Category Archives: MOT

Now, e-visa extended to film tourism

The e-visa facility for film enthusiasts has now been principally approved by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The visa can now be availed under the category of film tourism. This was informed by Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism. He further added that the procedure of availing this facility will be similar to those for eTV for business and medical tourism. On the need to increase accommodation facilities in the country, Billa said, “The last time we counted, we are short of almost 200,000 hotel rooms in India and this gap has to be filled at a faster rate than the time it takes to build these properties. I believe homestays can play a big role in this aspect and alternative accommodations like OYO Rooms, Airbnb etc., can also fill the gap. A regulatory framework will be introduced by the Ministry of Tourism to uphold acceptable standards and quality of service and open lucrative accommodation choices for the travellers. We will accredit these accommodations as per the standards required.”

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February records 13% growth in Foriegn Tourist Arrivals

The number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals in February 2017 was 9.56 lakh as compared to FTAs of 8.47 lakh in February, 2016 registering a growth rate of 13.0 per cent in comparison to the previous year. The highest arrival numbers were from Bangladesh (17.46%) followed by UK (12.20%), USA (11.83%), Russian Fed. (4.29%) and Canada (4.26%). Delhi Airport received the most number of FTAs (31.86%) followed by Mumbai Airport (16.10%), Haridaspur Land checkpost (9.44%), Chennai Airport (6.72%) and Goa Airport (5.58%). FTAs during the period January- February 2017 were 19.40 lakh with a growth of 14.7 per cent, as compared to the FTAs of 16.91 lakh in January- February 2016.

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FEEs through Tourism grow by 17.8% in Jan 2017

Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) through tourism during the month of January 2017 was recorded at Rs.16,097 crore as compared to Rs.13,669 crore in January 2016 and Rs.12,100 crore in January 2015. The growth rate in FEEs (in rupees) during January 2017 over January 2016 was 17.8 per cent as compared to the growth rate of 13.0 per cent in January 2016 over January 2015. This data was provided by Ministry of Tourism based on the credit data of travel head as available from Balance of Payments of RBI for the previous year.

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15.5% growth in domestic tourism in 2016

Domestic tourist visits (DTVs) to states/UTs was 1,653 million in 2016 as compared to 1,432 million in 2015 corresponding to a growth of 15.5 per cent. The contribution of the top 10 states/UTs during 2016 stood at approximately 84.2 per cent to the total number of DTVs as against 83.62 per cent recorded in 2015. The top 10 states in terms of highest number of DTVs (in millions) received during 2016 were Tamil Nadu (344.3), Uttar Pradesh (229.6), Madhya Pradesh (184.7), Andhra Pradesh (158.5), Karnataka (129.8), Maharashtra (115.4), West Bengal (74.5), Telangana (71.5), Gujarat (42.8) and Rajasthan (41.5).

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16.5% growth in FTAs in Jan’17 over Jan’16

According to the Ministry of Tourism, in January 2017, a total of 9.83 lakh foreign tourist arrivals were recorded in India as compared to FTAs of 8.44 lakh in January, 2016 and 7.91 lakh in January, 2015. The growth rate in FTAs in January, 2017 over January, 2016 is 16.5 per cent as compared to 6.8 per cent in January, 2016 over January, 2015. MoT also informed that a total of 1.52 lakh foreign tourists arrived on e-Visa to India in January, 2017 as compared to 0.88 lakh during the month of January 2016 registering a growth of 72.0 per cent. The share of tourists availing e-Visa facility in January 2017 reached 15.5 per cent as against 10.4 per cent in January 2016. The percentage share of FTAs among the top 15 source countries was the highest from USA (15.01%) followed by Bangladesh (14.91%), UK (11.11%), Canada (4.63%), Russian Fed. (4.46%), Australia (3.65%), Malaysia (3.15%), Germany (2.92%), France (2.89%) and China (2.54%), Sri Lanka (2.45%), Japan(2.15%),Afghanistan (1.84%), Rep. of Korea (1.61%) and Nepal (1.60%). The percentage share of FTAs among the top 15 ports was the highest at Delhi Airport (28.30%) followed by Mumbai Airport (18.23%), Haridaspur Land checkpost (8.17%), Chennai Airport (7.32%), Goa Airport (6.51%), Bengaluru Airport (5.32%), Kolkata Airport (4.32%), Cochin Airport (3.73%), Ahmedabad Airport (3.37%), Hyderabad Airport (2.74%), Gede Rail Land checkpost (1.77%), Trivandrum (1.62%), Trichy Airport (1.38%), Ghojadanga land checkpost (1.08%) and Amritsar Airport (1.02%). The percentage share of top 15 source countries availing e-Visa facilities during January, 2017 was highest from UK (22.9%), followed by USA (13.6%), Russian Fed (8.3%), China (6.3%), France (5.6%), Australia (4.4%), Germany (4.1%), Canada (3.6%), Korea (Rep.of) (3.2%) and Ukraine …

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Now, free SIM cards for tourists on e-visa

Welcome kits with preloaded SIM cards have been launched by Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Tourism & Culture, Govt. of India, in collaboration with BSNL and Telco for the benefit of foreign tourists visiting the country. He announced, “We are glad to be launching this initiative and hope it is a success. Our aim is to make the tourists’ stay in India a good one and their safety and security is our utmost concern. Hence, the sim cards have been preloaded with about Rs. 50 talktime and 50mb data so that they can connect with their loved ones after landing in India.” The kit is currently available at T3, Indira Gandhi International Airport and will subsequently be rolled out to 15 other airports where e-visa facility is accepted. Tourists can avail the free sim card from the Bureau of Immigration at the airport after filling out an information form.

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J&K signs MoU with MOT for tourism projects

A Tripartite Memorandum of  Understanding (MoU) for implementation of tourism projects in Jammu and Kashmir was signed between Ministry of Tourism, NPCC & NBCC and Government of Jammu and Kashmir. The MoU was signed in the presence of Vinod Zutshi, Secretary, Tourism and the signatories for the MoU included Suman Billa, Joint Secretary , Ministry of Tourism; Shamim Ahmad Wani, Managing Director, J&K Cable Car Corporation;  K K Sharma, Executive Director, NPCC; and Alok Rastogi, Chief General Manager (BD), NBCC. The Prime Minister announced the Development Package (Reconstruction Plan) for Jammu and Kashmir on 7.11.2015. The Ministry of Tourism under the new initiative -Development of Tourism in the State–New Projects has sanctioned two projects to NPCC and NBCC in J&K for being implemented this September. Integrated Development of Tourist facilities at Gulmarg–Baramulla–Kupwara–Leh to NBCC for Rs. 96.92 crore and Integrated Development of Tourist facilities at Mantalai–Sudhmahadev–Patnitop in Jammu & Kashmir to NPCC for Rs.  97.82 crore. Major components sanctioned under the projects are Yoga centre, wellness SPA, Log Huts, heliports, Open air theatre, walking trail, landscaping, solar lighting, solid waste management & public amenities etc.

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Inbound sector completely ignored

Rajan Sehgal, Chairman, TAAI- Northern Chapter, has a stern opinion on Union Budget. “For the last so many years, there has been no mention of tourism. This time as well, tourism was mentioned only for two minutes. We cannot think of growth and promotion of tourism internationally without having our house in order. No monument in India is of international standard, and people only know of the Taj Mahal, which is the only monument we can sell, which too is not tourism friendly.” On how the Budget ignored the inbound sector, Sehgal says, “Tourism brings in foreign exchange as well as creates employment. Very cleverly, the government has seen outbound tourism where they have seen two crore people are travelling, and thus they should come in the tax bracket. But they have not emphasised on inbound, which would bring the foreign exchange. They are just trying to collect tax, but they have not understood the potential of tourism. We have to have direct interaction with the Prime Minister’s Office. Tourism needs to be a very easy industry, and the tax should be simplified in this sector. Other countries follow this and are booming.”

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