Category Archives: States

Maharashtra appoints Jaykumar Rawal as new Tourism Minister

The Government of Maharashtra has appointed Jaykumar Rawal as the new Tourism Minister as on July 8, 2016. Rawal took oath as Cabinet Minister and will also be handling the Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS) in Maharashtra in his portfolio. He holds a degree in Bachelors of Commerce from Symbiosis University, Pune and degree in Business Management from Cardiff University, England. He takes over from Prof Ram Shinde. On taking over charge of his new role as a Tourism Minister, Rawal immediately had a meeting with Madan Yerawar, State Minister Tourism, Government of Maharashtra and higher officials of Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) including Valsa Nair Singh, IAS, Principal Secretary, Tourism & Cultural Affairs, Government of Maharashtra; Satish Soni, Joint MD, MTDC; Swati Kale, GM, MTDC, amongst other Head of Departments. He reviewed the current tourism projects and provided valuable guidance and direction to the Department of Tourism during the meeting. On the appointment Rawal said, “My key focus will be to advance the current tourism scenario in Maharashtra through implementation of new policies aimed towards tourism growth and skill development. We have great platforms like Visit Maharashtra 2017 campaign and SAARC Summit in Aurangabad in the pipeline. The Tourism Ministry will soon announce the launch of creative contests for logo designing for Visit Maharashtra 2017 campaign and tagline for Maharashtra Tourism.”

Read More »

Kerala’s budgetary boost to tourism

Kerala Government has allotted Rs 100 crore each for the Alappuzha and Thalassery Heritage Tourism projects in its budget for the year 2016-17. The annual budget was presented by Dr Thomas Issac, Finance Minister, Government of Kerala. Another Rs 400 crore was allotted for improving the existing infrastructural conditions in select tourism destinations identified across the state. A ropeway project was also announced at Ponmudi. For which Rs 200 crore shall be allotted. The budget also proposed development of air strips at Bekal, Wayand and Idukki in order to connect far flung destinations. However the bus trips to Bengaluru and Chennai will cost more now as tax of tourist buses has been increased. Green Tax on old vehicles and goods transport has also been increased by 10 per cent.

Read More »

26 key players attend AP Tourism investor’s meet

In a bid to garner investments worth Rs 20,000 crore by 2029 for tourism projects in the state, Andhra Pradesh tourism department organised an investor’s meet which was attended by more than 26 key investors for multiple sectors like hotels, water sports, cruises among others on July 5. The department in a statement said that Andhra Pradesh is endeavouring to make the state an ideal destination for investments and facilitate ease of doing business. The tourism department also added that the progress of each project was reviewed with various departments and investors’ pending issues were resolved across the table. Investors such as ANI Technologies (Ola), Amaravati Tourism, Samudra Shipyard, Shore View Hospitality, Sky Choppers, Water Sports Simple participated in the discussions. Urging the investors to begin commercial operations at the earliest and assuring them of coordinated effort by all relevant government departments to ensure ease of doing business and faster project execution, Neerabh Kumar Prasad, Principal Secretary-Tourism, Government of Andhra Pradesh, said, “Time is ripe to fast track the execution of projects and ensure timely completion. We stand committed to extend our full cooperation to all investors to streamline the entire process.” He also informed that in total 33 new projects have taken off with an investment of Rs 2,400 crore which generate sizeable employment opportunities as well. The state has already seen investments from prominent hospitality brands such as ITC, Accor Group, Taj, JW Marriot etc. and has launched many water sports and adventure tourism facilities in Vijayawada along with some other places in the state.

Read More »

Maharashtra to give Rs 50 lakh as financial aid for tourism start-ups

Maharashtra Government will provide financial assistance of upto Rs 50 lakh to persons who wish to set up their tourism business under its Start Up scheme. This was announced by Valsa Nair Singh, IAS, Principal Secretary,  Tourism and Culture, Government of Maharashtra. She added, “The coming two years are very important for the progress and prosperity of the tourism sector. The year 2017 will be celebrated as Visit Maharashtra Year and the year 2018 we will be celebrating completion of 200 years of the discovery of the world heritage Ajanta Caves by British officer John Smith. A campaign to promote tourism destinations of Maharashtra all over the world will be undertaken aggressively under Visit Maharashtra 2017. In 2018, many events will be hosted to attract international and domestic tourists to Ajanta and other destinations of the city. There is a huge scope to organise Food Festival and Handicraft Festival in the city, apart from Golf Tourism. A proposal to set up Buddhist Centre on MTDC’s 900 acres land at Ellora is under consideration.” The three-day Ellora-Ajanta Festival will be held with the help of the MTDC from October 14 to 16, said the principal secretary suggesting the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation to run an excursion bus to conduct City Tours connecting all the tourist places. She also underlined the need of enhancing the air connectivity of Aurangabad with cities like Jaipur, Udaipur, Nagpur and Pune other than Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad. Mentioning the need for hosting film shootings at Ellora, Ajanta and other important places in Aurangabad, Smt. Valsa Nair Singh commented “The countries like Switzerland and Spain witnessed a boom in tourism due to film shootings. A beeline was formed to see …

Read More »

India’s 1st SAARC Tourism Summit in Aurangabad

The Ministry of External Affairs will organise the country’s first SAARC Tourism Summit in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, in the second week of October. The announcement of the two-day summit, also being aimed at tapping FDI under Make in India and Make in Maharashtra schemes, was made by Valsa Nair Singh, IAS, Principal Secretary Tourism and Culture, Government of Maharashtra at the Sensitisation Session on Aurangabad Tourism Development Program organised by the State Government, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) and the Confederation of Indian Industry in Aurangabad on July 4, 2016. Highlighting the reasons behind the decision to host the summit in Aurangabad, Singh said, “The Ajanta-Ellora caves have always remained the biggest tourism attraction in the state among foreigners and Indians. The historical silk route and connect of the place with the Buddhist circuit across world, including China, is significant. Ajanta also has one of the world’s best visitors centre with several life size replicas of Padmapani (sculptures of Buddha). All these are reason enough for Aurangabad to be the preferred choice. The conference aims at promoting Aurangabad and other destinations of Maharashtra.” “The Department of Tourism (DoT) is trying to seek appointment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate the event. On the first day, officials from SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries, which include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, would attend the conference. On the second day, the ministers of tourism from these countries and from Indian states would participate.” Singh said.

Read More »

Indian women travel more for health & medical: survey

As per the “Key Indicators of Domestic Tourism in India” report released by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), nearly 48% of all single member trips undertaken by members from a particular household were performed by women in both rural and urban areas for leading purpose health and medical. For the business purpose trips, the above proportion for female was very low (2%). For visitor-trips from outside States with any one of the leading purposes as business, social, religious & pilgrimage, education & training and others, Uttar Pradesh (12.7 lakhs) was the most visited State followed by Andhra Pradesh & Telangana combined (nearly 8.7 lakhs) and Rajasthan (nearly 8.6 lakhs). Summer season (i.e. May-June) was the peak period for undertaking a trip with leading purpose holidaying, leisure & recreation, whereas, for shopping trips it was winter (December-February). Religious & pilgrimage trips were more frequent during the months of July and August. Nearly 23% of visitor-trips in rural areas were for holidaying as visitor’s purpose, whereas for urban areas this share was about 59%. The share of visitor-trips for heath & medical purposes from rural areas (48%) was nearly twice than that from urban areas (25%). More than 80% of overnight visitor-trips completed during last 30 days, were for social purpose both in rural and urban areas. The survey covered the whole of the Indian Union. The results of the survey are based on the sample canvassed by NSSO, consisting of 8,001 villages and 6,061 urban blocks, respectively, spread over all States and Union Territories of the country. The total number of households in which the Schedule was canvassed was 79,497 and 60,191 in rural and urban India respectively during the …

Read More »

Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart from Oct 14-16

Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. (MPSTDC) has announced the third edition of the Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart. To be held from 14-16 October, 2016 at the Hotel Lake View Ashok in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, the event will focus on promoting Madhya Pradesh as a year round destination. Om Vijay Choudhary, Executive Director, Madhya Pradesh Tourism, said, “We are going to increase the scale of the convention and will be inviting more buyers, exhibitors as well as media.” The three day event in Bhopal will showcase the various offerings of the state.

Read More »

AP Tourism announces 25 new packages

Andhra Pradesh Tourism has announced 25 new packages for the benefit of holiday planners and travellers. The tour packages have been segregated into the five tourist hubs of the state – Visakhapatnam, Konaseema-Rajahmundry-Kakinada, Amaravati-Vijayawada, Tirupati-Nellore and Ananthapuramu-Kurnool-Kadapa. All the tour packages are already in effect. Neerabh Kumar Prasad, I.A.S., Principal Secretary to Government, Tourism & Culture, said “The tour packages have been specially crafted for the holiday travellers to make best sue of. Convenience of traveller is of utmost importance for us and these packages have been designed keeping their comfort and convenience in mind. We aim to provide them with a memorable experience to cherish ever after every time they visit Andhra Pradesh.”

Read More »

Ghaziabad-Pokhara bus service from July 11

Starting July 11, people can travel from Delhi and nearby NCR cities all the way to Pokhara in Nepal from the Anand Vihar bus terminal, without any breaks. The Uttar Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) has joined hands with agencies in Nepal to ply direct AC buses between Ghaziabad and Pokhara. According to reports, the initiative is an outcome of an agreement signed between India and Nepal for regulation of passenger traffic between the two countries in November 2014. The bus service will undertake a journey of around 1,300km in 28 hours.

Read More »

Telangana records 1.2 crore tourists in 2015

According to a state report, almost 12 million tourists visited Telangana last year. And the major part of this number is of religious tourists—almost 3.6 million tourists visited the popular Buddhist, Jain and other religious sites in the state, the report reveals. In 2015, the state attracted double the number of pilgrims as compared to that of 2014. And a huge part of the tourist footfall last year is because of the Godavari Maha Pushkaram, which is observed once in 12 years and received plenty of pilgrims and travellers alike. According to the report, almost 10 lakh domestic and international tourists had taken a dip in the Godavari during the festival.

Read More »