Category Archives: MOT

International Conference on yoga on June 22-23

The Ministry of AYUSH is organising a two day International Conference in New Delhi titled ‘Yoga for Body and Beyond,’ from June 22-23 at Vigyan Bhawan as part of 2nd International Day of Yoga celebrations. Nearly 70 international delegates from 32 countries are expected to participate in the conference. The countries include Iraq, Afghanistan, Algeria, Malaysia, Spain, Russia, Portugal, Australia, Belgium, China, Egypt, Iceland, Japan, Kuwait, Korea, Kenya, Slovenia, Uzbekistan and UAE. Anil Kumarsingh Gayan, Minister of Health and Quality of Life, Government of Mauritius, is expected to attend the conference. During the nine technical sessions of the Conference eminent Yoga Gurus, exponents and experts will extensively deliberate upon various themes such as ‘Yoga and Physical Wellbeing’, ‘Insights from Yoga Scholars’, ‘Integration of Yoga in Healthcare Delivery System’, ‘Yoga for Mental health’, ‘Yoga for Body and Beyond’. There will also be a panel discussion and an open ended session on experience sharing by foreign delegates. Hamid Ansari, Vice President, Government of India, will Inaugurate the conference. Sumitra Mahajan, Lok Sabha Speaker, will grace the Valedictory Session on June 23 while Shripad Yesso Naik Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH, will be the Guest of Honour for the conference.

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36.4 lakh foreign arrivals from Jan-May

FTAs during the period January-May, 2016, were 36.36 lakh with a growth of 9.1% as compared to the FTAs of 33.32 lakh with a growth of 4.0% in January- May, 2015 over January- May, 2014. 3.7% growth has been recorded in Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in May 2016 over the same period in 2015, according to data released by Ministry of Tourism. Bangladesh accounts for highest share of tourist arrivals followed by USA and UK in April 2016. Rs.10, 285 crores Foreign Exchange earned through tourism in May 2016. FTAs during the Month of May, 2016 were 5.29 lakh as compared to FTAs of 5.1 lakh during the month of May, 2015 and 4.65 lakh in May, 2014. Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) during the month of May, 2016 were Rs.10,285 crore as compared to Rs.9,505 crore in May, 2015 and Rs. 7,936 crore in May, 2014. FEEs from tourism in rupee terms during January- May 2016 were Rs. 62,333 crore with a growth of 14.4% as compared to the FEE of Rs. 54,471 crore with a growth of 7.3% during January- May, 2015 over January- May, 2014.

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MOT to host FAM for foreigners on Yoga Day

The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) is celebrating the 2nd International Day of Yoga on June 21, 2016, by hosting a FAM tour for a group of 50 foreign delegates consisting of Tour Operators/Travel Agents/Media Persons/Opinion Makers/Scholars from 20 countries which are source markets and the markets that matter for promotion of Yoga and Wellness. This group of 50 delegates will split into two group, which will participate in Delhi and Chandigarh on 21st June, 2016, separately. Both the groups will then follow a tour program including visit to the wellness & spiritual centres in Haridwar, Rishikesh, Trivandrum, Cochin, Neyyar (Kerala), Pondicherry & Chennai.

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300 cr for UP under Ramayana & Krishna circuit

Products worth more than Rs300 cr were approved in-principle in Uttar Pradesh under Ramayana and Krishna circuits under the Swadesh Darshan scheme. 11 destinations spread across six states under the Ramayana circuit and 12 destinations across five states under the Krishna circuit have been proposed at the first meeting of the National Committee on Ramayan & Krishna circuits. It was held under the chairmanship of the Minister of Tourism & Culture Dr. Mahesh Sharma in the presence of Secretary – Tourism Vinod Zutshi, experts and senior officers of MOT. The destinations proposed under the Ramayana Circuit are Ayodhya, Nandigram, Shringhverpur & Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh); Sitamarhi, Buxar & Darbhanga (Bihar); Jagdalpur (Chattisgarh); Bhadrachalam (Telangana); Hampi (Karnataka); and Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu). Expert committee suggested to include Chitrakoot (Madhya Pradesh), Nashik & Nagpur (Maharashtra) and Mahendragiri (Odisha). Under Krishna circuit, the destinations covered are Dwarka (Gujarat); Nathdwara, Jaipur & Sikar (Rajasthan); Kurukshetra (Haryana), Mathura, Vrindavan, Gokul, Barsana, Nandgaon & Govardhan (Uttar Pradesh); Puri (Odisha). The destinations were approved by the expert committee.

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180% growth in eTV arrivals in May

During January-May, 2016, a total of 4,34,927 tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa (eTV) as compared to 1,10,657 during January-May 2015, registering a growth of 293.0 per cent. A total of 43,833 tourists arrived in May 2016 on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 15,659 during the month of May 2015 registering a growth of 179.9 per cent. The USA (15.63%) continued to be the top source country availing the eTV facility followed by UK (15.63%), China (8.17%), France (5.16%) and Germany (4.91%). New Delhi Airport received the highest share of FTAs on eTV (45.11%) with Mumbai Airport (22.50%) registering the second highest share. Bengaluru Airport (9.00%), Chennai Airport (6.63%) and Kochi Airport (3.68%) are also among the top five airports with highest tourist arrivals on eTV.

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Hassle-free entry of Indians into US

India and the US have signed an MoU to facilitate hassle-free entry of Indians into the US at selected airports by providing speedy security clearances for pre-approved, low-risk travellers from the country. India is only the ninth country with which the US has entered into this International Expedited Traveller Initiative (also known as the Global Entry Programme), reflective of the growing relationship between the two largest democracies of the world. The move would take a few months to implement and will provide speedy security clearances for pre-approved, low-risk Indian travellers upon arrival in US at selected airports. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Indian Ambassador to the US Arun K Singh and Kevin K McAleenan, Deputy Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection. “After joint scrutiny and clearance by both countries, the approved Indian travellers will be extended the facility of expedited entry into the United States through automatic kiosks at select airports,” a statement said, adding, the procedures are expected to be completed in the coming months. “Expedited entry for the Indian travellers under this programme at the US airports will enable further easing of travel environment, and will have positive impact on all kinds of people-to-people exchange between our two countries,” Arun K Singh said at the MoU signing ceremony. He said strengthening people-to-people ties between the two countries has been at the very core of Prime Minister’s vision of India’s bilateral relationship with the US. “In the last two years, several initiatives have been taken by the Government of India for easing travel from the United States to India, which includes issuance of long term visas and introduction of electronic-tourist visas for US citizens.” “India’s …

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eTV now available for yoga programmes

The Ministry of Home Affairs has taken a decision to include short term yoga programmes in Tourist Visa and e-Tourist Visa (eTV). Realising the importance of yoga world over, the government has decided to include ‘attending a short term yoga programme’ in the list of permissible activities under Tourist Visa. Besides, the government has decided to include ‘attending a short term yoga programme’ and ‘short duration medical treatment under Indian systems of medicine’ in the list of permissible activities under eTV. Presently, a Tourist Visa is granted to a foreigner whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation, sightseeing and casual visit to meet friends or relatives and e-Tourist Visa (eTV) is granted to a foreigner whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation, sightseeing, casual visit to meet friends or relatives, short duration medical treatment or casual business visit. All Indian Mission abroad and Foreigners Regional Registration Officers (FRROs)/ Foreigners Registration Officers (FROs) in the country have been requested to take action as per above amendments.

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MOT forms action plan for B&Bs and homestays

As part of the action plan, the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) will launch an aggressive marketing strategy to enlist more bed and breakfast establishments to the Incredible India Bed & Breakfast /Home Stay Scheme and involve online travel agents in its promotion. Rationalisation of taxes and simplification of procedures will be addressed to move towards ease of doing business while groups were constituted to study various aspects of this scheme and submit recommendations in a time bound manner. Through this action plan, MOT aims to fill the desired additional hotel capacity and give impetus to establishments run by the central and state government as well as those run by OTAs since construction of hotels has a long gestation period. This was imparted by Vinod Zutshi, Secretary – Tourism, at MOT’s workshop  on Incredible India Bed & Breakfast /Home Stay Scheme held on 30th May 2016. The workshop was attended by officials from MOT and various State Governments, representatives from the hospitality and the travel trade industry and CEOs of OTAs.

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MOT convention for BRIC nations in Khajuraho from Aug 31

The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) will be organsising a convention for BRIC nations in Khajuraho from August 31-September 1.  The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) will be hosting Fam tours for the delegates participating in the convention, revealed Rajiv Mehra, Vice President, IATO, during the IATO Interactive Luncheon Meeting on June 1 at Pride Plaza Hotel, New Delhi. The ministry will be inviting at least 25 foreign operators from these countries. However, a final confirmation from the Ministry of External Affairs is awaited. The meeting was held to discuss the New Exim policy introduced by the Govt. last year, under which tour operators earning foreign exchange are entitled to get SEIS scrip @5 per cent. Sanjeev Gupta, an expert on Exim Policy, made a presentation on SEIS Scheme as to how the scheme would benefit members.

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