Category Archives: MOT

370% growth in eTV arrivals in Feb

A total of 1,17, 210 tourists arrived in February 2016 on e-Tourist Visa (eTV) as compared to 24,985 during the month of February 2015 registering a growth of 369.1%. The growth could be attributed to the extension of e-Tourist Visa for 150 countries as against the earlier coverage of 43 countries. UK continues to occupy top slot for countries availing eTV facility with 27.86% of total arrivals. This is followed by USA (13.85%) and France (8.08%) amongst the countries availing E-tourist Visa facility during February 2016. New Delhi gets the maximum percentage share of tourist arrivals, receiving 40.96% of total arrivals in the country, followed by Mumbai Airport (20.62%), Goa Airport (13.42%), Chennai Airport (6.19%), Bengaluru Airport (5.42%), Kochi Airport (3.44%), Kolkata Airport (2.50%), Trivandrum Airport (1.88%,) Hyderabad Airport (1.86%) and Ahmadabad Airport (1.58%).

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Tourism Policy awaits Cabinet approval

The much awaited National Tourism Policy is in anticipation of Cabinet approval, says Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (IC) for Tourism and Culture, and Minister of State for Civil Aviation. “Draft is ready and it has got approval of all concerned ministries. It will go to the Cabinet now for its approval. After Cabinet approval it will be effective. We are expecting it will be done very soon,” Sharma was quoted as saying by PTI.  The new policy aims to cash in on the tourist wanderlust to increase India’s share in international tourist arrivals from the current measly 0.68 per cent to 1 per cent by 2020. (Source: PTI)

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‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ programme for tourism

While presenting the General Budget 2016-17 in Lok Sabha, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’ programme will be launched to link states and districts in an annual programme that connects people though exchanges in areas of language, trade, culture, travel and tourism. He added that to strengthen understanding of each other, it is proposed to create a closer engagement between states and districts in a structured manner.

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eTV for 37 more countries from Feb 26

Starting tomorrow, February 26, 2016, the e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) facility will be extended to 37 more countries, bringing the total count of countries under the scheme to 150. The new 37 countries included in e-Tourist Visa scheme are Albania, Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Comoros, Cote d’lvoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Iceland, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Moldova, Namibia, Romania, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Swaziland, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Trinidad & Tobago, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The e-TV facility was launched by the Government of India on November 27, 2014. Till now the scheme has been extended to 113 countries at sixteen Indian airports designated for providing e-Tourist visa service. Over 7.50 lakh Visas have been issued under the scheme ever since it has been launched. On an average 3,500 e-Tourist Visas are being granted daily to foreign nationals.

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Govt mulls opening up 5 Andaman & Nicobar islands to tourists

The Government of India is mulling a proposal to open up five islands of Andaman and Nicobar to tourists to promote them as eco-tourism destinations. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar reportedly said that during his recent trip to Andaman and Nicobar he explored the potential for developing five islands from tourism perspective. “I went to the place recently to meet people. It is 94 per cent forest and rest is Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ). The place is so beautiful it can easily beat Thailand and Phuket… But due to our policies we could not open it for public. “We have prepared a plan and we are working on it to develop five islands of the place for eco-tourism without disturbing their forests,” he said while taking part in a budget programme of AajTak. The Andaman and Nicobar archipelago comprises more than 500 islands, many of which are uninhabited and restricted. The minister said a group of five ministries is collectively working on the concept of island development to make them tourism destinations. (Source- PTI)

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Mega Tourism Investor’s Summit in July-Aug

Vinod Zutshi, IAS, Secretary, MOT, Govt of India, said, “MOT is contemplating on organising a Mega Tourism Investor’s Summit around July/August this year for promoting investments in tourism sector. The summit will witness participation of all important states coming with their incentives and packages. The summit will provide to the private investment, stakeholders within India and abroad a chance to cease the immense opportunity of investment in the tourism sector in India.” He said, “I urge all stakeholders to make use of this forthcoming Mega Summit to help us promote Incredible India and Make in India.” Speaking at the launch of the ‘Swachh Parayatan Mobile App’, Zutshi said tourism in 2016 has began on an optimistic note and the Ministry of Tourism is committed to carry on its juggernauts of new initiatives and drives in the coming days. International Branding and promotional campaign has begun. He added, “The forthcoming financial year will see a more aggressive marketing and promotional campaign from Incredible India all over the world. MOT has sanctioned tourism infrastructure projects over Rs 1,500 crore, in the past six months, which shall continue in the forthcoming financial year. We are hopeful that huge public investment of this nature will trigger and promote private sector investments in the tourism sector.”

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MOT launches Swachh Parayantan App

The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) launched a “Swachh Parayantan Mobile App” to flag issues related to cleanliness in and around tourist sites. To start with, 25 Adarsh Smarak Monuments protected by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have been identified for inclusion in the App. The application would be scaled up to include more monuments as the campaign expands.  Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism & Culture and Minister of State for Civil Aviation, inaugurated the App in the presence of Vinod Zutshi, Sectretary-Tourism, MOT, Sanjeev Ranjan, Additional Secretary-Tourism, MOT, Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, MOT, Dr. R K Bhatnagar, ADG, MoR, Umang Narula, CMD, ITDC, among others. Addressing on the occasion, Dr. Sharma said that since the general public and the tourists are the largest stakeholders in keeping the monuments clean, the Ministry of Tourism has decided to facilitate the general public to communicate their complaints about any unclean area/garbage piles in and around tourist destinations. Hence as a part thereof, the Ministry of Tourism is launching this Mobile App. He opined that till all stakeholders don’t contribute, such project will not succeed. This mobile App enables a citizen to take photograph of garbage at the monument and upload the same along with his/her remarks. The application then sends an SMS to the ASI Nodal Officer concerned with the monument upon receipt of which the Nodal Officer gets the garbage cleared/removed. The Nodal Officer thereafter sends confirmation about the redressal of the complaint through an SMS to the complainant.

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Bodh Gaya to host Buddhist Conclave- March 29-31

The Buddhist Conclave will be held at Bodh Gaya from March 29-31, 2016. The conference is being organised by Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) in collaboration with Ministry of Commerce (MOC) and Ministry of Tourism (MOT) with a view to develop the Buddhist Circuit especially in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar in India and Nepal and also look forward to foreign investments in the segment. Sarab Jit Singh, Vice Chairman, FAITH, said that it is important to understand the ground realities and deliberate on the requirements to stimulate the tourist arrivals which is hovering about 1 million foreign tourist arrivals annually to its true potential of minimum 10 million every year. The association has proposed participation of Union Ministries, state governments, religious Buddhist bodies, ambassadors of different countries to India, IRCTC, DGCA, Airports Authority of India along with stakeholders from the private sector, such as hotels, restaurants, tour operators etc. The major issues to be deliberated are international connectivity to Gaya; upgrading of Gaya International Airport; road and railway connectivity to the region; improvement of issuance of visas and facilitation at arrival and departure; aesthetic development of the area; development of proper accommodation facilities; training of local guides in various languages along with other issues. An estimate total of 250 people are expected to attend this conference. 

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6.8% growth in FTAs in Jan ’16 over Jan ’15

Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) during January 2016 were 8.44 lakh as compared to FTAs of 7.91 lakh during January 2015 and 7.58 lakh in January 2014. There has been a growth of 6.8% in January 2016 over January 2015. The percentage share of FTAs in India during January 2016 among the top 15 source countries was highest from USA (15.29%) followed by Bangladesh (11.99%), UK (11.23%), Canada (4.87%), Australia (3.97%), Russian Federation (3.71%), Germany (3.27%), France (2.98%), Sri Lanka (2.97%), China (2.74%), Malaysia (2.59%), Japan (2.38%), Rep. of Korea (1.82%), Nepal (1.76%) and Afghanistan (1.62%). The percentage share of FTAs in India during January 2016 among the top 15 ports was highest at Delhi Airport (28.38%) followed by Mumbai Airport (19.59%), Chennai Airport (7.92%), Haridaspur Land check post (6.58%), Bangalore Airport (5.72%), Goa Airport (5.68%), Kolkata Airport (3.92%), Cochin Airport (3.86%), Ahmadabad Airport (3.48%), Hyderabad Airport (2.83%), Trivandrum Airport (1.84%), Gede Rail (1.51%), Tiruchirapalli Airport (1.26%), Amritsar Airport (0.82%) and Sonauli Land check post (0.76%). Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from Tourism in India during January 2016 were Rs 13,669 crore as compared to Rs 12,100 crore in January 2015 and Rs 11,664 crore in January 2014. The growth rate in FEEs in rupee terms during January 2016 over January 2015 was 13 per cent as compared to a positive growth of 3.7 per cent in January 2015 over January 2014.

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