Category Archives: MOT

Over 350 delegates @ MoCA’s 1st WINGS 2017

Ministry of Civil Aviation, hosted the first edition of WINGS 2017 – ‘Sab Uden, Sab Juden”- Expanding Regional Connectivity in New Delhi.  The plenary session was chaired by  P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Union Minister of Civil Aviation.  Around 338 delegates from the government and civil aviation sector participated in the event which included key stakeholders from all states, tourism departments and tour operators. The stakeholders interacted amongst themselves in 112 one to one discussions (G2B meetings) with the airlines operators in an attempt to showcase their destinations and routes as viable business market for the airlines. They represented airline consumers to facilitate interaction with various airlines, airport operators, cargo operators and other ecosystem players at a common forum. Jayant Sinha, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation;Rajiv Nayan Choubey, Secretary, MoCA; B S Bhullar, Director General of Civil Aviation; Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman, Airports Authority of India; Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Pratyush Kumar, Chairman, FICCI National Aviation Committee also attended the sessions. 19 states made presentations emphasising the incentives or special packages to the airlines other than the support offered by Government of India under RCS- UDAN. The closed-door event entailed incentives to the airlines operators such as underwriting of seats, reducing the tax on ATF, additional VGF, night parking, concessional electricity and water charges, infrastructural support etc. and routes and airport wise benefits. This event proved to be an ideal platform for states to project themselves as a viable aviation market and showcasing the strength and opportunities in the aviation sector to the potential airlines.

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Hotels to charge GST on rack rates

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) for hotels will be charged on the rack rates, or declared rates of hotels, which will have a considerable impact on the hotel industry. According to the notification number 11/2017-Central Tax (Rate) New Delhi, dated June 28, 2017, “For accommodation in hotels, inns, guest houses, clubs, campsites or other commercial places meant for residential or lodging purposes, the ‘declared tariff’ will be the basis of tax to be levied.” Declared tariff has been explained as to  include charges for all the amenities provided in a unit of accommodation (given on rent for stay), like furniture, air conditioner, refrigerator or any other amenities, but without excluding any discount offered on the published charges leading to some ambiguity. However, Rashmi Verma, Secretary Tourism, Government of India, had announced in an interactive meeting in Mumbai that the GST rates are on actual invoiced rate and not on published tariff. She also assured to look into any discrepancy or anomaly in the language or wordings of the same.

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India records 12.6% increase in domestic, 5.9% rise in foreign tourists in 2016 YoY

The number of visits by domestic tourists and foreign tourists has increased by 12.68% and 5.92%, respectively, during 2016 over 2015. The number of domestic tourists rose from 1431.97 million to 1613.55 million with the top states being (in millions), Tamil Nadu (343.81), Uttar Pradesh (211.71) and Andhra Pradesh (153.16). The number of foreign tourist visits in the country rose from 22.33 million to 24.71 million with the top states being (in millions), Tamil Nadu (4.72), Maharashtra (4.67) and Uttar Pradesh (3.16). This data was compiled by the Market Research Division of Ministry of Tourism for various State/Union Territories (UTs) through information given by the Departments of Tourism of each State Government and UT Administrations.

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Wellness & yoga tourism guidelines to be released on June 21

Guidelines for wellness and yoga tourism in India will be released on June 21 on the occasion of International Yoga Day while the policy for medical tourism in India will be announced in three to four weeks subsequently, informed Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent charge) for Tourism and Culture, Government of India. This was announced during the third meeting of the National Medical and Wellness Tourism Promotion Board (NMWTPB) where members of the board discussed ways to improve the structure of the policy and make it more comprehensive. Sharma said, “Medical and wellness tourism plays a major role in overall growth of tourism. India offers some very intricate treatments at one sixth the cost in comparison to many countries; have the best professionals and the most acclaimed paramedical staff. To harness the potential of this segment, we are going to divide the segment in two phases. On June 21 we will release the guidelines for wellness centers, spas and yoga centers for tourism purposes. We have asked the members of the Board for suggestions to prepare a draft Medical Tourism Policy, which will be then reviewed and later released in a matter of three to four weeks. We are also working on a dynamic, interactive web portal which will be one stop shop for medical value travel needs. The purpose is to standardise the rates of various services, provide a list of medical tourism providers and offer a single window system to medical and wellness tourism in a transparent manner.” Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, added that generally medical and wellness tourism are seen as separate entities but the NMWTPB is a landmark committee where …

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55.3% growth in foreign tourist arrivals on eTV in May 2017 YOY

Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) on e-Tourist Visa during May 2017 were 0.68 lakh as compared to 0.44 lakh during the month of May 2016 registering a growth of 55.3 per cent. During January-May 2017, a total of 6.50 lakh tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 4.35 lakh during January-May 2016, registering a growth of 49.4 per cent. The percentage shares of top 15 source countries availing e-Tourist Visa facilities during  May, 2017 were as follows: USA (15.1%), UK (13.1%), China (8.4%), Germany (4.3%), Australia (4.1%), France (4.0%), Canada (3.9%), Korea (3.4%), Singapore (2.8%), Malaysia (2.5%), Russian Fed (2.2%), Spain (2.1%), UAE (2.0%), Thailand (1.9%), and South Africa (1.6%). The percentage shares of top 15 ports in tourist arrivals on e-Tourist Visa during May, 2017 were as follows: New Delhi Airport (45.1%), Mumbai Airport (21.4%), Bengaluru Airport (8.6%), Chennai Airport (7.8%), Kochi Airport (3.6%), Hyderabad Airport (2.8%), Kolkata Airport (2.5%), Dabolim (Goa) Airport (1.9%), Ahmedabad Airport (1.4%), Amritsar Airport (1.2%), Tirchy Airport (1.1%), Trivandrum Airport (1.1%), Jaipur Airport (0.4%), Calicut Airport (0.4%)and Pune Airport(0.3%).

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19.5% growth in foreign tourist arrivals in May 2017 YOY

The number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in May 2017 were 6.30 lakh as compared to FTAs of 5.27 lakh during the same period last year and 5.09 lakh in May 2015. The growth rate in FTAs in May 2017 over May 2016 is 19.5 per cent compared to 3.5 per cent in May 2016 over May 2015. FTAs during the period January-May 2017 were 42.15 lakh with a growth of 16.4 per cent, as compared to the FTAs of 36.22 lakh with a growth of 8.7 per cent in January-May 2016 over January-May 2015. The percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during May 2017 among the top 15 source countries was highest from Bangladesh (29.73%) followed by USA (14.37%), UK (6.76%), Malaysia (3.64%), China (2.91%), Sri Lanka (2.68%), Japan(2.38%), Germany (2.34%), Canada (2.33%), Australia (2.26%), Singapore (1.99%), France (1.77%), Afghanistan (1.76%), Nepal (1.73%) and Republic of Korea (1.52%). The percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during May 2017 among the top 15 ports was highest at Delhi Airport (24.17%) followed by Haridaspur Land check post (17.06%), Mumbai Airport (15.04%),Chennai Airport (7.75%), Bengaluru Airport (6.50%), Kolkata Airport (5.29%), Gede Rail Land check post (3.62%), Hyderabad Airport (3.33%),Cochin Airport (3.25%), Ghojadanga land check post (2.14%), Tiruchirapalli Airport (1.76%), Ahmedabad Airport (1.61%), Trivandrum Airport (1.36%), Goa Airport (0.78%),and Attari-Wagh Airport (0.77%).

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MOT’s new GST Cell to address industry queries

Tourism Secretary Rashmi Verma announced that in May the ministry witnessed a 19 per cent increase in inbound tourist numbers despite it being peak summer. She informed that MOT has created a GST cell two days ago to address the industry issues. “We want to handhold the industry through the transition from current tax regime to the new GST regime and solve any hurdles through this,” she said. The much-awaited National Tourism policy would most probably be released before World Tourism Day commemorated on September 27, she added. Verma said that the Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet had suggested some changes in the draft policy which have been incorporated and will releasing it soon. This was revealed during a special session on GST organised by the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) for its members, which was attended by members from Central Board of Excise & Customs, Govt. of India. The government officials addressed the issues related to tour operators and explained to them the intricacies of the GST regime and how would it affect them. The event was also a farewell from IATO to former secretary tourism Vinod Zutshi, where they also welcomed the new secretary Rashmi Verma.

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116 ASI monuments to be under MOT, open to PPP model

The Ministry of Culture has offered a total of 116 ASI monuments to the Ministry of Tourism (MOT), which would then be open to PPP model, it was revealed by Rashmi Verma, Secretary of Tourism, in a meeting with FAITH recently. Under the PPP model, these monuments will be taken over by private players for the upkeep, maintenance and to be illuminated for night tourism as well.

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63.4% growth in FTAs on eTV in April 2017

During the month of April 2017, total of 1.14 lakh tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 0.7 lakh during the month of April 2016, registering a growth of 63.4 per cent. The January-April 2017 period saw a total of 5.82 lakh tourists who availed e-Tourist Visa as compared to 3.91 lakh during January-April 2016, registering a growth of 48.8 per cent. Tourists from UK (21.6%) availed the most number of eTVs, followed by USA (10.2%), China (6.1%), Russian Fed (6.1%) and France (5.1%). The top five ports in tourist arrivals on e-TV during April, 2017 were New Delhi Airport (48.6%), Mumbai Airport (20.4%), Dabolim (Goa) Airport (7.2%), Bengaluru Airport (5.4%) and Chennai Airport (5.1%). The number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in April 2017 were 7.40 lakh as compared to FTAs of 5.99 lakh in April 2016 with a growth rate of 23.5 per cent. FTAs during the period January- April 2017 were 35.85 lakh with a growth of 15.4 per cent, as compared to the FTAs of 31.08 lakh with a growth rate of 10.1 per cent. The percentage share of FTAs in India during April 2017 among the top five source countries was highest from Bangladesh (23.07%) followed by USA (10.65%), UK (10.51%), Germany (3.28%) and Australia (3.15%), while the percentage share among the top five ports was highest at Delhi Airport (29.20%) followed by Mumbai Airport (15.48%), Haridaspur Land checkpost (12.88%), Chennai Airport (6.56%) and Bengaluru Airport (5.67%).

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Rashmi Verma is the new Secretary, Tourism

Rashmi Verma (IAS), of 1982 batch from Bihar Cadre, has joined as the new Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. Before this, Verma was serving as the Secretary in Ministry of Textiles. Not new to tourism, she has previously served as the Chairman & MD of Bihar Tourism Department as well as Additional Director in Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. She will be replacing N. K. Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, who had taken up the additional charge as Secretary Tourism after Vinod Zutshi retired from the position.

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