Category Archives: MOT

MOT to sanction Rs 99.97cr by year end for Buddhist Circuit in UP

Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism & Culture has said that for Uttar Pradesh, the ministry is on the verge of sanctioning an amount of Rs.99.97 crore this year for infrastructure development of Buddhist Circuit covering Saravasti, Kapilvastu, Kushinagar. Outlining the ministry’s investment in tourism infrastructure for development of Buddhist Circuit under its Swadesh Darshan scheme, Sharma stated that an amount of Rs. 132.17 crore have been sanctioned till date. Delivering his opening remarks during the International Buddhist Conclave-2016 in Sarnath, UP, Sharma said, “India is the seat of spiritual tourism and that Government of India & Government of Uttar Pradesh are committed to develop the Buddhist Circuits. Sarnath will be made the hub of Buddhist Tourism in India and efforts will be made to bring in air, rail and road connections from Sarnath to various Buddhist sites in India.” Among those attending the opening ceremony were UP Tourism Minister Om Prakash, Tourism Secretary Vinod Zutshi, Navneet Sehgal, Principal Secretary, UP Tourism and Commissioner Varanasi, H.E. Assoc. Professor Chavanee Tongroach, Vice Minister of Tourism & Sports, Govt. of the Kingdom of Thailand, Macio Favilla, Executive Director, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Mayor of Varanasi amongst others attended the opening session of the conclave. Zutshi said that this is the first time when the International Buddhist Conclave is being organized in the premises of Sarnath. He further added that India is prepared for developing a transborder Buddhist Circuit across ASEAN & SAARC countries to enhance movement of Buddhist pilgrims in the region from remaining parts of the world. The whole day session included panel discussions on ‘India- The Land of Buddha’ with an objective to showcase India …

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5th International Buddhist Conclave begins in Varanasi-Sarnath

With a view to showcase and project the Buddhist heritage and pilgrim sites of India, the Ministry of Tourism is organising the ‘5th International Buddhist Conclave, from October 2 to 6, 2016, in Varanasi-Sarnath in collaboration with the state governments of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The Conclave was inaugurated by Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister for Tourism & Culture on October 2 in New Delhi. Ministry of Tourism has received over 250 nominations from 38 countries such as Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, USA and Vietnam for participation in the Conclave. This year’s International Buddhist Conclave is very special as ASEAN as a Guest of Honour partner and a large participation is expected from ASEAN Countries which are also major source markets for India in general and the Buddhist Heritage sites in particular. Participants in the Buddhist Conclave will include international Buddhist opinion makers, tour operators and media, as well as state governments and domestic tour operators promoting pilgrimages to the Buddhist sites in the country. The Conclave will include Presentations, Panel discussions, Business to Business Meetings between international and domestic tour operators and State Governments, an exhibition highlighting Buddhist attractions in India, as well as visits to important Buddhist sites in and around Varanasi, Sarnath and Bodhgaya. The event will give the participants an opportunity to interact, promote, package and sell pilgrimage itineraries to the Buddhist sites in the country, for overseas visitors. International Buddhist Conclaves have earlier been organized in New Delhi and Bodhgaya (February …

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Tourism Policy gets PMO nod, awaits cabinet approval: Billa

The highly-anticipated National Tourism Policy has been approved by the Prime Minister’s Office and is waiting for a formal cabinet nod, revealed Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. “The tourism policy has been concurred to by all the ministries. It has been to the Prime Minister’s Office and they’ve approved it too. Now we are just waiting for the process of placing it before the cabinet for formal approval,” Billa informed on the sidelines of the Kerala Travel Mart, being held in Kochi from September 27-30, 2016.

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MOT treats differently-abled children to Delhi tour for World Tourism Day

On occasion of World Tourism Day, the Ministry of Tourism organised a special sightseeing tour of the monuments and heritage places of Delhi where 35 differently abled students from of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya School for Divyang Children participated. The World Tourism Day theme was ‘Tourism for All – Promoting Universal Accessibility’ on which Dr. Mahesh Sharma said, “Accessible Tourism for all is about the creation of environments that can cater for the needs of all of us, whether we are traveling or staying at home. May that be due to a disability, even temporary, families with small children, or the ageing population, at some point in our lives, sooner or later, we all benefit of universal accessibility in tourism.” Vinod Zutshi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism said, “On this year’s World Tourism Day help us spread the word of both the importance and immense benefits universal accessibility has and can bring to society at large.” The celebrations continued with an awards presentation acknowledging the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism offices and its organisations, where India Tourism, New Delhi held a painting competition. Finally, the minister flagged off the ‘Swacch Paryatan Run’ from Transport Bhawan to India Gate, New Delhi in an effort to promote cleanliness and the Clean India campaign.

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MOT announces slew of events for World Tourism Day

Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism & Culture will flag off the ‘Swachh Paryatan Run’ from Transport Bhawan to India Gate in New Delhi on the occasion of World Tourism Day on Sept 27. The Minister will also flag the ‘Special Sightseeing Tour of the Monuments and Museum in Delhi arranged for Divyang Children’ organised by India Tourism, New Delhi. Among the other activities organised by India Tourism, New Delhi, the Minister will award rewarding Ministry of Tourism offices, its organisations and also hold a painting competition.

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1st IITIS garners investments worth Rs 15,000 cr

States like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh exchanged 86 MoUs, aggregating close to Rs 15,000 crores during the inaugural edition of Incredible India Tourism Investors Summit (IITIS) 2016. Gujarat exchanged MoUs close to Rs 9000 crores, Karnataka with Rs. 2600 crores, Rajasthan with Rs. 1000 crores, Uttarakhand with Rs. 500 crores and Chhattisgarh with Rs. 12 crores. Also, B. R. Shetty Group is keen to invest Rs. 450 crores and Costa Cruise Rs. 750 crores and Triveni Singapore close to Rs. 800 crores in the country. Vinod Zutshi, Secretary-Tourism, Government of India, informed that IITIS will be held annually to boost tourism and will be supported by World Bank. The next edition of IITIS will be organized in September 2017. “World Bank is supporting India’s Buddhist Circuit development and will provide support for sustainable tourism development including through funds,” said Cecile Fruman, Global Director, Trade and Competitiveness, World Bank. At the Summit, organized by Ministry of Tourism (MoT) in partnership with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Tourism Finance Corporation of India, Zutshi also announced various initiatives like setting up of a task force headed by Secretary-Tourism, with membership from relevant ministries, state governments, and industry associations to undertake strategic planning; setting up of an investor facilitation desk to handhold investors and facilitate projects and organising investor meets in states with the support of MoT.

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Incredible India Tourism Investors’ Summit 2016 begins

Ministry of Tourism’s maiden Incredible India Tourism Investors’ Summit 2016 kicked off in New Delhi. Arun Jaitley, Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs inaugurated the three-day summit. Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism & Culture delivered the key address. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu also addressed the audience on the occasion. It is an initiative of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, in association with Tourism Finance Corporation of India (TFCI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). IITIS is a platform for domestic and international investors to meet project owners from across Indian states and the private sector. Highlights of this summit will be state presentations encompassing all investible properties, session on “Why invest in India?,” MSME in tourism sector, panel discussions on core infrastructure for tourism, session on start-ups, digital India, investing into Swadesh Darshan, PRASAD, MICE and niche tourism products, B2B meetings and signing of MoUs. Four Knowledge Partners i.e. Ernst & Young, KPMG, Yes Bank and Invest India will assist States and UTs for identifying projects, suggesting tourism policy updates and presenting these to the potential investors during the summit. Around 250 domestic and overseas investors are set to participate in the summit. More than 2000 delegates have registered for the event.

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Over 6.7 lakh FTAs received in August 2016

Foreign tourist arrivals (FTA) during August 2016 were 6.70 lakh as compared to 5.99 lakh FTAs in August 2015, registering a growth of 11.8 per cent over the same month the previous year. A sum of Rs.12,903 crore foreign exchange was earned through tourism in August 2016 as compared to Rs. 11,411 crore in August, 2015 corresponding to a growth rate of 13.1 per cent in August 2016 over August 2015. FTAs during the period January- August, 2016 were 55.92 lakh as compared to the 50.73 lakh FTAs during the same period in 2015 corresponding to a growth of 10.2 per cent. FEE from tourism during January-August, 2016 was recorded at Rs. 1,00,287 crore with a growth of 14.7 per cent. The percentage share of FTAs amongst the top five source countries was highest from Bangladesh (16.61 per cent) followed by  USA (12.59 per cent), UK (10.57 per cent), Sri Lanka (5.92 per cent) and Malaysia (3.41 per cent) while the percentage share of FTAs amongst top five ports was highest at Delhi Airport with 28.38 per cent followed by Mumbai Airport (17.32 per cent), Chennai Airport (10.17 per cent),  Haridaspur Land check post (9.10 per cent) and Bengaluru Airport (6.83 per cent)

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MOT on a cleanliness drive from Sept 16-30

The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) is observing a Swachhta Pakhwada (cleanliness fortnight) from September 16-30, 2016, to create awareness of the need for cleanliness in all walks of life. The officers and staff of MOT will undertake cleaning of 10 pre-selected tourist sites in the afternoon during this period. In addition to the cleaning, the officers and staff will carry out cleaning in and around Transport Bhawan and C-1 Hutments and weeding out of old documents and files to achieve ‘Swachh’ office environment. An essay competition on the topic of cleanliness will be organised on September 24 in English and on September 25 in Hindi. Considering the importance of September 27 being the World Tourism Day, MOT will organise a ‘Run for Swachh Paryatan from Transport Bhawan to India Gate with the participation of the public, students and faculty of the Institutes of Ministry of Tourism as well as the officers and staff of the Ministry. Awards and Appreciation Certificates would be distributed on World Tourism Day to the best maintained or cleanest offices at head quarter, regional and domestic offices of MOT to acknowledge and encourage the efforts made towards cleanliness.  

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MOT approves projects worth Rs. 500cr for J&K

The government has approved projects to the tune of Rs. 500 crore for tourist infrastructural development in Jammu and Kashmir. The Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (CSMC) chaired by Union Tourism Secretary Vinod Zutshi for the ‘Swadesh Darshan Scheme’ approved projects to the tune of Rs. 500 crore as part of Development Package of Prime Minister Reconstruction Plan (PMRP) for integrated development of tourism in Jammu and Kashmir. New projects include Integrated Development of Tourist facilities at Mantalai–Sudhmahadev–Patnitop Circuit for Rs.99.99 crore, Baramulla-Kupwara-Leh circuit for Rs.99.98 crore,  Rajouri-Bafliyaz-Shopian-Pulwama Circuit for Rs.99.99 crore and Anantnag-Kishtwar-Pahalgam–Daksum-Ranjit Sagar Dam Circuit for Rs.99.75 crore. In addition, Rs. 99.99 crore has been approved for integrated development of tourist facilities in lieu of damaged assets in the floods. Highlights of the project involve developing a Convention Centre in Gulmarg and Patnitop, development of Ethnic Villages, Development of Water Sports Centre at Baghliyar Dam – Pool Doda. Other major intervention proposed in the circuits include last mile connectivity, tourist facilitation/interpretation centre, base camps for trekking, facilitation centre for pilgrims for Amarnath Yatra, Sound and Light Show at Shalimar Bag, illumination of heritage structures, provision of eco friendly vehicles, Enhancement of tourist facilities at golf courses across the state.

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