Kerala, third on Smart Travel Asia’s ‘best in travel’ poll last year, has trumped Bali and Phuket this year. Rajasthan and Goa are the two other Indian destinations that figure on the top 10 list.
What’s rather telling though, is that just one hotel from Kerala seems to have made it to the list of top hotels. The Taj Garden Retreat, Kumarakom is number 24 on Smart Travel Asia’s list of ‘top 25 leisure hotels and resorts’. Several other hotels from India including The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur; Neemrana Fort; and The Aman, New Delhi figure on this list.
The only Indian entry on the ‘top 25 spa hotel and resorts’ list is the Ananda in the Himalayas. Indian entrants on the ‘top business hotels in Asia’ list include The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai; The Oberoi, New Delhi; and The Leela Palace Kempinski, Bangalore.
The Smart Travel Asia online poll ran for three months May-July this year and 60 per cent of the respondents were from Asia. The poll says that 91 per cent of the voters “drew their primary image of brands from the Internet and 85 per cent said they made travel decisions online.” Yet only 38 per cent said they book online. The Net, according to the Smart Travel Asia poll, it seems is still a traveller’s first port of call for information and independent reviews. All issues for tourism and travel mavens to chew on.
Meanwhile, though Kerala has reason to celebrate its recognition as a holiday destination, it’s also time for some introspection on the hospitality front. So perhaps, we should not break out the bubbly just yet.Picture used courtesy Kerala Tourism