Category Archives: States

Kerala aiming for double the FTAs, 50% rise in domestic tourists by 2021

The Government of Kerala is looking at 50 per cent increase in the number of domestic tourists and 100  per cent increase in foreign arrivals by 2021, Tourism Minister, Kadakampally Surendran has said. “Digital platforms are the key to achieve the aim. Year after year, we see a constant growth in the number of tourists we host. Hence the industry needs to evolve in accordance with the changes in global market. Kerala Tourism has been exploring new media as a key platform and has witnessed the reach and response to it,” he noted. Dr. Venu V, IAS, Principal Secretary, Kerala Tourism, says, “Kerala Tourism has always been in the forefront as we were the first tourist destination to start a website. Later, we spread our presence to other social media platforms. The technology platforms are gently stronger. Hence we need to redesign and reengineer to cater the demands of guests.”

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Hotels with 3 or more stars to reopen bars in Kerala

The dry spell is over in Kerala with the state government reversing the restricted liquor policy of the previous government and allowing bars to function as usual. The government will allow the bars to function in hotels with three-star status and above. The five-star hotels are already allowed to open bars. Hotels below three-star category will be allowed to run beer and wine parlours. The bars will remain open from 11 am to 11pm. Bars will be allowed to remain open from 10 am to 11pm in tourism centres. Both international and domestic terminals of the airports will be allowed to sell liquor. The permissible age limit for consuming liquor has been increased from 21to 23. The new liquor policy will protect the interests of the traditional liquor, toddy. Bars, including the 5five-star ones, will be allowed to sell toddy. Toddy Board will be constituted to protect the interests of the industry. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the UDF policy of restricted liquor policy was a failure. “It has led to an increase in the demand for drugs. The Supreme Court order on closure of bars and liquor stores on the highways will be implemented,” he added. (Source: Economic Times)

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Arunachal plans to streamline permits

Aware of the hurdles that its Inner Line Permits creates, not just for foreign tourists but even domestic, Arunachal Pradesh’s Department of Tourism has said that it is working towards easing it further. Voicing this concern is P.D. Sona, Honorary Parliamentary Secretary, Arunachal Pradesh Tourism, who says, “We are aware of the problems that Indian passport holders face when entering and travelling within Arunachal Pradesh. We have therefore planned a review meeting of all issues that tourists face. This includes the multiple Inner Line Permits that Indians need to apply for to access different districts in the state. We want to make it into a single permit that will have a time limit.”

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Kerala Tourism Minister to inaugurate International Conference on Tourism Technology

The Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala in association with Association of Tourism Trade Organisations (ATTOI) will host the International Conference on Tourism Technology (ICTT) in Kochi. The three-day long event that will begin on June 8 will be formally inaugurated by Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran on June 9, and it will address the challenges related with technology faced by Indian tourism and hospitality industry. The inaugural function will see a string of high-profile attendees, including Hibi Eden MLA, Dr Venu V, IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism, and P Bala Kiran, IAS, Director, Department of Tourism. Dr. Venu will launch the twitter campaign #Kerala #IndiaForBeginners and Shri Bala Kiran will launch the Facebook campaign during the inaugural ceremony. “Kerala Tourism has always been a pioneer in taking significant steps to promote state tourism and support the growth of the tourism industry. This conference on tourism technology is yet another initiative undertaken in association with ATTOI. Keeping pace with the technological advancements also helps in reaching out to international tourists by being easily accessible through social media platforms,” said Minister for Tourism, Kadakampally Surendran. “Kerala Tourism, with its new tourism policy, is preparing for a big leap in promoting responsible tourism that benefits the visitor as well as local communities. The government is confident that the progress of the state through tourism is unfinished without the idea of inclusion in terms of increased participation of the community in general,” he added.

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Andaman and Nicobar plans to upgrade tourism infrastructure

Andaman and Nicobar Islands is planning to boost tourism in the territory besides showcasing the heritage and culture of the destination. Under the aegis of Swadesh Darshan and other schemes of the government, the tourism department has reportedly identified Cellular Jail along with prominent beaches in different parts of these islands for development of tourism. Amit Anand, Director – Tourism, Andaman and Nicobar Administration, reportedly said that execution of all schemes in the tourism sector is being closely monitored. “The administration is committed to holistic development of these islands and to showcase Andaman prominently in the world tourism atlas. Various schemes for development of tourism launched by the government are being implemented here in the right earnest and the sector is poised to witness rapid growth in the days to come,” he added. The administration has plans in the pipeline to improve facilities and safety measures at beaches like Ross and Smith, Baludera, Ramnagar, Lalaji Bay, Lakshmanpur, Bharatpur, Elephant, Kalapathar, etc. Under schemes for the Union Territories, the administration has formulated plans to introduce ropeway from Port Blair to Ross Island, tented accommodation facilities at Neil, Long Island and Baratang, introduce submersible scooters for adventure water sports, canopy walk at Chidiyatapu besides launching promotional campaigns in a big way. Wayside amenities along the Andaman Trunk Road at Baratang, Scuba Diving Centre are set to be available soon in the Middle Andaman region. Source: The Echo of India

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50% rebate on lodging and transport in J&K

In an attempt to boost tourism in the valley, the tourism department of Jammu and Kashmir has announced to offer rebates on lodging and transport charges. “Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) will provide 50 per cent rebate on lodging and transport charges or even on total packages in some cases to the tourists visiting the Valley,” said Ghulam Jeelani Zagar, Deputy Director of  Kashmir Tourism. He further informed that private tourism players were also offering 32 per cent concessions in boarding and lodging or on total packages to the tourists. Zagar also informed that West Bengal topped the list in domestic tourist inflow in the valley. The total tourist inflow in the valley during 2016-17 was nearly 17 lakh though the state is hoping that this number would be more this year following massive campaigns to boost the sector. ““Foreign tourists, however, was only about 35,000 during the year 2016-17, of which majority were from South Asia,” said Zagar. The state government is emphasizing on carrying out a mass publicity campaign to attract more tourists from other states and abroad to the valley

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Karnataka tourism amplifies its ‘Year of the Wild’ campaign in 7 states

Karnataka Tourism is planning to intensify its 2017 campaign ‘The Year of the Wild’ by installing intelligent displays at 279 railway stations, which will enable it to reach 10 crore people a month. The campaign is running across 7 states including Maharashtra, Telangana, Bihar, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Karnataka. This has been made possible as Karnataka Tourism has entered into collaboration with outdoor media company, Vyoma Technologies. From eco-trekking along the scenic Western Ghats, to celebrating the iconic Golden Chariot, tourism in Karnataka is definitely on the uptake, recording a 15.5% growth in tourism in 2016 as recorded by the Ministry of Tourism.

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MTDC signs MoU with Airbnb

The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has signed an MoU with Airbnb to open up experiences for international and domestic tourists and promote unique tourism experiences ranging from eco-tourism to safaris, tribal lifestyles and handicrafts. Jaykumar Rawal, Minister of Tourism, Maharashtra, revealed this at a conference on National Agri Tourism on the occasion of the tenth World Agri Tourism Day in Mumbai. He said, “We have signed an MoU with Airbnb to make such activity-based tourism projects available on a global platform. Tourism is witnessing a reversal of trends wherein tourists from cities are looking to experience village life. Maharashtra is the most urbanised state in India and a lot of people didn’t know where local tourist destinations like Panvel, Kolhapur and Alibag are or where the coastal forts are, how farming in India is done.” MTDC is looking at promoting such locations and also for training the stakeholders and enhance their soft skills. MTDC has three verticals, namely bed and breakfast options, Mahabramhan (experimental tourism) and its own resorts, which can be marketed to a global audience. It is the largest provider of bed and breakfast options in India, with around 1,400 such locations in its portfolio.

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MTDC pushes for agri-tourism

The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) organised a conference on National Agri Tourism on the occasion of the tenth World Agri Tourism Day in Mumbai. The objective was to create employment opportunities and boost investment in the agriculture sector that would encourage tourism. Jaykumar Rawal, Honourable Minister of Tourism, was present at the conference and spoke about how farmers and other stakeholders can develop their skills and farms to attract more tourists looking for a rural, farm-stay experience. The discussion at the conference also touched upon MTDC’s ‘Mahabhraman Scheme’ that showcases farmer’s lifestyle and experiencing different activities like planting trees, plucking fruits and vegetables, bullock cart rides, etc. “The Department of Tourism also intends to set up a government interface to cater to the needs of the agri-tour operators. This interface will co-ordinate and provide link with regional and local government bodies to boost employment opportunities and sustainability in the agricultural sector,” Rawal revealed.

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Kerala Tourism signs MoU with SilkAir to boost tourism

The Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SilkAir in the presence of Kadakampalli Surendran, Minister for Tourism, Government of Kerala. The initiative is to jointly promote tourism to Kerala from priority markets like Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea, Japan and Singapore by conducting roadshows and other special marketing programs in the selected cities. “Department of Tourism has been looking for more opportunities to spread words about the legacy of Gods own Country across all the global markets and to further increase the tourist footfall in Kerala in the coming years. I expect the agreement with SilkAir will benefit Kerala Tourism in terms of more tourists from the four significant markets with the help of its wide network and reputation as a quality service provider,” said Kadakampalli Surendran, Minister for Tourism, Govt of Kerala. Commenting on the association, P Balakiran, IAS, Director, Department of Tourism, Govt. of Kerala said “This MoU with SilkAir will allow us to strategically attract more travellers from the four specific markets to enjoy the unique local experiences here in the state of Kerala- God’s own country. This agreement will also bring direct and indirect benefits to many sectors of the economies of both the countries.” “SIlkAir offers high-quality service and with their help under this mutually-beneficial MOU, we look forward to welcoming their passengers with impressive hospitality,” he added further. This MOU will cover a series of joint activities including brand advertising and promotional campaigns, tactical and digital marketing, familiarization trips, trade fairs, joint roadshows and product development. The joint activities are expected to help boost visitor numbers from Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea, Japan and Singapore to Kerala. …

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