Category Archives: States

AP received 122 million tourists in 2015

Andhra Pradesh reportedly attracted 1,218.3 lakh tourists in 2015 from across the globe. Domestic footfalls to the state increased to 1218.3 lakh in 2015 as against 933 lakh in 2014, thereby registering a growth of 30 per cent. Neerabh Kumar Prasad, I.A.S., Principal Secretary to Government, Tourism & Culture, says, “In our endeavor to make Andhra Pradesh as India’s most preferred tourist destination, this data comes to us as a great encouragement. Under the leadership of our Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu and with a focused strategy in place, we are hopeful of this growth momentum to be replicated year after year going forward. We will continue to invest and focus to develop tourism in Andhra Pradesh of global standard.” Anantapur district which houses the famous Puttaparthi and Lord Veerbhadra temple at Lepakshi, became the most visited destination by foreign tourists with a footfall of 1.37 lakh foreigners. Among international tourist arrivals, 2.37 lakh tourists visited the state during the year 2015 as against 66,333 visited in 2014. Majority of the foreign tourists were from the South – East Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Middle East countries such as Dubai among others. Dr. R.P. Khajuria, I.F.S., Commissioner, Department of Tourism says, “Andhra Pradesh is one of the few states in India, which has such a rich diversity in terms of tourism and has the capacity to attract tourists across all age groups. The potential that lays ahead for the state is vast and these numbers are testimonials to the fact that increasing number of tourists both in India and abroad are realizing what the state can offer.” Andhra Pradesh also witnessed large number of footfalls from business travellers …

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Maharashtra tourism policy to boost investment

The new Maharashtra tourism policy will come in effect from April 1, 2016. The Maharashtra government has targeted an investment of about Rs 30,000 crore through the new policy which is expected to give a huge boost to the travel and hospitality industry in the state. Valsa Nair Singh, Principal Secretary Tourism & Cultural Affairs, Government of Maharashtra, who has been spearheading this, feels that the new policy will turn out to be the biggest launch pad for Maharashtra to reach to the top spot in the list of destinations for travellers. Apart from the regular databases and guidelines which the policy will be looking at, we have announced a very big basket of incentives for tourism investments. There is a VAT subsidy of 50-75 per cent depending on different slabs for any investments in Maharashtra apart from the luxury tax exemption, entertainment tax exemption, stamp duty, etc. We have also launched the single-window clearance for all investments related to hospitality businesses,” she says.

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Eco-friendly mine tourism a novel idea: PM Modi

Nagpur-based Western Coalfields Limited’s effort to promote eco-friendly Mine Tourism at a green zone within a coal mining belt at Saoner village, found its mention in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ speech. Modi who has been encouraging people to tour different parts of the country in his speeches, said Coal India deserves special mention for creating such a facility. He said that works like WCL’s eco-park at Saoner which has drawn 10,000 visitors so far can change the mindset.The eco-park, which was started in November 2015, is a major attraction situated at around 40 km from the city. It is a forested route up to two km from the Saoner town. The park has a water body, bamboo plantation and most of the natural forest has been kept in its original shape. Around 500 visitors come here on weekly basis and the entry, is free, he said. “Normally the very name of a coal mine gives an impression that one should stay away from such a place. The pictures available show that it may not be worthwhile visiting a mining area. However, WCL has turned a coal mine into an attractive tourist spot. Developing an eco-friendly tourist circuit in a coal mine area is indeed a novel idea,” Modi said in his speech.

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Tourist arrivals to Goa cross 5 million mark in 2015

According to data released by Department of Tourism, Govt.of Goa, there was no drop in foreign tourist arrivals in 2015. A total of 52,97,902 tourists visited  Goa in 2015 which includes 47,56,422  domestic  tourists and  5,41,480 foreign tourists. While the state has recorded an overall 30.54 per cent increase in tourist arrivals for 2015, domestic tourist arrivals were up by 34 percent and foreign tourist arrivals up by 5.4 per cent. Tourist arrivals during the monsoons (June, July and August 2015) recorded a 22 per cent increase as against an 18 per cent increase in 2014. Foreign tourist arrivals to Goa from  UK, Russia, UAE, USA, Portugal, South Africa and many others have shown an increase in arrivals to the  State despite  continued recession and crises’ that hit the European regions. The eTV regime introduced by the Central government in December 2014 has also facilitated easy access of foreign tourists to Goa. Within a year (Till December 31, 2015) a total of 49,626 eTVs were issued to foreign tourists. Dilip Parulekar, Minister for Tourism, said, “We are extremely delighted to know that despite various negative geo-political situations across the globe these have not hit Goa Tourism in any way. We have received a good response from foreign and domestic tourists in 2015 as in the past. Our new initiatives, marketing and promoting is showing substantial results and we are optimistic that tourists will choose Goa as their destination for holidaying.”

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Tourism gets industry status in Maharashtra

The Government of Maharashtra has announced ‘industry status’ for  tourism in the state’s new tourism policy.  Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also declared the state government’s intention to invest up to Rs 30,000 crore in tourism. The policy also underlines a focus on skill development that will consequently enhance employment in the tourism sector. The policy also shows an intention to boost Medical Tourism, Nature Tourism and Agriculture Tourism. The government has proposed to exempt Luxury Tax, entertainment tax, electricity duty charges and stamp duty on investment on land owned by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) and has offered additional incentives for tourism projects by women entrepreneurs, tourism projects by special people, and sustainable tourist projects. Fadnavis said, “This policy will generate 10 lakh new employment and double the income of state coming from tourism industry.

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‘Mumbai: most expensive city for hotels’

According to the latest Hotel Price Index report from Hotels.com, Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru topped the charts where travellers paid the most for hotel accommodation in India in 2015. Mumbai is where all travellers, both domestic and international visitors, paid the most for accommodation with a three per cent increase to Rs 8,160 per night. Delhi, which for two consecutive years witnessed an increase in tariff prices, this time marginally fell by one per cent to Rs 6,807.

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Luxury yacht rides in Telangana

Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation (TSTDC) have launched two new catamaran yachts for the Hussain Sagar Lake at Lumbini Park in Hyderabad. TSTDC has introduced the luxury ride package with these two new boats, which will be priced at Rs 100 per person. The boats can accommodate 12-15 members per trip. Additionally, TSTDC has also launched party packages priced at Rs 2,000 per hour at these luxury boats. The party packages will begin post 8:30 PM and can be availed up to 12:00 AM. The boats will not only provide a luxurious ambience to tourists but also have a lower seating which is closer to the water during the ride. The inauguration was done by Sania Mirza, brand ambassador for Telangana State. The new catamaran boats have been procured from the USA and will be available to ferry the public at the Hussain Sagar Lake. TSTDC owns the largest water fleet in India amongst the state tourism departments, about 95 which comprises small and big boats. The corporation operates leisure based cruises and water sports at different lakes and rivers of the State, Parasailing activity at Hussain Sagar etc., which are very popular amongst the local crowd as well. Currently the state tourism development corporation already operates one mechanical large boat as a ferry to the Buddha statue. TSTDC also runs 3 cruises 2 AC and 1 Non AC for parties and rides on the lake. TSTDC has also introduced a jolly ride with these cruises – with a carnival style folk and cultural song and dance presentation during the ride. It operates a Jetski and speedboat as well to cater to the tastes of adventure enthusiasts.

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Rajasthan signs 20 MoUs for Tourism

Rajasthan Government has signed 20 Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) for projects worth over Rs 963.65 crores to develop tourism and hospitality industry in the state. Apart from these 31 MoUs were also signed and these projects are expected to generate 26,678 jobs in the sectors of Industry, Agriculture, Urban Development & Housing (UDH), Mining and Tourism. The proposal received for the projects are spread all over the state like Jaipur, Bikaner, Alwar, Neemrana, Kota, Baran, Sawai Madhopur,  Udaipur, Kishangarn, Jodhpur, Pushkar, Masuda (Ajmer district), Chittorgarh, Mordi (Banswara district), among others. The MoU signing ceremony was presided over by Vasundhara Raje, Chief Minister, Government of Rajasthan. Raje said that during the Resurgent Rajasthan Partnership Summit, they signed 295 MoUs amounting to Rs 3.21 lakh crores cutting across sectors. She added that the aim of the state is to keep the momentum going and continue to facilitate investment in the state. The state government has already cleared investment proposals worth Rs. 12,493 crores in the past two years. It has also cleared investment proposals worth Rs. 4,452.81 crores since the Resurgent Rajasthan Partnership Summit in November 2015.

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Delhi to rationalise taxes in Tourism sector

The Delhi Government is going to rationalise taxes in the tourism sector and major announcement regarding this can be expected in the upcoming Delhi Budget 2016-17, said Kapil Mishra, Delhi Tourism Minister. He also revealed that the Government is working on a major Delhi Festival, a 15 day long cultural event in Delhi to be held in the month of November on the lines of Dubai Festival. The Delhi Government will start major destination branding activity this year as well. “We have completely changed our event organising policy and are also planning 10 smart streets which will be made into tourist hubs in the city. We are revamping all monuments. This year a massive and aggressive Delhi branding will be launched. We are working on rationalising the taxes and this budget will bring good news for the industry,”  he said while addressing the HRANI Conclave on February 27, 2016 at Le Meridien, New Delhi. The HRANI Conclave addressed issues of hoteliers and restaurateurs of Delhi and put across suggestions to the Delhi Tourism Minister. Luv Malhotra, President, HRANI, said, “There are three primary issues which we are addressing with the Tourism Minister at an open forum. The Luxury tax levied is a major issue. The exorbitant charges on environment tax which we have to pay as restaurateurs and hoteliers for which discussions are on in the court and ease of doing business are other issues.” Malhotra mentioned that as of present the industry requires 40 odd  licences, certifications and clearances to function which are only 5 when compared to countries like China and Malaysia. The Minister further added that the Government is keen to work closely with the Tourism and Hospitality industry to …

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President launches Kerala’s Muziris Heritage Project

Kerala Tourism’s Muziris Heritage Project, a conservation undertaking based on archaeological findings on the ancient Spice Route linking India’s maritime contacts with contemporary ancient civilisations, has been inaugurated by President of India Pranab Mukherjee in Kodungallur (Thrissur). Realising the cultural significance of this ancient maritime trade route, Kerala Tourism has launched the ‘Spice Route’ tourism initiative linking 41 countries in Asia and Europe with India, particularly Kerala. The President also released a coffee table book on the Spice Route, which in first-ever by a tourism board, is also available on Kindle. Addressing the gathering at the launch, Mukherjee said that the project should spread the message of Indian cosmopolitanism far and wide adding to the country’s soft power across the world. “Kerala has through the ages demonstrated a remarkable ability to adapt to new traditions and values in every sphere of human thought and endeavour. Participation of people in planning and implementation of the project will further ensure full utilisation of the economic and employment prospects that growth in tourism will bring to the region,” he said. Kerala Minister for Tourism A.P. Anilkumar said the Muziris project would open doors to the immense opportunities in educational tourism, which is a growing industry across the world. The project is an effort to conserve and showcase a culture that had existed for over 3,000 years, when Kerala had established itself as a major centre of spice trade with the ancient port of Muziris as its hub. The port was the centre of trade between the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean regions. Also present on this occassion were Governor of Kerala Justice P. Sathasivam and Chief Minister of Kerala Oommen Chandy.

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