Category Archives: States

Wakayama, Japan & Maharashtra strengthen tourism ties

A delegation from the Wakayama Prefectural Government led by Hiroshi Shimo, Hon. Vice Governor of Wakayama Prefectural Government, is on a Maharashtra visit (Mumbai–Aurangabad) from May 17 to 23, 2016 with the key agenda of facilitating familiarisation tours bilaterally of Maharashtra and Wakayama. The tours will cover key places in Maharashtra from the Mumbai-Aurangabad circuit and Mumbai-Nagpur circuit (including Tadoba) along with seven travel trade professionals. As part of the MoU between Maharashtra and Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is funding the Ajanta-Ellora Development Phase 3 and showcasing their full support towards development of tourism in Maharashtra. Shimo said, “We have successfully implemented various projects in the field of tourism through our MoU. The Maharashtra Corner developed at Wakayama Prefectural Government is instrumental in giving out knowledge about Maharashtra and its offerings to concern authorities in Japan. We are thankful to Hon. CM Shri Devendra Fadnavis for providing us an office space in Aurangabad office which provides us with a similar opportunity to promote Japan tourism in Maharashtra. Our Omotenashi Project has given us a chance to host the MTDC officials in our country and give them an experience of the Japanese hospitality through a seven day programme. We are keen to renew our MoU which has proved mutually beneficial to both countries.” Paraag Jaiin Nainuttia IAS, Managing Director, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, commented, “The renewal of the MoU term will help increase tourism inflow in Maharashtra and Wakayama through the agreement. It will further help maintain mutual cooperation between both states for expansion of tourism ties to enhance economic growth and job creation. We thank Hon. Vice Governor of Wakayama, Mr. Hiroshi Shimo for providing …

Read More »

Delhi forming its tourism policy?

The Department of Tourism,  Govt. of NCT of Delhi has appointed JPS Associates as a consultancy firm for development of tourism policy and master plan for promotion of tourism and tourism infrastructure development in Delhi. The company has sought feedback from the industry stakeholders to take the matter forward. The consulting assignment is mandated to improve tourism in Delhi and to support the GNCT of Delhi in preparing the Tourism Policy and Master Plan for Promotion of Tourism and Tourism Infrastructure Development in Delhi. The master plan shall provide a comprehensive strategic plan for 20 years based on which the infrastructure could be planned for the Tourism Infrastructure Development in Delhi. The Master Plan shall also provide a Capital Investment Plan (CIP), based on which the concerned departments would be able to access funds from GoI/GNCTD based on priority actions and projects identified. This work will be carried out in 3 phases spreading over 9 months. The company has proposed a first phase workshop to discuss provisional aspects/points to be covered in Phase one with all industry stakeholders. The discussion in workshop will be focused on objectives of study for Phase-I. The first focal point of discussion would be the Tourism Policy for Delhi and second discussion point will be views of participants on provisional aspects/points and identified Tourism Themes/areas of Delhi.

Read More »

Goa’s old Central Jail to be converted into museum

The Central Jail in Aguada, Goa’s largest prison dating back to the Portuguese rule, is being converted into a jail museum. The project with a budget of Rs 25.8 crore aims at restoring its heritage. Since May 30, 2015, this prison no longer houses inmates who have now been shifted to the new jail at Colvale. Work for Goa Tourism Development Corporation’s mega project to convert the old Central Jail into a museum is already underway and the Corporation has involved both the Goa Heritage Action Group (GHAG) and Goa’s freedom fighters. A joint meeting and site inspection has been carried out where project plans were placed across the table and GTDC solicited views and suggestions from GHAG and the freedom fighters. Nilesh Cabral, Chairman, Goa Tourism Development Corporation said, “The old Central Jail is well known not only as a prison but for its history and heritage. Now a vacant structure, GTDC has requested the government to make it a tourist spot and the Corporation has started working on a project that will preserve the heritage structure and showcase Goa’s freedom struggle.”

Read More »

Military Tourism: a first in India

For the first time in India, tourists can get a ringside view of military life thanks to extreme tourism initiative titled ‘Veer Yatra’ organised by Maharashtra Ex-servicemen Corporation (MESCO) – a Government of Maharashtra undertaking. It is a unique concept that encourages civilians to explore various facets of India’s defense forces and its evolution and aims to give citizens a glimpse into military way of life. The tours will be conducted by the brave men who once worked for the military. The first-of-its-kind ‘military tourism’ initiative in India aims at strengthening the emotional bond that exists between the military establishment and the civilian population. Commenting on the launch, Col (Retd.) Suhas S. Jatkar, MD, MESCO, said, “While Military Tourism is a well-established concept worldwide, it has not been explored in a structured way in India so far. Military, its intricacies, heroism, security, wars and its intrigues are such a big part of worldwide history that they generate considerable interest in military sites. A military association is looked up to very proudly by every Indian and a thought of being part of the military establishment comes in the mind of every individual at some point in their life. Through Veer Yatra, MESCO aims to give the real-life experience to these aspirations – there is so much history, so much to see and so much to experience. As ex-servicemen, we strongly feel the need to promote Military Tourism with a view to inculcate sense of patriotism among the children and youth of the country. Indian Military establishment has rich physical and emotional heritage that is worth exploring by all patriotic citizens.” Established in 2002, MESCO works towards the welfare and resettlement of …

Read More »

MTDC to reposition Mumbai as MICE, tourist hub

Maharashtra Government intends to reposition and promote Mumbai as a tourist destination, sharedValsa Nair Singh, Principal Secretary, Tourism & Culture, Government of Maharashtra, during a round-table organised by the Indian Merchant’s Chamber’s Travel, Tourism & HospitalityCommittee in Mumbai. She was the chief guest at the event that was attended by a few tour operators as well as the hospitality trade to discuss and deliberate on policy framework and to promote tourism in Mumbai and Maharashtra. Singh said, “We have recognised niche areas in tourism in which we want to promote Mumbai. We want to make the city the event capital in Maharashtra. Asia’s biggest convention centre is coming in Mumbai next year followed by two more convention centres. We are also working towards creating adventure tourism, medical tourism and Bollywood tourism here.” According to her, 2.5 lakh Mumbai tourists enter Mumbai for medical tourism. The government is therefore working on e-medical visa and medical reimbursement, and tying up with insurance companies overseas to facilitate reimbursement of medical expenses incurred by tourists. She added that the new state tourism policy will be out in the public domain soon. It focuses on three aspects: product development, skilling, and investment and promotion. ParaagJaiinNainuttia, IAS, MD, MTDC, shared details of the recent initiatives MTDC has taken like the helicopter Mumbai Darshan, and facilitating commercialisation of yacht facilities on Mumbai’s coast through a possible tie-up with private companies.

Read More »

Now, helicopter tourism from Madurai

Tamil Nadu tourism is all set to offer helicopter services for tourists. HarSahayMeena, Commissioner of Tourism & Managing Director, Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC), said, “Hopefully, we will be coming up with adventure tourism products like helicopter services. Right now we are planning these services between Madurai- Rameshwaram, Madurai – Kanyakumari and Madurai- Kodaikanal. The plan is already in the pipeline and once a few issues are cleared, we will launch it. We also want to focus on rural tourism, especially Kumbakonam, Thanjavur, Madurai, Thiruvarur, Nagapattinam, which are less visited areas as compared to other parts of the state.” He also revealed that the state is also trying to develop beach tourism and have many projects underway.

Read More »

Odisha Travel Bazaar on the cards

Odisha Tourism is going to organise ‘Odisha Travel Bazaar’ on the lines of the Great Indian Travel Bazaar (GITB) and Kerala Travel Mart (KTM). Dr. R K Pattanayak, Tourist Officer, Department of Tourism, Govt of Odisha, says, “We are still on the verge of finalising this but we are going to have it by the end of this year or next year beginning. We look forward to attract more investments and tourists through the ‘Odisha Travel Bazaar’.” Utpal K Pati, Deputy Director, Department of Tourism, Govt of Odisha, says, “We are expecting travel agents as well as tour operators and 10-15 states and Union Territories to participate in the exhibition.”

Read More »

Odisha gets 11.8 million tourists in 2015

Odisha received a total of 1,18,53,088 (11.8 million) tourists in 2015, registering a growth rate of 9 per cent, said Utpal K. Pati, Deputy Director, Department of Tourism, Odisha. While 66,971 foreign tourist arrivals were recorded, 1,17,86,117 domestic tourists visited the state in 2015, he said during the state’s roadshow in New Delhi held on March 29. “We are mainly targeting the domestic market, especially tourists from Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, and will be organising roadshows all over India. The other agenda is to improve connectivity to the region and involve more airlines to start direct flights to Odisha. Since Bhubaneshwar airport recently started operating to international destinations, we are hoping to see a growth of about 7-8 per cent in foreign tourist arrivals this year. We are also aggressively promoting the Buddhist circuit as numerous ancient Buddhist sites are located in the state,” informed Pati. The state tourism department is going orgainse 10 roadshows in the country this year.

Read More »

Delhi Budget: Rs 10 cr for tourism infrastructure development

Delhi Government has earmarked Rs 10 crore for development of tourism infrastructure in 2016-17. Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Manish Sisodia announced this while presenting the 2016-17 Budget in the Delhi Assembly. The government also proposed to create a new campaign called ‘Brand Delhi’ and has earmarked Rs 30 crore for Brand Delhi and Delhi Festival in 2016-17. “We will re-develop the online presence of destination Delhi through websites, Apps, maps, social media and micro-sites,” Sisodia said. The government has also propose a skywalk way from Qutub Minar Metro Station to the Qutub Minar, a first of its kind is proposed to be developed in 2016-17. The said walkway will go over the Mehrauli archaeological complex.

Read More »

Luxury Tax threshold limit increased to Rs 1,500

In a bid to simplify tax regime, Delhi Government has announced increase in threshold limit of Luxury Tax from existing Rs 750 to Rs 1,500. “This will reduce tax burden on citizens and tourists and make it easy for small hotels to do business,” said Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Manish Sisodia. The government has decided to introduce self declaration in Luxury Tax. Assessment of all hotels is compulsory and will be done on random basis. The revenue collection from Luxury Tax has seen an increase of 36.7 per cent. As against last year’s Rs 322 crore of revenue from Luxury Tax, this year will exceed Rs 440 crore is estimated to be collected. Last year, the government had enhanced Luxury Tax from 10 per cent to 15 per cent for all applicable establishment.

Read More »