Category Archives: MOT

India wins ‘Best Exhibitor Award’ at ITB Berlin

India has won the ‘Best Exhibitor Award’ at ITB Berlin on the concluding day. The event was convened at Berlin, Germany from March 7-10, 2018. India was represented by KJ Alphons, Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism along with other officials from the Tourism Ministry. India’s ‘Incredible India’ (Ministry of Tourism) presented a short film named ‘Yogi of the Racetrack’ during the meet. The film received 3.2 million hits in 60 hours. More than 100 countries participated at ITB Berlin with their respective Tourism Ministers.

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MOT sanctions Rs 460.74 crore for five ongoing ‘Eco Circuit’ projects

K J Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism, in a statement to Lok Sabha revealed that the Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned as much as Rs 460.74 crores for five ongoing Eco Circuit projects. Eco Circuit is one of the 15 thematic circuits identified for development under Swadesh Darshan Scheme – integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits in the country. The projects are sanctioned subject to availability of funds, submission of suitable detailed project reports, adherence to scheme guidelines and utilisation of funds released earlier. The completion of the projects sanctioned under the scheme would result in increased tourist inflow thereby creating employment opportunities for the local community. All the projects are at different stages of implementation. The Ministry provides central financial assistance as one time grant for creation of capital assets under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme in phased manner. Based on the progress made on the projects and utilisation certificate received from the State Governments, Ministry releases subsequent installments of funds. The operation and maintenance of the assets created is the responsibility of respective State Government/Union Territory. The revenue generated, if any, from these assets does not accrue to the Ministry.  

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MOT sanctions over Rs 5600 crore under Swadesh Darshan

An amount of Rs 5638.87 crore has been sanctioned with release of Rs 2148.17 crore since 2014-15 till date under the Swadesh Darshan scheme of Ministry of Tourism. Under the scheme, 13 thematic circuits have been identified for development namely, North-East India Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Desert Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit and Heritage Circuit. Meanwhile, under the PRASHAD scheme, 23 projects have been sanctioned to 15 states for a total amount of Rs 687.92 crore with release of Rs 241.28 crore since 2015-16 till date. The objective of the ‘National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive’ (PRASHAD) is of holistic development of identified pilgrimage and heritage destination.

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‘Incredible India’ website to be launched in three weeks

The much-awaited revamped ‘Incredible India’ website, which was announced on World Tourism Day on September 27, 2017, is likely to be launched in the next three weeks, revealed Meenakshi Sharma, Additional Director-General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. “We have launched a beta-version of the website recently for trial and are awaiting suggestions. Once that is done, we will be replacing the current website with the new one. The new website is more dynamic and interactive. Also, we will be updating the website after every two months and showcase a new theme.”

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Govt introduces e-FRRO portal for foreign nationals visiting India

The Government of India has digitalised the process of FRRO (Foreigners Regional Registration Office) registration, visa extension, etc. for foreign nationals visiting India. The government has now introduced an e-FRRO portal with an aim to provide faceless, cashless and paperless service to foreign nationals. There will be no requirement to visit FRRO office. Earlier, foreigners could book appointment and upload documents online but they had to be physically present on the appointed date at the FRRO office for processing of the application. With effect from February 12, 2018, a mandatory visit to the local FRRO office located at Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai has been done away with. Online submission of documents in respect of all visa and immigration related services (such as the Indian FRRO registration, visa extension, change of address/passport, visa conversion, exit permission, etc.) has been enabled. Client will be informed through e-mail/SMS alerts for service granted or rejected. Registration certificate will be sent by post and on the registered email ID. Alternatively, it can be downloaded from the portal.

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58.5% growth in FTAs on eTV in Jan 2018 over Jan 2017

The number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in January 2018 was 10.66 lakh as compared to FTAs of 9.83 lakh in January 2017 and 8.45 lakh in January 2016. The growth rate in FTAs in January 2018 over January 2017 was 8.4 per cent, compared to 16.4 per cent in January 2017 over January 2016. During January 2018, a total of 2.40 lakh foreign tourists arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 1.52 lakh during the month of January 2017 registering a growth of 58.5 per cent. The percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during January 2018 among the top 15 source countries was highest from Bangladesh (16.36%) followed by USA (14.10%), UK (10.81%), Canada (4.63%), Russian Federation (4.49%), Australia (3.60%), France (2.76%), Germany (2.64%), Malaysia (2.63%), Sri Lanka (2.59%), China (2.27%), Japan (2.08%), Republic of Korea (1.93%), Afghanistan (1.86%) and Nepal (1.59%). The percentage share of top 15 source countries availing e-Tourist Visa facilities during  January, 2018 was as follows: UK (18.6%), USA (10.6%), Russian Fed (6.5%), France (5.4%), Canada (5.3%), China (4.8%), Australia (4.3%), Germany (4.0%), Korea (Rep.of) (3.9%), Oman (3.4%), Italy (2.4%), Thailand (1.9%), Israel (1.4%), Netherlands (1.4%), and South Africa (1.4%). The percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during January 2018 among the top 15 ports was highest at Delhi Airport (28.03%) followed by Mumbai Airport (17.47%), Haridaspur Land Check Post (7.63%), Chennai Airport (7.17%), Goa (6.19%), Bengaluru Airport (5.16%), Kolkata Airport (4.81%), Cochin Airport (3.77%), Ahmadabad Airport (3.01%), Hyderabad Airport (2.56%),Gede Rail Land Check Post (1.82%), Trivandrum Airport (1.56%), Tiruchirapalli Airport (1.25%), Ghojadanga Land Check Post (1.11%), Amritsar Airport (1.01%).

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Letters of Intent granted for 62 monuments under ‘Adopt a Heritage’ project

Under ‘Adopt a Heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan’ project, Letters of Intent for 40 monuments to nine agencies of Phase-II and Letters of Intent for 22 monuments to eight agencies of Phase-III were handed over by the Minister of Culture and the Minister of Tourism, during the closing ceremony of ‘Bharat Parv’ held at Red Fort. The project was launched to preserve the rich cultural and natural heritage and promote tourism across the length and breadth of our country. In addition, the MoUs were signed with Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) and State of Jammu & Kashmir for two natural sites, namely, Mt Stok Kangri trek route, Ladakh, J&K and Gangotri Temple Area & Trail to Gaumukh, Uttarakhand. Addressing on the occasion, K.J. Alphons, Minister of State for Tourism said that the ‘Adopt a Heritage’ project plans to entrust heritage sites to private and public sector companies, and individuals for the development of tourist amenities. The basic and advanced amenities in the tourist destinations would be provided by them. He called upon people to actively take part in the Swachhta Abhiyan for cleanliness in tourist destinations.

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‘Bharat Parv’ generates patriotic mood & promotes cultural diversity

‘Bharat Parv’, an event conducted by the Ministry of Tourism has been promoting the rich cultural diversity of India whilst ensuring wider participation of the general public. The event kicked off on January 26 at Red Fort, Delhi as part of the Republic Day 2018 celebrations. Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism inaugurated the event. The highlights of the event include display of Republic Day parade tableaux, performances by the Armed Forces Bands, a multi-cuisine food court, craft mela, cultural performances from different regions of the country and photo exhibition by the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP). The cultural performances include choreographed tribal dances and music as well as performances by cultural troupes from different states. The food court has stalls set up by the states/UTs, National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) showcasing street food from different regions as well as by the Institutes of Hotel Managements and ITDC. The Crafts Mela with 50 stalls showcases the diverse handicrafts of the country, arranged by the State Governments and Ministry of Textiles through the office of the Development Commissioner of Handicrafts.

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‘Bharat Parv’ to be organised from January 26-31 at Red Fort

The Ministry of Tourism is set to organise ‘Bharat Parv’ at the Red Fort, Delhi from January 26-31, 2018 as part of Republic Day 2018 celebrations to promote India’s rich cultural diversity and ensure wider participation of the public. The highlights of the event include display of Republic Day parade tableaux, performances by the Armed Forces Bands, a multi-cuisine food court, craft mela, cultural performances from different regions of the country and photo exhibition by the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP). The cultural performances include choreographed tribal dances and music as well as performances by cultural troupes from different states. The food court will showcase street food from different regions while the craft mela with 50 stalls will display diverse handicrafts of the country. A live ‘Cookery Demonstration Area’ is being set up in the food court to promote cuisines of different states. The Bharat Parv event will be inaugurated at 5.00 pm on January, 26 and would be open for public till 10.00 pm. The event is open for public and entry is free with a valid identity proof.

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MOT streamlines hotel classification guidelines

Ministry of Tourism has streamlined the hotel classification guidelines to make them simple, transparent and time bound. The application for classification and payments of fees have been made through digital platform only, ensuring the eradication of possibility of delay or manipulation caused by human interference. The recent amendments have included a time limit of three months, thus removing any discretion in the matter. This will ensure a time bound compliance and speedy disposal of cases. The amendments have made it clear that liquor shops in the premises of the hotel other than bars will not be considered for classification under star hotels “with alcohol” category, to remove any ambiguity. It has been made mandatory for all the hotels classified under all categories to display their classification status prominently at the reception and on their websites under a separate icon on the opening page, which will display the order of classification issued by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The amendments have included a detailed timeline within which the classification has to be completed. In every case where the required documents and procedures are fulfilled, the classification will be completed within 90 days.

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