Category Archives: MOT

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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ITDC: Rs 2.54 cr profit in Q3, 2015-16

The total turnover of India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) in quarter ending December 2015 stood at Rs.123.85 crore. The public sector undertaking under the aegis of the Ministry of Tourism (MOT), registered operating profit at Rs 17.26 crore and Net Profit Before Tax (PBT) at Rs 2.54 crore in last quarter Oct-Dec, 2015-16. In first three quarters of 2015-16, the company has registered a turnover of Rs 329.72 crore, while the operating profit was registered at Rs 25.76 crore and net profit at Rs 6.83 crore. These details were announced in the Board of Directors’ meeting of the company on February 12, 2016, at the Group’s flagship hotel, The Ashok, New Delhi.

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20% of MOT’s budget for NE: Billa

The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) has been allocating 15-20 per cent of their budget every year to the North East region, crossing the earmarked 10 per cent by the government, said Suman Billa, Joint Secretary – Tourism, Govt. of India at the ‘Destination North East 2016’ meet. He said, MOT is also planning to organise a major Investment Summit around June-July. How to drive private investment into the Northeastern states to further the participation of private sector and help encourage growth will be one of the main components of the summit, he said. The event was organised by the Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER) and the Ministry of Culture.

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Passport services eased with 5-day appointment window

Passport services can now be availed with greater convenience in a five-day appointment window, shared the Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. of India, on Twitter. As part of a citizen-centric initiative, the new provision would allow applicants to choose any appointment date online from the earliest five available dates while scheduling appointment for passport related services. Steps to liberalise the police verification procedure for passport issuance have also been implemented with the paperless end-to-end digital flow of Police Verification Report (PVR) process, further reducing the time required for PVR within the desired time limit of 21 days. Henceforth, normal passport applications of all first time applicants furnishing Aadhaar, electoral photo identity card (EPIC), permanent account number (PAN) card, and an affidavit in the format of Annexure-I will be processed on post-police verification basis without payment of any additional fees, subject to successful online validation of Aadhaar number. Furthermore, mPassport Police app has been launched for digital submission of PVR by field officers. 1.20 crore passport services were rendered in 2015 registering an increase of 21 per cent over 2014.

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4.45 lakh eTV tourist arrivals in 2015

During January-December 2015, a total of 4,45,300 tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa (eTV) as compared to 39,046 during the same period in 2014 registering a growth of 1040.4 per cent. In December 2015, a total of 1,03,617 tourist arrived in India on eTV, registering a growth of 635.8 per cent growth over December 2014. The high growth may be attributed to introduction of eTV for 113 countries as against the coverage of the earlier ETA enabled TVoA scheme for 43 countries. Among the countries availing eTV, UK continues to occupy the top slot followed by the U.S and Russia where the percentage shares of the top five source countries were UK (23.81%), USA (19.59%), Russian Federation (9.33%), Australia (5.44%) and Germany (4.86%) respectively. The percentage shares of the top five ports in tourist arrivals on eTV during December 2015 were New Delhi Airport (36.23%) followed by Mumbai Airport (21.90%), Goa Airport (16.54%), Bengaluru Airport (5.54%) and Kochi Airport (4.68%).

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MOT to train youth as Tourist Facilitators

On the occasion of National Youth Day, the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) has launched new skill initiatives keeping in mind the need to improve service standards, a pre-requisite to attract larger number of tourists to India. The programme to make ‘Paryatak Mitra’ (Tourist Facilitators) is targeted at university students including those enrolled with the NCC and NSS, which will be implemented first at destinations identified under the PRASAD scheme of the Ministry of Tourism. This programme will attempt to inculcate appropriate tourism traits and knowledge among trainees to enable them to act as ‘Paryatak Mitra’. A similar programme will be started to appoint Tourist Facilitators in the Northeast. The duration of the programmes will range between four to 30 days and will be implemented by the Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management. The programmes began their first batch on January 12, 2016. The Sensitisation Programme for Existing Service Providers at Varanasi will target to train boatmen, rickshaw pullers, pandas, porters, shopkeepers and street vendors (in and around Ghats and temples) to eventually achieve an improved tourist specific service ambience and to further the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.

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