Category Archives: States

Maharashtra, Virgin Hyperloop One to build India’s first hyperloop

Virgin Hyperloop One has announced Maharashtra’s intent to build a hyperloop between Pune and Mumbai beginning with an operational demonstration track. Richard Branson, Chairman, Virgin Hyperloop One announced the framework agreement in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to begin the development of the route. Recognizing the Maharashtra government’s contribution to the country’s economy, Modi said, “51 per cent of total investments in India have come to Maharashtra, and the state is attracting global investors. The state’s overall development in the past few years is a shining example of improving conditions in the country.” “I believe Virgin Hyperloop One could have the same impact upon India in the 21st century as trains did in the 20th century. The Pune-Mumbai route is an ideal first corridor as part of a national hyperloop network that could dramatically reduce travel times between India’s major cities to as little as two hours,” said Branson. The hyperloop route will link central Pune, Navi Mumbai International Airport, and Mumbai in 25 minutes, connecting 26 million people and creating a thriving, competitive mega region. The high-capacity passenger and cargo hyperloop route will support 150 million passenger trips annually, saving more than 90 million hours of travel time, and providing citizens with social and economic mobility.  

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Goa’s Shigmo festivities to kick-start from March 3

After a successful Carnaval celebration, Goa is set to usher in Shigmo – a festival of colour, costumes and culture scheduled from March 3-17, 2018, beginning with the celebration of Holi. During the Shigmo parades, one gets a chance to take a glimpse at the life of a Goan which is depicted in elaborate folk performances by local men and women dancing tirelessly in huge processions. Traditional folk dances and performance of mythological scenes is the highlight of this parade. On the day of Shigmo, people in Goa are dressed up in colourful outfits, holding multi-coloured flags and playing musical instruments like the Dhol Tasha and flutes in processions across the cities along with floats that parade through the streets. Folk dances like Ghode Modni and Fugdi are performed on the streets in massive troupes along the procession. An interesting element of the Shigmo is the tradition of covering each other with colourful powder and bright paints. The float parade is organised across different cities of Goa like Ponda, Margao, Vasco, Sanguem, Sanquelim, Valpoi, Bicholim, Panjim, Mapusa, Pernem, Canacona, Quepem, Curchorem, Cuncolim and Dharbandora.  

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UP unveils new Tourism Policy; enhances budget to Rs 687 crore

Uttar Pradesh Government has revealed its new Tourism Policy 2018, with an enhanced budget of Rs 687 crore from the earlier Rs 347 crores. An additional Rs 650 crores will be provided by the Centre for different schemes. The new policy promises to generate 5 lakh jobs annually by investing Rs 5000 crore per year for the next five years. The policy will also aim to achieve an annual increase of 15 per cent domestic tourists and 10 per cent foreign tourist arrival in the state. Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Tourism Minister, Government of Uttar Pradesh, informed that the policy will grant the status of industry to all activities of tourism sector. “The tourism policy will lay a foundation to make UP the most preferred tourism destination in the country by increasing tourist arrivals and recording highest tourist receipts, develop tourism circuits and providing other facilities. Safety and security of all tourists, especially women, will remain the utmost priority for the state government.” “The state government has assured to provide Rs 1000 crores for the implementation of the new tourism policy of which Rs 70 crores have already been sanctioned,” said Joshi. The new policy also promises to offer a wide range of financial incentives and benefits to investors. As of date, the state tourism department has received an investment of over Rs 10,000 crore as 23 companies have shown interest. “All benefits would be offered within 20 kms of all tourist sites of 10 tourism circuits including Ramayan circuit, Krishna/Braj circuit, Buddhist circuit, wildlife and Eco tourism circuit, Bundelkhand circuit, Mahabharata circuit, Shakti Peeth Circuit, Aadhyatmik circuit, Sufi/ Kabir circuit and Jain circuit,” added Joshi. Salient features of the new …

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Homestay, adventure tourism policies in the offing in West Bengal

West Bengal tourism department is currently focusing on homestay tourism policy and has also started promoting adventure tourism in different destinations of the state, said Gautam Deb, Tourism Minister, Government of West Bengal, on the sidelines of the Bengal Travel Mart (BTM) in Siliguri. Deb inaugurated the third edition of BTM along with Bratya Basu, Information Technology Minister, Government of West Bengal, and James Kujur, Tribal Development Minister, Government of West Bengal. “Bengal has immense potential. We are currently working to develop each sector of tourism in the state – from forest to hills to coastal areas. We are also preparing our integrated tourism policy along with homestay and adventure tourism policies,” he said. Deb also pointed out that the Bagdogra airport’s instrument landing system (ILS) will start operating from March 29, as per an AAI notification. He was happy to inform that in the previous year, the passenger growth at the airport touched 22 lakh. The three-day travel mart was attended by buyers and sellers from across the country and abroad to establish partnership. The event was organised by Eastern Himalaya Travel and Tour Operators Association  (EHTTOA) in association with North Bengal Development Department and West Bengal Tourism.

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Indian Railways nod to share profit with tourism dept from ‘Golden Chariot’

The Karnataka tourism department has agreed to share the profit with the Railway Board instead of collecting the huge haulage charges for running the Golden Chariot, the only luxury train of peninsular India. The train was running in loss as the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) was paying more as haulage charges to the Railways than the revenue generated. With the decision, the KSTDC will not only make  revenue from the luxury train but also generate profit for the railways. “The Railways has decided not to go for the haulage charge. They  will be sharing the revenue…whatever revenue we get will be shared between the Railways and KSTDC,” said Kumar Pushkar, Managing Director, KSTDC. He explained that earlier the Corporation made losses for many years due to very high haulage charges to Railways. Pushkar said, “The haulage charges used to be higher  than what the total revenue we were getting from the sale of  the ticket. With this arrangement, running train will be  sustainable. It can be done to promote tourism in future years  also.” Pushkar said Karnataka tourism minister Priyank Kharge had met the Railway Board chairman recently and apprised him of the challenges KSTDC was facing to continue the train. Source: PTI

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Emirates Group signs MoU with Andhra Pradesh government

The Emirates Group, and its affiliated entities including flydubai, signed an MoU with the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB), Government of Andhra Pradesh, to establish a framework for collaboration in various aviation areas to invest in the development of Andhra Pradesh’s aviation sector. The MoU was signed by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group, and Krishna Kishore, CEO, APEDB. Under the terms of the MoU, the Emirates Group and the state of Andhra Pradesh will work together to support the development of Andhra Pradesh’s aviation infrastructure by sharing industry expertise and identifying development and investment opportunities. Al Maktoum said, “The Emirates Group is committed to future investment and expansion in support of India’s 2020 goal to be the world’s third largest aviation market. Through this agreement, Emirates and flydubai will work closely with APEDB to share expertise, discuss opportunities and enhance the growth of the aviation sector in Andhra Pradesh.” “We are confident that this partnership with the Emirates Group will be a major boost to APEDB’S strategic efforts to develop the aviation industry in Andhra Pradesh. It will contribute positively to AP’s economic growth as well as help us build a stronger framework for infrastructural development,” said Kishore.

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Kerala Tourism records 11.39% rise in domestic and 5.15% increase in FTAs in 2017

An increase of 11.39 per cent has been recorded in domestic tourist arrivals to Kerala in 2017, as compared to the figures of previous year, according to figures compiled by Kerala Tourism. Meanwhile, foreign tourist arrivals increased by 5.15 per cent during the period. “Travellers from across the globe arrived in Kerala in large numbers during 2017, and the growth has been recorded at 5.15 per cent compared with the figures of last year. This comes at a time when the tourism industry is suffering from adverse factors like enhanced GST rates and allied hurdles. The growth figures point to the immense popularity Kerala Tourism enjoys beyond the borders”, said Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Tourism, Cooperation and Devaswoms. With growth almost doubling than that of last year, domestic tourist arrivals have, in fact, achieved more than what has been targeted in the Kerala Tourism Policy. On the foreign tourist arrivals front, footfalls have increased from 10,38,419 to 10,91,870. The figures point to the fact that there has been an increase of 53,451 more foreign tourists this year, with figures nearing 11 lakh.  

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MTDC promotes wine festival in Nashik

In an effort to increase the domestic and foreign tourist influx into Nashik Valley, the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has associated itself with Nashik Valley Wine Cluster to promote India Grape Harvest 2018, a wine festival set to be held from February 9-11, 2018. The aim is to recognise the involvement of farmers to harvest grapes of the finest quality and produce the best wine as per the international quality in Nashik. Through this festival, MTDC aims to create awareness around the Nashik Valley as one of the leading tourist destinations to promote wine tourism. The festival will comprise workshops and seminars aimed to promote Make in India campaign to educate the youth and emerging entrepreneurs. Grape-stomping, wine-tasting, food courts, farmers’ market, live kitchen-cooking with wine, round-trip to bird sanctuary, kite flying, cycling and hot air balloon tour will be conducted to attract visitors during the festival. Jaykumar Rawal, Minister of Tourism & (EGS), Government of Maharashtra, “Nashik is blessed with fertile landscape and enjoys suitable climatic condition which is favourable for good crop produce. This wine festival offers an outstanding platform for the key decision makers to emphasise on the massive opportunities in terms of wine tourism in Maharashtra.”

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Kerala Budget proposes Rs 381 crore for tourism development

The tourism arena in Kerala will receive added support from the government with the state budget 2018 setting aside close to Rs 381 crore towards development and promotion of the sector. The budgetary provisioning is Rs 36 crore more than the Rs 345 crore that was set aside last year. Presenting the Budget in the Kerala Assembly, Dr Thomas Isaac, Minister for Finance, said the state government will focus more on conservation and preservation of heritage monuments in the coming financial year. The Finance Minister set aside Rs 82.50 crore towards marketing of the tourism sector. Lauding Kerala Tourism’s nine international awards last year, Dr Isaac said the government would accord priority to conservation of heritage monuments in the state as part of its plans towards tourism development. An amount to the tune of Rs 40 crore has been set aside in this regard. The Muziris project, which has been progressing at a slow pace, shall be speeded up and will be completed in a period of two years. Plans are also afoot to include destinations such as Thalassery, Ponnani and Beypore in the tourism map. Dr Thomas Isaac’s budget has also set aside Rs 16 crore towards organising cultural events such as the Kochi Muziris Biennale, Nishagandhi Dance and Music festivals, Onam celebrations, Thrissur Pooram, Theyyam festivals, boat races and others.  

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MTDC renews MoU with Wakayama Prefecture Government

The Maharashtra government has renewed its MoU with Wakayama Prefectural Japan (WPJ) for five years. The agreement was signed by Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Yoshinobu Nisaka San, Governor of Wakayama. The MoU commenced in 2013 with the purpose of enhancing relations between Maharashtra and Japan for expanding association in the field of tourism and investment, and promote agro and food processing units. More than 40 delegates from WPG visited Indian Merchant Chamber to promote the prospects of Wakayama. The delegates also visited various heritage sites and commercial hubs in Mumbai including Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalay (CSMVS), Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and BSE to understand the importance of these heritage sites and explore the diversity of the state. Jaykumar Rawal, Minister of Tourism & (EGS), Government of Maharashtra, said, “I am delighted to be associated with Wakayama Prefectural Government and the MoU is a great stage for us to surge our global footmark and put Maharashtra on the international map. This MoU has strengthened the ties between two states of the nations.”

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