"Sail the Andamans", the Andaman Yacht Carnival now in its 2nd year has won the prestigious National Tourism Award as "The Most Innovative and Unique Tourism Product" for the year 2018.
The World Tourism Day and National Tourism Awards programme was inaugurated by Shri Venkaiah Naidu, Honorable Vice President of India at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, with India the host country for World Tourism Day 2019.
"Sail the Andamans - Andaman Yacht Carnival" was organised in the year 2018 and 2019 by Andaman Holidays 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. The vision going in is to show and grow the Andamans as a prominent yachting destination and to bring the socio-economic benefits of the yachting industry to the Indian islands.
The National Tourism Award is the most coveted award in India for the Indian tourism industry and was conferred by Shri Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism & Culture and His Excellency Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General, United Nations World Tourism Organisations.
The special award was received by Mr Rathnam and Mrs Sushma of Andaman Holidays Private Limited. This is the first time an Andaman based destination management company has won such a prestigious National Tourism Award. Mr Rathnam, who envisioned and developed “Sail the Andamans”, expressed his thanks to the Ministry of Tourism - Government of India, Andaman & Nicobar Administration and Andaman Chamber of Commerce and Industries for extending all their support towards the growth of yacht and cruise tourism in the Andaman Islands.
Sharing the good news about the country’s Visa program, Rathnam enthused, "There is a big change in the Andaman Islands of India for visiting yachts as boats are no longer restricted by the 30 days stay regulation. The restricted area permit (RAP) is now completely removed and foreigners may stay as long as desired, per the visa validity. Thus, yachts may now stay for much longer than 30 days if they wish".
"Before, yachts interested in long-stay had to leave the country and then return. The crew had to have a multiple entry visa if they wanted to spend more than 30 days in the Andamans. Now crew and guests may visit with a single entry visa and stay as long as they want as per the validity of the visa", he added.
Andaman Holidays is a part of Asia Pacific Superyachts and "Sail the Andamans" has been supported by the Asia Pacific Superyachts company from the early stages of the event. The natural beauty of the Andamans in sailing around the Andaman & Nicobar Islands was the highlight of the 2nd Annual "Sail the Andamans" Yacht Carnival & Rally, held from 20 February to 21 March 2019.
The spectacular on and off the water itinerary was once again superbly organized with information available from Andaman Holidays and supported by Asia Pacific Superyachts.