Category Archives: MOT

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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Indian nationals banned from travelling to Libya

In view of prevailing security situation in Libya, security threats and challenges to lives of Indian nationals in Libya, the Government of India has decided to impose travel ban on Indian nationals planning to travel to Libya irrespective of the purpose. All Immigration authorities have been notified in this respect. Indian nationals may please take note of the travel ban for compliance. The travel ban is effective from 3 May, 2016 till further orders.

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April ’16 sees 10.7% rise in FTAs over 2015

As revealed by Ministry of Tourism, India witnessed a 10.7 per cent growth in FTAs in April, 2016 over the same period in 2015. The total number of FTAs during April, 2016 was recorded at 5.99 lakh, which is higher than the total number of FTAs in April, 2015 and April 2014, where the numbers were recorded as 5.42 lakh and 5.35 lakh foreign tourists respectively. Bangladesh accounted for the highest percentage share in foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) into India with 18.09 per cent during the month of April 2016. Among the top 15 source countries, USA was ranked second with 12.24 per cent share, followed by the UK with 9.58 per cent share, making Bangladesh, USA and UK, the top three source markets for India in April 2016. The percentage share of FTAs from other source markets like Sri Lanka was 3.71 percent; Malaysia was 3.23 per cent; China was 3.14 per cent; Australia was 3.05 per cent; Germany was 3.02 per cent; France 2.86 per cent; Canada was 2.83 per cent; Russian Federation was 2.81; Japan was 2.50 per cent, Nepal was 2.07 per cent; Singapore was 1.85 per cent and Thailand was 1.61 per cent.

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11, 637 cr foreign exchange earned in April

According to the data released by Ministry of Tourism, foreign exchange earnings (FEEs)through tourism was recorded at Rs 11,637 crore in the month of April, 2016 as compared to Rs. 10,091 crore in April, 2015 and Rs. 9,179 crore in April, 2014. The growth rate in foreign exchange earnings (FEEs) in terms of rupee during April, 2016 over April, 2015 was higher, with 15.3 per cent as compared to the growth rate of 9.9 per cent in April, 2015 over April, 2014. The FEEs during the period of January-April, 2016, was recorded at Rs. 52,048 crore with a growth rate of 15.7 per cent as compared to the FEE of Rs. 44,966 crore with a growth rate of 5 per cent during the period of January-April, 2015 over January- April, 2014.

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266% growth in eTV arrivals in April

A total of 70,045 tourists arrived in April 2016 on e-Tourist Visa (eTV) as compared to 19,139 during the month of April 2015 registering a growth of 266 per cent. January- April 2016 recorded a total of 3,91,094 tourists who availed the eTV services as compared to 94,998 during January-April 2015, registering a growth of 311.7 per cent. The UK (18.82%) continued to occupy top share in source countries followed by Russian Federation (8.16%), France (7.12%), China (6.31%) and Australia (4.67%). New Delhi Airport (46.48%) received the highest number of tourists arriving on eTV along with Mumbai Airport (19.09%), Goa Airport (9.96%), Bengaluru Airport (6.48%) and Chennai Airport (5.55%).

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India short of 1,90,000 hotel rooms

As per the report of the ‘Working Group on Tourism’ for the 12th Five year Plan (2012-17) set up by the Planning Commission, for a projected annual growth of 12% in Foreign Tourist Arrivals, the requirement of additional hotel rooms under classified category in 2016 over 2010 is estimated to be 1,90,108. This information was given by Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge) and Minister of State for Civil Aviation in a written reply in Rajya Sabha. Construction of hotel is primarily a private sector activity. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India only classifies operational hotels under its voluntary scheme of classification/approval of hotels. In order to give stimulus for construction of new hotels, the Government of India extends the following incentives to hotel industry: 1. Five Year Tax Holiday for 2, 3 and 4 Star category hotels located in all UNESCO declared World Heritage sites (Except Mumbai and Delhi) for hotels operating w.e.f. 01.04.2004 to 31.03.2013. 2. Extension of Investment Linked tax incentives under Section 35AD of the Income Tax Act to new hotels of 2-Star category and above anywhere in India, which will facilitate growth of accommodation in the country. 3. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has de-linked credit for hotel projects from Commercial Real Estate (CRE), thereby enabling hotel projects to avail credit at relaxed norms and reduced interest rates. 4. Hotel and Tourism related industry has been declared a high priority industry and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is allowed upto 100% under the automatic route. The Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India has also included the following in the ‘Harmonized list of Infrastructure sub Sector’ to boost supply …

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India holds 0.68% share in International Tourist Arrivals

The share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals in India in the International Tourist Arrivals around the world during 2015 was 0.68 per cent. Union Minister of State for Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma had said that India is poised to receive one per cent of global tourists in three years. Initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Tourism in the recent past for development and promotion of tourism and attract more tourists in the country are e-Tourist Visa (eTV), publicity and promoting India as a holistic destination in the international markets, participation in travel fairs and exhibitions; organising roadshows, Know India seminars & workshops; organizing and supporting Indian food and cultural festivals; publication of brochures, offering joint advertising and brochure support, and inviting media personalities, tour operators and opinion makers to visit the country under the Hospitality programme of the Ministry. This information was given by Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge) and Minister of State for Civil Aviation in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.

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