Category Archives: States

East India Travel Awards kicks off in Guwahati

Celebrating the contribution of stalwarts in the travel and tourism industry, the East India Travel Awards commenced in full swing on July 26, 2017, at Radisson Blu Hotel Guwahati. Gathering the region’s movers and shakers under one roof, the event was inaugurated by R Sudhan, Special Secretary (Tourism), Government of Manipur, who also was the Guest of Honour for the awards ceremony. The India Travel Awards salutes the best in the industry and awardees are selected based on a non-biased system of voting.

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AAI signs MoU with Uttarakhand for development of aviation

Airports Authority of India (AAI) has signed an MoU with Government of Uttarakhand and collaborated with Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority (UCADA) to develop the civil aviation sector in the state. The MoU aims to identify relevant factors influencing the development of civil aviation infrastructure in Uttarakhand; assessing commercial potential of various airports of the state; identifying technical considerations for airport operations in the state; evaluating site related technical and engineering parameters for development of projects, making estimate of the capital outlay for the future projects and development of master plan for existing and future civil aviation infrastructure in the state. AAI will also assist UCADA in obtaining necessary clearances for airport operations starting with the upgraded airport at Pithoragarh and later at Chiniyalisaur. The MoU was signed by S. Ramaswamy, Chief Secretary, Government of Uttarakhand and Anil Gupta, General Manager (Business Development). Ramaswamy said that the Government of Uttarakhand is determined to fulfil the long pending requirement of operational airports within the state. The new airports would also be part of the Regional Connectivity Scheme and will boost tourism and air connectivity for the local public.

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4th MPTM to be held in Bhopal from Oct 27-29

The 4th edition of Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart (MPTM) will be held from October 27-29, 2017 in Bhopal, informed Hari Ranjan Rao, Secretary, Tourism and Public Service Management and Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation. Over 200 national and international buyers and around 100 exhibitors of distinct Indian markets are expected to participate in the mart.According to Surendra Patwa, State Minister, Tourism and Culture (I/C), Kisan Kalyavan and Agriculture Development, Government of Madhya Pradesh, “I am hopeful that this year’s MPTM will open way for more investment in tourism sector in the state. This event will give us the opportunity to create a new tourism policy, water tourism policy, heritage policy, policy of providing accommodation facility centres and home state schemes.” With the theme, Seek-Discover-Explore, the mart will offer a B2B platform to bring together tourism stakeholders and representatives from heritage hotels, conference venues, tour operators and wildlife parks etc. The mart is supported by various trade organisations, like ADTOI, ATTOI, IATO, FAITH, TAAI and TAFI. Rao informed that this year, the number of attendees to the mart is expected to cross over 9 crore. International participants attending the show include representatives from Singapore, Spain, the UK, the US, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Thailand, Poland, Austria, Australia, France etc. Rao said, “The travel mart is an opportunity in which the tourism aspects of the state and the policies ad schemes are conveyed to the investors. In the last three years of the Travel mart in Bhopal, it has been experienced that through this one-to-one discussion with tourists, tourism, hospitality and participants of the hotel industry, the efforts being made for the expansion of the area are also being …

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ILP goes online for tourists willing to tour Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu recently launched e-Inner Line Permit (eILP) to make the entry to the state paperless and hassle-free for domestic visitors. Inner Line Permit is an official travel document issued by the central government to allow inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected/restricted area for a limited period. Khandu optimistically expressed that with this step, there would be a significant increase in the number of visitors to the state as they can now get ILPs from their homes without having to go to the designated offices physically. Visitors can apply and obtain the mandatory inner line permit online at www.arunachalilp.com. Special Secretary Information Technology, Prince Dhawan, explained that after fulfilling all criteria online, visitors will receive the ILP with unique identity number and codes in soft copy in their emails, which can be displayed on their mobile handsets or tabs at the entry gates for verification. However, ILPs can also be obtained at entry gates and other designated places (like Guwahati airport) physically on payment of fees.

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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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