Category Archives: MOT

15 destinations identified for development under Ramayana Circuit

Ramayana Circuit has been identified for development under the Swadesh Darshan scheme of Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry had earlier identified fifteen destinations for development under the Ramayana Circuit theme namely Ayodhya, Nandigram, Shringverpur & Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh), Sitamarhi, Buxar & Darbhanga (Bihar), Chitrakoot (Madhya Pradesh), Mahendragiri (Odisha), Jagdalpur (Chattisgarh), Nashik and Nagpur (Maharashtra), Bhadrachalam (Telangana), Hampi (Karnataka) and Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu). The details of projects sanctioned under the Ramayana Circuit theme of Swadesh Darshan during the last two years are: development of Ayodhya under Ramayana Circuit theme in Uttar Pradesh (2017-18) – Rs 133.31 cr sanctioned; development of Wayside Amenities in Buddhist Circuit and Ramayana Circuit: Varanasi-Gaya; Lucknow-Ayodhya- Lucknow; Gorakhpur-Kushinagar; Kushinagar-Gaya- Kushinagar (2018-19) – Rs 18.10 crore sanctioned. For the state of Chhattisgarh, the Ministry has sanctioned the project for development of Tribal Tourism Circuit in Jashpur- Kunkuri-Mainpat- Ambikapur- Maheshpur -Ratanpur- Kurdar-Sarodadadar- Gangrel- Kondagaon– Nathiya Nawagaon- Jagdalpur- Chitrakoot- Tirthgarh in the year 2015-16 with a total sanction amount of Rs 99.21 crore. Submission of project proposals by the State Governments/Union Territory (UT) Administrations under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme is a continuous process. The projects for development under the scheme are identified in consultation with the State Governments/UT Administrations and are sanctioned subject to availability of funds, submission of suitable detailed project reports, adherence to scheme guidelines and utilisation of funds released earlier.

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Nearly 16 per cent growth in FTAs for medical tourism in 2017: Alphons

The Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India on medical visa during 2016 and 2017 were estimated at 4, 27, 014 and 4, 95, 056 respectively, registering a positive growth of 15.9 per cent, said KJ Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C), Tourism in Lok Sabha recently. Medical Tourism holds immense potential for India. The Indian systems of medicines, viz. Ayurveda, Yoga, Panchakarma, Rejuvenation Therapy, etc., are among the most ancient systems of medical treatment in the world. The country can provide medical and healthcare of international standards at low costs. The Ministry of Tourism has taken various steps to promote Medical Tourism which inter-alia includes: launch of campaigns in the international markets including for medical tourism under the Incredible India brand-line; conducting roadshows, know India seminars. The Ministry also produces brochures, CDs, films and other publicity material for promotion of Medical & Health Tourism. Apart from it, Medical Tourism is being promoted across various social media platforms. Also, in order to provide dedicated institutional framework to take forward the cause of promotion of Medical Tourism, a national Medical and Wellness Tourism Board has been constituted. Department of Commerce and Services Export Promotion Council has launched a Healthcare Portal www.indiahealthcaretourism.com, as a single source platform providing comprehensive information to medical travellers on the top healthcare institutions in the country in various languages. The e-tourist visa regime has also been expanded to include medical visits. Medical and Medical attendant visa has been introduced to ease the travel process of Medical Tourists. The maximum duration of stay in India under the e-Medical visa is six months.  

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WTTCII appoints Rajeev Talwar & Ajay Singh as Chairman & Vice Chairman respectively for 2019

After the Annual General Meeting of the World Travel & Tourism Council, India Initiative (WTTCII), the company has appointed many office bearers for the year 2019. Rajeev Talwar, Chief Executive Officer, DLF, has been appointed as the Chairman, WTTCII for the year 2019. Talwar, who served as the Vice Chairman, WTTCII for the year 2018, takes over from Sunder G Advani, Chairman & Managing Director, Advani Hotels & Resorts (India). Ajay Singh, Chairman & Managing Director, SpiceJet, has been unanimously appointed as the Vice Chairman, WTTCII for the year 2019. KJ Alphons, Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge) for Tourism and Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Tourism, along with former officials of Ministry of Tourism, SK Misra and VK Duggal felicitated the new team. On his appointment, Talwar said, “WTTCII has three main asks from the government — firstly, Airline Turbine Fuel – ATF must be included under GST; secondly, the 28 per cent on hotel rooms is hurting – GST should be pegged at 5 per cent for rooms of transaction values of Rs 5,000 and 12 per cent for transaction values of Rs 5,001 to Rs 15,000, along with ITC. Lastly, a tourism board to handle the marketing of Incredible India. Today, destination marketing has to be more deft, sharp, agile and cannot be strapped with bureaucratic procedures. A tourism board with inclusion of public and private stakeholders will make brand India successful. We would also need avenues to open up new markets, take, for instance, China; we are 4-6 hours away from major Chinese cities. China’s huge outbound of 130 million trips is every country’s envy and a prime source market, yet we are unable to tap the Chinese outbound. We need to be connected to …

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MOT formulates guidelines for approval of Online Travel Aggregators

The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) has formulated the guidelines for approval/re-approval of Online Travel Aggregators (OTAs). The scheme is expected to set standards towards accreditation and add value to the dependability and reliability to the aggregators in the online space operating in the organised tourism sector. This is a voluntary scheme open to bonafide online travel aggregators to bring them on a common platform in the organised sector and the guidelines will be rolled out online by year end. There are several players in the OTA segment operating now without any accreditation/validation. One of the risks of letting the market operate unhindered is that unscrupulous players can vitiate the entire market through unethical trade practices. In order to engage with the OTAs constructively, it is imperative that a system is put in place with qualitative benchmarks to accredit them. The paramount concern would be the assurance of quality of service delivery for the customer by the OTA. The major features of the guidelines are: recognition as an approved OTA shall be granted by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, for five years, based on the inspection report/recommendations of a committee comprising the concerned Regional Director (RD), a representative of FHRAI and a representative of IATO, and approval of Competent Authority (Chairman, HRACC); the re-approval shall be granted for five years after inspection conducted by a committee of the same constitution, based upon an application, complete and free from all deficiencies, made by OTA along with the requisite fee/documents on the online platform, at least a clear 6 months prior to the expiry of the previous approval. In case the application is complete in all respects and free from all deficiencies is …

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Tourism is the future of India: Alphons at 14th CII Annual Tourism Summit

Addressing delegates during the inaugural ceremony of 14th CII Annual Tourism Summit in Delhi, KJ Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C) Tourism, said that tourism is the future of India. “Tourism is the future of the country. Foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) have gone up by 14 per cent, while the global figures were at 7 per cent. Approximately, 84 million people are currently employed by the tourism industry across the country,” he said. Suggesting ways to keep tourists for longer in the country, he said, “We are also thinking in terms of further visa reforms. I think Yoga and Ayurveda are the two things that can bring wellness and help us to keep tourists for longer in our country. Tourism is about jobs, money and bringing the world together. We have ambitous targets and we all can achieve them together.”

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New Tourism Secretary, Yogendra Tripathi addresses IATO members

Yogendra Tripathi, the newly-appointed Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, marked his presence at the special luncheon organised by Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) to bid farewell to Rashmi Verma, Former Secretary, Tourism on her superannuation from the post. Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO, thanked Verma for her support and welcomed Tripathi on behalf of the association. Addressing the members, Tripathi said that he is aware of the contributions of his predecessor for the industry and is hopeful to take the industry voice to the government in the same manner. “There are always unresolved issues, as well as new problems and agendas for the industry. I believe that the Tourism Secretary is nothing but an advocate for the tourism industry. Apart from what we do indirectly, what we do directly is primarily promotional, which is also supporting the industry one way or the other. It is our job to support the industry, and we will continue to do that,” he added.

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Govt inaugurates first project under Swadesh Darshan scheme in Nagaland

The central government has launched ‘Development of Tribal Circuit: Peren-Kohima-Wokha Project’ under its Swadesh Darshan scheme to develop Nagaland as a tourist state. Neiphiu Rio, Chief Minister, Nagaland, inaugurated the project at Kisama Heritage Village in the presence of KJ Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C), Tourism, and H Khehovi Yepthomi, Adviser, Tourism, Art & Culture, Government of Nagaland. The project was sanctioned by Ministry of Tourism in November 2015 for Rs 97.36 crores. Under the project, the Ministry has developed facilities like tribal tourist village, eco log huts, open air theatre, tribal rejuvenation centre, cafeteria, helipad, tourist interpretation centre, wayside amenities, last-mile connectivity, public conveniences, multi-purpose hall, nature trails, trekking routes, etc. In addition to the above project, the Ministry has sanctioned another project in Nagaland ‘Development of Tribal circuit: Mokokchung–Tuensang-Mon’ for Rs 99.67 crores. The implementation of the project is in progress.

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7th International Tourism Mart to be held in Tripura from November 22

The Ministry of Tourism, in association with the Department of Tourism, Government of Tripura and the north-eastern states is organising “7th International Tourism Mart” in Tripura from November 22-24, 2018. To be held at the Pragna Bhawan, the event will be inaugurated by Professor Kaptan Singh Solanki, Governor, Tripura, in the presence of KJ Alphons, Union Minister for Tourism; Biplab Kumar Deb, Chief Minister, Tripura; Rashmi Verma, Union Tourism Secretary and other dignitaries from central ministries and north-eastern states. The event aims at highlighting the tourism potential of the region in the domestic and international markets by bringing together the tourism business fraternity and entrepreneurs from the eight north-eastern states. The event has been planned and scheduled to facilitate interaction between buyers, sellers, media, government agencies and other stakeholders. The earlier editions of this mart have been held in Guwahati, Tawang, Shillong, Gangtok and Imphal. The ITM will see wide participation of International buyers and media delegates from countries around the world and from different regions of the country. They will be engaging in business-to-business meetings with sellers from the North Eastern Region. A total of 41 foreign delegates from 18 countries namely Australia, Canada, China, France, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, the UAE and the USA will be in Tripura for the mart. These include 23 tour operators and travel agents, 18 media representatives, journalists, travel writers and bloggers. The three-day event will also include presentations by state governments of the region on their tourism potential, panel discussion, cultural evenings, sightseeing visits to local attractions in and around Agartala and a press meet on November 23.

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Yogendra Tripathy to replace Rashmi Verma as Tourism Secretary

Yogendra Tripathy, Chairman and Managing Director, Food Corporation of India (FCI), has been appointed as Secretary—Tourism, Government of India, on retirement of Rashmi Verma at the end of November, according to recent appointments of senior officials by the government. Tripathy has been associated with FCI since July 30, 2015. He is a 1985 batch IAS officer of Karnataka cadre.

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MOT rolls out online certification programme for tourist facilitators

Union Tourism Secretary Rashmi Verma has rolled out the Incredible India Tourist Facilitator Certification (IITFC) Programme in Delhi. Participants will now be able to register for this programme through an online digital platform. IITFC will enable Indian citizens to develop and enhance the skills associated with tourism, and where one can incorporate knowledge about facilitating tourists across the country. Union Tourism Minister K J Alphons had earlier launched the IITFC on the occasion of World Tourism Day. The certification programme comprises basic and advanced self-paced courses designed in a manner that users can learn at their own time, space, path and pace. The course kicks off with a basic introductory module alongside the registration process. This will be followed by payment initiation on November 19, where any 10+2 pass-out candidate can enroll in the basic course comprising seven modules aimed at training the facilitators for knowledge, skills and attitude domains at a nominal charge of Rs 2000. Successful completion of this programme would enable the learner to become a Certified Tourist Facilitator of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. A refresher course is also proposed for launch in due time for those already in the field seeking at an advanced level course to enhance their skill set. Speaking on the occasion, Verma said that the concept of ‘tourist guide’ has changed world over and the new-age tourist facilitators are ‘story tellers’. She added that this online programme will have lots of advantages like job creation for local people, harness the local experience and traditional knowledge.

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