Category Archives: MOT

‘Adopt a Heritage’ scheme: 37 agencies get Letters of Intent from MOT

The Ministry of Tourism has so far issued Letters of Intent to 37 agencies under its ‘Adopt a Heritage’ project done in collaboration with Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), State/UTs Governments. Revealing this was Aashima Mehrotra, Director, Ministry of Tourism, who was in Mumbai for a cultural event organised by the Ministry of Tourism for creating awareness about this project. She said, “We have come up with a unique concept called Vision Bidding for which you will not find any parallel anywhere in the world. This does not involve any financial bidding but it is given to the best vision instead. It depends on how best you can develop a site. So far we have issued Letters of Intent to 37 agencies for 106 monuments and we have signed 11 MoUs which are in various stages of implementation. We are going slow because this project is very sensitive in nature and we want to see what the agencies can offer. So we are not in a hurry to award heritage sites to them.” The scheme ‘Adopt a Heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan’ was launched on September 27, 2017 to preserve the rich cultural and natural heritage and to promote tourism across the length and breadth of our country. The Project began with selected ASI ticketed monuments and the scope has now been expanded to include other natural and cultural sites across the country. It was strongly emphasised that tourist experience is the prime parameter to evaluate our performance in the sector.  

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Prahalad Singh Patel takes charge at MOT

The newly appointed, Prahalad Singh Patel, assumed charge as the Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism at his office in Transport Bhawan, New Delhi. The minister holds the portfolio of Minister of State (I/C) for Culture as well. Post assuming office, the minister said, “The tourism and culture ministry have a huge potential. If you look at the different means of earnings and revenue across the world, tourism remains a major source of employment generation. India is a big nation and its cultural identity is expansive. Therefore, preserving our cultural identity, we will take tourism ahead and with full determination we will try and achieve our Prime Ministers objectives. From 2014-2019, progressive work has taken place, we will try to increase the pace of progress and with time we will try and achieve our targets. I believe all the department officials are carrying on their work and the media also play a vital role in tourism and their cooperation is required.”

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Prahlad Singh Patel is the new Tourism Minister

Prahlad Singh Patel has been appointed as the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. He is a five-time parliamentarian and was a front runner for Modi’s second cabinet. He also served as a Minister of State for coal in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. He takes over from Alphons Kannanthanam. He defeated his nearest competitor Pratap Singh of Congress with a margin of 3,53,411. Patel holds BSc, LLB, MA (Philosophy) degrees. He was also a member of Executive Council of VV Giri National Labour Institute and member of the Consultative Committee in the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

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MOT to work out of Air India’s overseas offices?

Air India, which is running in losses currently, may reportedly join hands with the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) for a working partnership overseas, under which tourist offices at around eight overseas destinations would shift to Air India offices. Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and MOT are in discussions for the partnership, as part of the cost restructuring by the MOT, under which it will require to shut offices at prime tourist destinations, like London, Paris, Amsterdam, Toronto, Tokyo, Sydney and Milan. As part of the arrangement, India Tourism will pay rent to Air India along with a nominal amount for the service rendered by the Air India staff. Last year, MOT, which had 15 overseas offices, was asked by the government to reduce the number of offices in two-three years and shift operations to the embassies in those cities. Th shifting to embassies part has been in debate owing to security concerns and scepticism over manpower.

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PATA announces Board Members, Industry Council & Government Committee from India

At the recently concluded PATA Annual Summit & Board Meeting held at Cebu, Philippines, Yogendra Tripathi, Tourism Secretary, Government of India, Ravneet Kaur, Chairman & Managing Director, ITDC and Jatinder Taneja, Managing Director, Travel Spirit International, were appointed to the PATA Board. Yogendra Tripathi & Ravneet Kaur have also been appointed to the Government/Destination Committee of PATA. Vikram Madhok is already been a member of the Board since 2018. Thomas Thottathil, Vice President Cox & Kings India and SanJeet, Director DDP Publications are members of the board as Industry Council Proxy. The PATA Industry Council now has the five members from India including • Vikram Madhok, MD Abercrombie & Kent India • Jatinder Taneja, MD, Travel Spirit International Pvt Ltd • SanJeet, Director DDP Publications Pvt Ltd • Thomas C Thottathil, Vice President Cox & Kings Ltd. • Riyaz U.C, MD Spiceland Holidays

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Incredible India Roadshows in USA, Canada and Africa in June and July 2019

The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India will organise Incredible India Roadshows in the US and Canada and Africa in June and July 2019 respectively as per following schedule: USA & Canada Roadshows; June 24, 2019- Washington DC, June 25- Boston, June 26-Vancouver, June 27- Seattle, June 28-San Francisco and Africa Roadshows; July 01-Johannesburg, July 03-Durban and July 05-Port Louis. A high-level delegation from the ministry will accompany them, details of the same will come forth in due course. All trade and hospitality associations have been requested to circulate the above schedule for the roadshows and forward consolidated list of confirmed participants to the Tourism Ministry for necessary action.

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Meenakshi Sharma is the new DG Tourism

1988-batch officer of the Indian Audit and Accounts Service, Meenakshi Sharma has been appointed  the new Director General (Tourism) with the rank of Additional Secretary. The appointment comes amid a senior-level bureaucratic reshuffle by the Central Government. She will take over charge from former Director General, Satyajeet Rajan. At present, she is Additional Director General (Tourism), Ministry of Tourism. In 2016, she was appointed  Additional Director General, Ministry of Tourism replacing Usha Sharma, a 1985 batch IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre. She used to look after Administration-1, Establishment & Vigilance Division, Overseas Marketing Division, Domestic Offices Division, PSU Division including ITDC, Travel Division, Territorial Zone Division (West), PRASAD Scheme, Planning & Coordination Division, IT Division.  

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Tourism to boost economy; 17 tourist sites to be redeveloped: Suman Billa

Ministry of Tourism has identified 17 sites in 12 clusters in the country for development under Iconic Tourist Sites Development Project, pursuant to Budget Announcements of 2018-19. Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism says, “One of the big plans that we are working on is to develop our iconic sites. We have picked out the 17 most iconic sites in India like the Taj Mahal, Kaziranga and we are working backwards to make them world class. We think that all the first-cut master plans are done, so I think that will be a big push as to how we can really make these most iconic sites as truly world-class tourist experiences.” Speaking on the growth of tourism in the country he said, “There is no doubt that tourism will emerge as an economic engine for growth for this country and I don’t think there will be any confusion on that politically. Whatever work that we have been doing and the way that the tourism sector has been pulling together that will continue strongly.” The sites that will be redeveloped are- Uttar Pradesh- Taj Mahal & Fatehpur Sikri; Maharashtra- Ajanta & Ellora; Delhi- Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort & Qutub Minar; Goa- Colva beach; Rajasthan- Amer Fort; Gujarat- Somnath & Dholavira; Madhya Pradesh- Khajuraho; Karnataka- Hampi; Tamil Nadu- Mahabalipuram; Assam- Kaziranga; Kerala- Kumarakom; Bihar- Mahabodhi.

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MOT considers scrapping Group Landing Permit for passengers of e-visa countries

Currently, the GLP facility works as a visa for foreign tourists who are arriving in groups of four or more. Tourists who are sponsored by Indian travel agencies approved by the tourism ministry with a pre-drawn itinerary are granted collective landing permits for a period not exceeding 60 days, with multiple entry facility to enable them visit a neighboring country. Considering the feedback received, a view has been taken that Group Landing Permit facility may be scrapped for passengers of those countries which have been extended e-Visa facility, as its sole purpose has been served and because, e-Visa facility has been presently extended to 166 countries.  

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Cabinet approves MoU between India and Croatia in the field of tourism

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its ex-post facto approval on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Croatia in the field of tourism. The MoU in the field of tourism will help the two parties in creating an institutional mechanism for enhancing cooperation in the tourism sector. The MoU has been signed on 26 March, 2019 during the visit of President of India to Croatia.

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