favourite adventure attraction- Nathula Pass, Gangtok
India’s favourite beach- Radhanagar beach, Havelock Island
India’s favourite urban attraction- Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad
India’s favourite hill attraction- Triund, Mcleodganj
India’s favourite historical attraction- Mehrangarh fort, Jodhpur
India’s favourite natural attraction- Ranthambore National Park, Ranthambore
India’s favourite spiritual attraction- Somnath temple, Somnath
India’s favourite waterfall- Dhuandhar falls, Jabalpur


Top Tourism Destinations in India

India’s favourite destination for Adventure Sports- Auli, Uttarakhand
India’s favourite Sea-side Destination- Tarkali, Maharashtra
India’s favourite City- Chandigarh, Chandigarh
India’s favourite Hill Station- Shillong, Meghalaya
India’s favourite Heritage Destination- Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
India’s favourite Wildlife Destination- Dandeli, Karnataka
India’s favourite Pilgrimage Destination- Vaishno Devi, Kashmir
India’s favourite Waterfront Destination- Alappuzha, Kerala


India’s Favourite Airlines for Holidays

India’s favourite Full Service Airline for Holidays– Jet Airways
India’s favourite Budget Airline for Holidays-Indigo


Other Favourites

India’s Favourite Bus Service for Holidays
Orange travels
India’s Favourite Railway Station for Holidays
New Jalpaiguri
India’s Emerging State for Tourism
India’s Best State for Tourism
Jammu & Kashmir
India’s Most Popular State for Holidays
India’s Favourite Airport for Holidays
New Delhi



Wishing Better Holidays to you!!!

Pictures courtesy:

Written by

Manjulika Pramod

An engineer who loves to be called a blogger more!
Traveler, short-story writer, voracious reader, foodie is the better me!
Reading, eating, traveling, exploring, observing and blogging are the beautiful highs of my life.