Category Archives: MOT

ITDC signs MoU with Gujarat Tourism to develop heritage sites in the state

India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), has signed an MoU with Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited for development of heritage sites in the state. As part of the MoU, ITDC would provide consultancy services for innovative/ decorative lighting and illumination of important monuments and sound and light show at other important places in Gujarat. The MoU was signed by G Kamala Vardhana Rao, CMD, ITDC and Jenu Devan, Commissioner of Tourism and Managing Director, Tourism Corporation of Gujarat in the presence of Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State, Tourism, and Vijay Rupani, Chief Minister, Gujarat. Speaking at inaugural session, Prahlad Singh Patel said, “There is a great scope for developing tourism in Gujarat for which the state government has developed many more new focused sights to attract tourism. State Government may work in tandem with ITDC to promote and develop tourism through innovative and creative steps.”

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Ministry of Culture develops 3 virtual experiential museums; 2 more in pipeline

The Ministry of Culture has developed three virtual experiential museums at Man Mahal in Varanasi, Ajanta Caves at National Museum, Delhi and Humayun Tomb in Delhi informed Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State (I/C) of Culture and Tourism. Two more such museums are under development. The Ministry has also proposed to set up a National Virtual Experiential Site Museum at Vadnagar, Gujarat. In 2016, the Ministry of Culture was given the task of establishing Virtual Museums in at least 50 locations.

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MOT identifies 180 tourist sites for organising Swachhta Action Plan activities

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) has identified 180 tourist sites for organizing Swachhta Action Plan (SAP) activities during the year 2019-20 to create Swachhta Awareness amongst the tourists, students of schools/colleges and stakeholders across the country. Besides, Swachhta Pakhwada and Swachhta-Hi-Seva activities have also been undertaken by MOT at several locations across the country. Facilities like drinking water, toilet, interpretation centre, wi-fi, illumination, ramps, pathways, publication sale counter etc. are provided at the World Heritage and Ticketed monuments. Further, existing facilities are upgraded as per requirement and its up-gradation is a continuous process.

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MOT sanctions seven projects worth Rs 594 crore for Ladakh and J&K

In order to provide an impetus to tourism, the Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned seven projects worth Rs 594 crore in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh under the Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD scheme for development of tourism infrastructure. The schemes provide financial assistance to state governments / UT administrations. With a total sanction of Rs 594 crore, six projects are for Swadesh Darshan scheme for the development of the Himalayan circuit while one project worth Rs 42.02 crore for development of Hazratbal is for the PRASAD scheme. The allocation under Swadesh scheme is for the integrated development of Jammu, Kashmir, Pahalgam, Kargil, Leh under Himalayan Circuit worth Rs 82.07 crore, integrated development of Tourist Facilities at Jammu-Rajouri-Shopian-Pulwama under Himalayan Circuit worth Rs 96 .38 crore, integrated development of  Tourist Facilities under the Construction of Assets in lieu of those Destroyed in Floods in 2014 under PM Development Package for J&K under Himalayan Circuit worth Rs 90.96 crore, integrated Development of Tourist facilities at Mantalai- Sudhmahadev- Patnitop under Himalayan Circuit worth Rs 97.82 crore, integrated Development of Tourist Facilities at Anantnag- Kishtwar- Pahalgam – Daksum – Ranjit Sagar Dam under Himalayan Circuit worth Rs 87.44 crore and integrated Development of Tourist Facilities at Gulmarg-Baramulla-Kupwara-Leh under Himalayan Circuit worth Rs 96.93 crore.

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No funding of expenses under ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ campaign, MOT clarifies

The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) has released a statement saying that there will be no funding of travel expenses for tourists visiting 15 destinations under ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ campaign, launched recently. MOT, has instead proposed to recognise the selected domestic travellers. The statement read, “It is to clarify that the Ministry of Tourism has no scheme for funding the travel expenses of tourists for visiting destinations in the country under the Dekho Apna Desh Campaign. However, the Ministry of Tourism proposes to give recognition to select domestic travellers who undertake a visit to various tourist destinations in the country through random selection for which details are being finalised.”

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Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation to be set up under the Ministry of Culture

Setting up of an Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation with the status of a deemed university under the Ministry of Culture, has been proposed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech. Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State (I/C), Tourism and Culture, has expressed his happiness with this announcement and has said, “The much-awaited Indian Institute of Archaeological and Conservation was announced in the Budget. This will enable trained, qualified persons to conserve manuscripts, including monuments, museums. All partner institutions will benefit.”

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India temporarily suspends e-visa for travellers coming from China

India has temporarily suspended e-visa facility for Chinese travellers and foreigners residing in China with immediate effect from February 2 in view of the deadly coronavirus outbreak that has spread to 25 countries, including India, the US, and the UK. “Due to certain current developments, travel to India on e-visas stands temporarily suspended with immediate effect,” the Indian Embassy announced in a advisory in Beijing on Sunday. “All those who have a compelling reason to visit India may contact the Embassy of India in Beijing or the Indian consulates in Shanghai or Guangzhou, as well as the Indian Visa Application Centres in these cities,” it said. “This applies to holders of Chinese passports and applicants of other nationalities residing in the People’s Republic of China. Holders of already issued e-visas may note that these are no longer valid,” the announcement said.

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Rakesh Verma joins as new Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism

Rakesh Verma, a 1993-Batch Punjab cadre officer has joined as the new Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism. He has succeeded Suman Billa, who has joined UNWTO as Director, Technical Cooperation & Silk Road Development. Before this appointment, Verma was serving as the Secretary, Technical Education and Industrial Training. He has been appointed for a tenure of five years or until further orders, whichever is earlier. He has also held posts like Principal Secretary, Department of Science, Technology & Environment, Government of Punjab; Secretary, Medical Education and Research; Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Ludhiana, Managing Director of Punjab ICT Corporation (Punjab Infotech), Deputy Commissioner, Patiala and Kapurthala. He has also held the Directorial post at the Department of Technical Education and Transport Department. An alumnus of IIT Delhi, Verma has pursued B.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering.  

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24% growth in e-Tourist Visa arrivals in 2019 in comparison to 2018

During the month of December 2019, a total of 3,77,092 tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 3,08,430 during the month of December 2018 registering a growth of 22.3%, revealed statistics by Ministry of Tourism (MOT). During January- December 2019, a total of 29,28,303 tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 23,69,941 during January- December 2018, registering a growth of 23.6%.

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Konark Temple to be soon included in government’s iconic tourism sites list

The Sun Temple at Konark, Odisha will soon be included in the list of iconic tourist sites, said the Union Tourism Minister, Prahlad Singh Patel. Last year, the government announced in budget to develop 17 tourism sites across the country under the Iconic Tourist Sites Development Project with a budget of Rs 5000 crore. Leaders and stakeholders from Odisha have since then demanding to include the Sun Temple of Konark in the list. No other destination from the state was included in the list. “The people of Odisha will soon receive the good news about Konark being included in the list of iconic sites. We will organise a special event to announce the inclusion very soon,” said the Minister while addressing at the concluding ceremony of two-day long National Tourism Conference at Konark. He also visited the Sun temple and reviewed the necessary preservation plans with the Archaeological Survey of India officials. Last year, there was a huge hue and cry about Konark not making it to the list announced by the Ministry of Tourism. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had requested the Union Tourism Minister to include at least two tourist places of importance from the state in the list of iconic tourist sites to be developed by the Centre.

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