Category Archives: MOT

8 countries added to e-visa list

The visa services, which have been expanded for tourism, medical and business purposes, has been extended to eight countries namely Angola, Rwanda, Niger, Cyprus, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Mali and Burundi, revealed Vinod Zutshi, Secretary – Tourism, Govt. of India. “Apart from this, we are also working on extending the e-tourist visa for five other countries among which Italy, Slovak Republic, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan are included,” he said at a closed-door meeting held in New Delhi. With this announcement, the total count of countries that can avail the e-visa services is 158.

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E-visa to now include eTV, e-medical visa and e-business visa

India’s e-visa will now have three components — e-tourist visa, e-medical visa, e-buisness visa. Talking about the various changes in e-visa, Vinod Zutshi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India, says, “For the first time in this country, medical visa is going the electronic way and so is the case with business visa. This has been one of the biggest landmark decisions, and it’s going to catapult Indian tourism into a new orbit. The best thing is that the initial period of application, which used to be 30 days, has been extended to 120 days, which is logical, especially for foreigners who plan their travel much in advance.” Talking about the extension of eTV, Zutshi says, “The validity of eTV was just 30 days and it’s been increased to 60 days now. Also, when tourists come to India, they would like to visit other countries of Southeast Asia and come back. We have made e-tourist visa and e-business visa double entry. For e-medical visa, the government has provided triple entry, which is a redeeming feature. Film visa has also been streamlined and rationalised, which has come at the right time and would encourage filming in India.”

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2nd Bharat Parv from January 26-31

Riding high on the success of the first Bharat Parv, the cultural program’s 2nd edition, showcasing the rich heritage of India, will be held on January 26-31, 2017 in Red Fort, revealed Vinod Zutshi. “There will be theme based pavilions by all the states to highlight the country’s diverse culture, along with performances, food stalls etc. The last edition of Bharat Parv was well appreciated and because of that, we’ve decided to have another edition next year.”

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Incredible India Global Tourism Mart to be rescheduled

The Incredible India Global Tourism Mart that was scheduled to take place from February 1-4, 2017 has been postponed until further notice, confirmed a senior government official. “The new dates will be decided hopefully next week after a consultation with the associated bodies,” the source said. This is the second postponement of the mega travel mart which was initially proposed to be held in January 2017.

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E-visa services extended for business, conference and medical purposes

The e-tourist visa (eTV) has been revised to include travellers visiting India for business, conference, tourism, and medical purposes under one category, confirmed Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism. “It will now be termed e-visa and will be valid for 60 days, as opposed to the earlier duration of 30 days. Travellers will also be able to apply for the e-visa four months in advance and will be granted a double-entry for tourism and business, and three entries for medical purposes,” Billa said. As per the Cabinet decision, the e-visa scheme will be extended to eight more countries, taking the total number of nations that avail the facility to 158. The liberalisation of visa services is expected to stimulate economic growth, increase earnings from export of services like tourism, medical value travel and travel on account of business and to make ‘Skill India’, ‘Digital India’, ‘Make in India’ and other such flagship initiatives of the government successful.

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Karan Anand nominated for National Tourism Advisory Council

Karan Anand, Head (Relationship), Cox & Kings, has been nominated by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India to the National Tourism Advisory Council for a period of three years. The Council will act as a ‘Think Tank’ and advise the government on policy matters relating to tourism in the country. The committee comprises luminaries from the central government and the private sector. Anand will continue to carry out his responsibilities at Cox & Kings.

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Regional & State-level guides allowed at centrally protected monuments

All guides with licences issued by ASI and Additional Director General, Tourism, are valid and can enter all the Centrally Protected Monuments including Fatehpur Sikri, till fresh licences are issued under the new Policy, informs Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO quoting Supreme Courts’ order on IATO’s writ petition. IATO had sought clarification on the restricted entry of Regional Level Guides and State Level Guides at Fatehpur Sikri, where only local guides were being allowed to work. This was causing financial burden on IATO members as they had to pay guide fee to their Regional/State Level Guide and the local guide.

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Task force for adventure tourism promotion & development

At the behest of Adventure Travel Operators Association of India (ATOAI), Vinod Zutshi, Secretary Tourism, Government of India, announced the formation of National Task Force on Adventure Tourism for the development and promotion of adventure tourism in India. The National Task Force will be chaired by the Secretary Tourism while the team will comprise Joint Secretary Tourism as the convener, Joint Secretaries of MHA, MEA, Ministry of Civil Aviation, MoEF, MOD, Ministry of Sports, Director- Indian Mountaineering Foundation, Principal- IISM, Gulmarg, Director – National Institute of Water Sports, Goa, President of ATOAI, Representative of ATOAI, secretaries of all states concerned with Adventure Tourism and Dy. Director General (Niche Tourism). The task force also aims to resolve the issues related to the segment which includes safety and security of adventure tourists, accessibility, products and promotion, among others. “Adventure travel is facing challenges on multiple fronts, across almost every region in India. Safety, accessibility, licensing and standards are the four pillars of any adventure travel destination and we have to deal with multiple ministries and offices to address these issues. The formation of the National Task Force on Adventure Travel will not only attempt to address these challenges, but at the same time, will be able to highlight our vast plethora of natural assets to international markets – which have till now been ignored,” said Akshay Kumar, President, ATOAI.  “It will allow the great geographical features of India and the adventure tourism opportunities there to become a focus for development and promotion throughout the global markets. This in turn will make the field grow tremendously in revenues, helping Indian tourism to potentially double the number of international tourist arrivals in India,” said …

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10.4% growth in FTA in Oct 2016 over 2015

Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) during October, 2016 were 7.54 lakh as compared to FTAs of 6.83 lakh during October, 2015 and 6.68 lakh in October, 2014. There has been a growth of 10.4% in October, 2016 over October, 2015. FTAs during the period January-October, 2016 were 69.62 lakh with a growth of 10.5% as compared to the FTAs of 62.98 lakh with a growth of 4.5% in January- October, 2015 over January- October, 2014. The Percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during October, 2016 among the top 15 source countries was highest from Bangladesh (16.67%) followed by  USA (12.83%), UK (11.03%), Canada (3.73%), Australia (3.50%), Sri Lanka (3.45%),  Germany (3.38%), Russian Fed (3.20%), France (2.91%), China (2.70%), Malaysia (2.65%),  Nepal (2.16%), Japan (2.12%), Singapore (1.54%) and Thailand (1.44%). The Percentage share of  Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during October 2016 among the top 15 ports was highest at Delhi Airport (34.06%) followed by Mumbai Airport (15.69%), Haridaspur Land check post (9.22%), Chennai Airport (7.19%),  Bengaluru Airport (5.50%), Kolkata Airport (4.10%), Hyderabad Airport (3.01%),  Goa (2.90%), Cochin Airport (2.72%), Ahmadabad Airport (2.14%), Gede Rail (1.86%), Amritsar Airport (1.71%), Trivandrum Airport (1.28%), Ghojadanga land check post (1.16%) and Gaya Airport  (1.03%). Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from Tourism in India during October, 2016 were Rs. 12,303 crore as compared to Rs. 10,549 crore in October, 2015 and Rs. 10,041 crore in October, 2014.

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eTV a hit with 86.4% growth in October 2016

As many as 1,05,268 foreign tourists arrived in October 2016 on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 56,477 during the month of October 2015 registering a growth of 86.4 per cent. The UK continues to be biggest market availing the services with a 22.9 per cent share, followed by USA (12.1%), France (6.6%), China (5.8%), Russian Fed (5.6%), Germany (5.5%), Australia (4.5%), Canada (3.6%), Spain (2.3%) and Netherlands (2.1%). New Delhi Airport served the most number of eTV applications with a 51.67 per cent share, followed by Mumbai Airport (18.65%), Dabolim (Goa) Airport (6.20%), Bengaluru Airport (5.18%), Chennai Airport (4.97%), Kochi Airport (3.15%), Amritsar Airport (2.42%) Hyderabad Airport (2.18%), Kolkata Airport (2.08%) and Trivandrum Airport (1.28%). During January-October 2016, a total of 7,80,570 tourists arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 2,58,182 during January-October 2015, registering a growth of 202.3 per cent.

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