Category Archives: MOT

International Buddhist Conclave to boost tourism to Buddhist sites in India

President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the International Buddhist Conclave (IBC), 2018 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi  in the presence of KJ Alphons, Minister of State (I/C), Tourism; Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Tourism; Satyajit Rajan, Director General, Tourism; ministerial delegates from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Travel trade representatives from India and various other countries were also present for the conclave. Addressing the audience, Kovind said, “India is the land of Buddha and this initiative by Ministry of Tourism would attract visitors from around the world to come to India and experience the Buddhist destinations in the country.” The first day of the conclave also included presentations by the Ministry of Tourism and state governments on Buddhist tourism prospects in the country. An investor’s summit was also going on alongside the conclave to look for investment opportunities in the Buddhist tourism sector in the country. A B2B session was also conducted between foreign and Indian tour operators along with a panel discussion on ‘Role of Living Buddhist Heritage in the Contemporary Society’. The Conclave is being organised by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the state governments of Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh from August 23-26, 2018 at New Delhi and Ajanta (Maharashtra).

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President to inaugurate International Buddhist Conclave 2018 on August 23

President Ram Nath Kovind will inaugurate the International Buddhist Conclave (IBC), 2018 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on August 23. KJ Alphons, Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism will preside over the inaugural function. The Conclave is being organised by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the state governments of Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh from August 23-26, 2018 at New Delhi and Ajanta (Maharashtra), followed by site visits to Rajgir, Nalanda and Bodhgaya (Bihar) and Sarnath (Uttar Pradesh). During the inaugural session of the Conclave, the Ministry will launch its website landofbuddha.in and a new film showcasing the Buddhist sites in the country. Delegates would be taken for site visits to Aurangabad, Rajgir, Nalanda, Bodhgaya and Sarnath. The Ministerial level delegation from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka will participate in the conclave. Delegates from 29 countries are participating in the event. The countries include Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mangolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Norway, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, UK,  USA and Vietnam.  

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Govt inaugurates first project under Swadesh Darshan Scheme in Manipur

Dr Najma A Heptulla, Governor of Manipur, has recently inaugurated the project ‘Development of North East Circuit: Imphal & Khongjom’ implemented under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India in the presence of N Biren Singh, Chief Minister of Manipur; K J Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism and Rashmi Verma, Union Tourism Secretary in Imphal at a function held at Kangla Fort. Speaking on the occasion, Heptulla drew the attention of Government of India on the huge potential of the tourism industry of the state which comes in the form of culture, sports, arts, eco, histor, handloom and handicrafts. Alphons, in his speech, congratulated the Government of Manipur for its commendable work in tourism sector of the state and suggested to come up with even more brighter projects and express his willingness to be generous on the projects to be taken up in North East. Singh, in his remarks, has proposed for three more projects for development and strengthening of eco, ethnic and sports tourism at Loktak Lake, Mapithel Dam and Shadu Chiru. He also expressed his happiness on the progress of Kangkhui cave tourism project. The project under inauguration was sanctioned by the Ministry of Tourism in September 2015 for Rs 72.30 crores. The project covers two sites, namely, Kangla Fort and Khongjom.

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Revamped Incredible India website witnesses 1.6 mn visitors in less than two months

Since the launch of a revamped version of Incredible India website, 1.6 million visitors have visited the website as on August 2, 2018, engaging in the immersive experience of India’s heritage, festivity, spirituality, museums and adventure. The composition of website traffic from the top five countries are Russia (19%), India (12%), UK (10%), US (9%) and Italy (6%). The website showcases India as a holistic destination, revolving around major experiences such as spirituality, heritage, adventure, culture, yoga, wellness and more. It follows the trends and technologies of international standards, that aims to project India as a “must-visit” destination, among its overseas travellers. It has many useful features to make it more interactive and to provide a deeper engagement to the travellers visiting the website. The new site now allows the Ministry of Tourism to engage effectively with visitors across web and social channels and measure engagement, to deliver real time personalised experiences for each visitor, based on their interest and travel persona. The website also brings online a series of compelling visuals, which will give the user an immersive experience of India’s spectacular heritage, festivity, spirituality, museums and adventure.

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MOT announces visa on arrival for tourists from South Korea

The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, has announced to roll out the facility of Visa-on-Arrival (VoA) to the nationals of South Korea with effect from October 1, 2018. The facility will be available with double entry for a period of 60 days for business, tourism, conference and medical purposes at the country’s six major international airports which are Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.  

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Indo-Nepal Tourism Forum to be set up for consultation and promotion: MOT

The second meeting of tourism Joint Working Group (JWG) between India and Nepal held in Kathmandu has agreed to set up the Indo-Nepal Tourism Forum with representation from government and private sector from both sides for mutual consultation and promotion of tourism in both countries, informed KJ Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism. The JWG also decided to officially recognise two circuits, Ramayana Circuit and Buddhist Circuit by both governments for joint promotions through common branding and marketing exercises. Earlier, during the Conclave of Special Committee on Tourism for SAARC countries held in India in 2016, the Ministry of Tourism has agreed to offer total 50 seats for three years B.Sc. programme and diploma courses through Institute of Hotel Management (IHM) to the students from SAARC countries including Nepal. The Bharatmala Pariyojana (approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in October 2017), includes development of 5,300 km border and international connectivity roads including some National Highways stretches leading to Nepal Border. Out of this, 2,000 Km of National Highways for international connectivity has been provided an outlay of Rs 25,000 crore in Phase I (2017-18 to 2021-22) of the program. The National Highway infrastructure developed under the above program would also provide connectivity for tourism related activities.

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26 religious sites identified for development under PRASHAD Scheme: Alphons

Under the PRASHAD Scheme, the Ministry of Tourism has identified 26 religious sites in 19 states for development which inter-alia include Amaravati and Srisailam (Andhra Pradesh), Kamakhya (Assam), Patna and Gaya (Bihar), Dwarka and Somnath (Gujarat), Gurudwara Nada Saheb (Haryana), Hazratbal and Katra (Jammu & Kashmir), Deogarh (Jharkhand), Chamundeshwari Devi (Karnataka), Guruvayoor (Kerala), Una (Himachal Pradesh), Omkareshwar (Madhya Pradesh), Trimbakeshwar (Maharashtra), Puri (Odisha), Amritsar (Punjab), Ajmer (Rajasthan), Kanchipuram and Vellankani (Tamil Nadu), Varanasi and Mathura (Uttar Pradesh), Badrinath and Kedarnath (Uttarakhand) and Belur (West Bengal). MOT provides central financial assistance to state governments/Union Territory (UT) administrations under the schemes of Swadesh Darshan, National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) and Assistance to Central Agencies for the development of tourism-related infrastructure in the country.

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MOT to launch campaigns to promote Kumbh Mela globally

In a bid to attract more foreign tourists, the Ministry of Tourism will take a slew of measures to promote the upcoming Kumbh Mela globally. The 49-day-long fair is scheduled to begin in Allahabad on January 2019. In a written reply in Lok Sabha, KJ Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism said, “The Ministry will launch ‘Chalo Kumbh Chalo’ campaign across the country and other marketing campaigns to promote the fair. We are organising the ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Divas’ in Varanasi to attract ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Delegates’ to visit the holy congregation.” “We will lay out advertisements promoting Kumbh 2019 at major international airports of the country to attract foreign tourists. We will also develop designated area for flag hoisting for 192 countries visiting Kumbh Mela,” Alphons added.

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MOT identifies 17 attractions to be developed as Iconic Tourist Sites

The Ministry of Tourism has identified 17 sites in 12 clusters for development under Iconic Tourist Sites Development Project. The sites include Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, Ajanta & Ellora, Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Colva beach, Amer Fort, Somnath, Dholavira, Khajuraho, Hampi, Mahabalipuram, Kaziranga, Kumarakom and Mahabodhi. The Ministry shall be developing the sites with focus on issues concerning connectivity to the destination, better facilities for the tourists at the site, skill development, involvement of local community, promotion & branding and by bringing in private investment. The monuments taken up for development fall under the jurisdiction of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and State Archaeology Departments. The Ministry will carry out interventions at these monuments in collaboration with the ASI and State Government, and all development plans will have elements of universal accessibility, cleanliness at the monuments, use of green technology and enhanced security for the tourists.

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MOT ties up with Google to promote tourism through its website

The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) has tied up with Google for promoting tourism through its new website. KJ Alphons, Minister of State for Tourism (I/C) addressed the media and revealed that they have tied up with Google for their new website, which was launched recently, with an aim to promote India as a destination in countries around the world and attract tourists. Alphons said that Google is helping them bring online a 360 degree virtual reality video that features the iconic destinations in India and offer an immersive experience for visitors on the website.

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