Category Archives: MOT

MOT aims at 10% growth in inbound

Vinod Zutshi, Secretary – Tourism, Govt. of India, expects inbound tourism to flourish in 2016 after witnessing a growth of 6.8 per cent in Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) during January 2016. “We are aiming at a 10 per cent growth in FTAs this year. February 2016 alone received a total of 1,17,210 tourists visiting India on e-Tourist Visa (eTV), recording a growth of 369.1 per cent month on month- the effects of eTV will be observed this year.” Commenting on the expansion of domestic tourism Zutshi added that it would grow even further in the coming years. “Domestic tourism has flourished immensely. We had about 1.45 billion domestic tourist visits in 2015 and expect a 15 growth this year. Additionally, we are aiming to reach 2.2 billion domestic tourist visits by 2019.”

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MOT & ESOI collaborate for eco tourism

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. Of India and the Ecotourism Society of India (ESOI) to propagate the cause of responsible and sustainable tourism to the next level. Vinod Zutshi, Secretary – Tourism, said, “ESOI works towards promoting sustainable and responsible tourism practices so we have joined hands with them since our agendas are the same. ESOI will partner with us and assist in sensitising the travel trade first, and then the general public.” It was also announced that a 10-year road map for advocacy and certification under the Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India will be charted. Steve Borgia, Honorary President, ESOI, said, “This MoU is also going to set a plan-of-action for the next 10 years for sustainable and responsible tourism.  The planning needs to be aggressive. Regional workshops will also be organised at various cities all over India with different guidelines for each destination.” ESOI, through stakeholder consultations will formulate criteria and classification guidelines for certification for the accommodation and tour/travel operators within the STCI guidelines and later develop standards for destinations which will also be in sync with the internationally accepted Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria. The two bodies previously formulated and published the Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India (STCI) and plan to put these practices to the forefront through the MoU.

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Govt. moots VAT reduction on turbine fuel

With a view to achieve better connectivity to remote areas and different regions of the country, the Government has laid down certain route dispersal guidelines. The government is persuading the state governments to reduce VAT on aviation turbine fuel (ATF), allowing direct import of ATF by Indian carriers as actual users. The participation of foreign airlines up to 49 percent in the equity of scheduled air transport undertaking is also being permitted. This will allow external commercial borrowings (ECB) for working capital requirement of airline industry for a period of one year subject to a total ceiling of US $1 billion. Furthermore, tax concessions for parts of aircraft and testing equipment for third party maintenance, repair and overhaul of civil aircraft are also a part of the measures.

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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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