Category Archives: MOT

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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eTV for MICE, business travel

Vinod Zutshi, Secretary-Tourism, informed that the modification of eTV’s validity from 30 days to 60 days has been principally approved and will be put into action soon. Zutshi added that they are contemplating on creating an eTV for MICE, as well as a business tourist visa for visitors travelling to India on work purposes. “While the eTV currently allows single-entry, double-entry on eTV is also on the cards,” he shared.

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Buddhist Conclave from Oct 3-5, 2016

The Buddhist Conclave will be held from October 3-5, 2016, in Varanasi, Sarnath and Bodh Gaya, informed Vinod Zutshi, Secretary-Tourism, Govt. of India at the PATA India Update and Outlook meeting. “As many as 500 monks from ASEAN countries will be attending the three-day event,” he shared. Zutshi added that the International Tourism Mart (ITM) 2016 will also be held the same month in Imphal, Manipur to boost visitors to the Northeastern states. He further revealed that to develop infrastructure on the Swadesh Darshan circuits, funds to the tune of 1600 crores have been sanctioned while 284 crores have been allotted for development of the Prasad scheme circuits.

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Proposed fee hike for ASI monuments curbed to 50%

The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) has decided that the increase in ASI monument fees will only be 50 per cent of the proposed hike of 300 per cent. This means that for Category B monuments, there will be an increase from Rs. 100 to Rs. 200 only instead of Rs. 300. However, a premium ticket will be introduced of Rs. 300/- with some value additions. Similarly for Category A monuments, there will be an increase from Rs. 250 to Rs. 500 only instead of Rs. 750. Premium ticket will cost Rs. 750 with similar value additions. The above new rates will be effective from April 1, 2016. The decision was taken in a meeting with the Executive Committee (EC) members of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) and officials from Archaelogical Survey of India (ASI). While the official notification from ASI is awaited, IATO has revealed that after constant deliberations with the MOT, finally the decision was taken in a meeting with Minister of State for Tourism and Culture (IC) Dr. Mahesh Sharma, in his office where Vinod Zutshi, Secretary (Tourism), Narendra Kumar Sinha, Secretary (Culture), Rakesh Tewari, DG (ASI), Navneet Soni, OSD to Minister of Culture, B. Purushottam, PS to Hon’ble Minister for Tourism & Culture, Suman Billa, Joint Secretary (Tourism) and many other senior officials were present. Also, the IATO EC was assured by Sharma that by April 15, 2016, there will be a separate counter and queue to enter at all the ASI monuments for those having ticket in category A of Rs. 500 and above and in Category B of Rs. 200 and above. Some other facilities include clean toilets and some fast food outlets …

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11% growth in foreign arrivals in Feb ’16 month on month

Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) during February 2016 were 8.47 lakh as compared to FTAs of 7.61 lakh during February 2015 and 7.56 lakh in February 2014. There has been a growth of 11.3% in February 2016 over February 2015. FTAs during the period January-February 2016 were 16.91 lakh with a growth of 9.0% as compared to the FTAs of 15.52 lakh with a growth of 2.5% in January-February 2015 over January-February 2014.The Percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during February, 2016 among the top 15 source countries was highest from Bangladesh (12.96%) followed by USA (12.94%), UK (12.45%), Canada (4.71%), Sri Lanka (3.86%), Germany (3.51%), France (3.46%), Malaysia (3.34%), China (3.08%), Russian Federation (3.07%), Australia (2.69%), Japan (2.37%), Thailand (2.28%), Nepal (1.69%) and Afghanistan (1.65%). The Percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during February 2016 among the top 15 ports was highest at Delhi Airport (32.33%) followed by Mumbai Airport (17.24%), Chennai Airport (7.33%), Haridaspur Land check post (6.98%), Bangalore Airport (5.66%), Goa Airport (4.52%), Kolkata Airport (4.21%), Hyderabad Airport (2.69%), Cochin Airport (2.65%), Ahmedabad Airport (2.18%), Gede Rail (2.00%), Sonauli Land check post (1.58%), Trivendrum Airport (1.48%), Amritsar Airport (1.44%) and Tiruchirapalli Airport (1.27%). Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) during February 2016 were Rs 13,627 crore as compared to Rs. 11,642 crore in February 2015 and Rs. 11,510 crore in February 2014. The growth rate in FEEs in rupee terms during February 2016 over February 2015 was 17.1% as compared to the growth of 1.1% in February 2015 over February 2014. FEEs from tourism in rupee terms during January-February 2016 were Rs. 27,296 crore with a growth of 15.0% as compared to the FEE …

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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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