Category Archives: States

Karnataka Tourism to organise multi-city roadshows to increase domestic footfalls

With an aim to increase domestic footfalls, Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) and the Department of Tourism, Government of Karnataka will organise multi-city roadshows in March and April, 2019 to promote the state as a destination for leisure, MiCE, adventure, wildlife and wedding destination in the Indian market. The event will be held in Mumbai on March 19, Panaji on March 20, Delhi on April 9 and Lucknow on April 10. The B2B roadshow will have over 20 travel agents from Karnataka interacting with more than 100 travel agents and tour operators of the respective cities. The roadshow will have B2B interactions and presentations and cultural programmes that will showcase the destination and also open up new avenues in bringing the destination in new light to the travel and trade community. A cultural performance will be organised to showcase the vibrant art forms that Karnataka is             known for. The roadshow will highlight different aspects of Karnataka tourism such as nature, wildlife, adventure, pilgrimage, heritage and cultural heritage, and many more.

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Alphons inaugurates Eco Circuit project in Kerala

K J Alphons, Union Minister for Tourism has inaugurated the project ‘Development of Eco Circuit: Pathanamthitta – Gavi – Vagamon – Thekkady’ under the Swadesh Darshan scheme of Ministry of Tourism in the presence of K Surendran, Minister for Tourism, Government of Kerala at Vagamon in Kerala. This Eco Circuit project was sanctioned in December 2015 for Rs 76.55 crores.  Major works carried out under the project includes Eco Adventure Tourism Park at Vagamon, Cultural Centre at Kadamanitta, Eco Log Huts at Peerumedu, Idukki, Approach Roads, walking trails, rain shelters at Pine Valley Forest, Thekkady, Kumily, Moozhiyar Dam, Penstock and Kakki Dam. Swadesh Darshan scheme is one of the flagship schemes of Ministry of Tourism for development of thematic circuits in the country in a planned and prioritised manner. Under this scheme the Government is focussing on development of quality infrastructure in the country with objective of providing better experience and facilities to the visitors on one hand and on other hand fostering the economic growth. The scheme was launched in 2014 -15 and as on date the Ministry has sanctioned 77 projects worth projects for Rs. 6131.88 crore to 30 states and UTs. 30 projects / major components of projects are expected to be completed during the current financial year, of which 12 projects worth Rs 1024.49 crore, covering the states of Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh Kerala and Sikkim have already been inaugurated. The Ministry of Tourism recognising the tourism potential of the state has sanctioned seven projects in Kerala under the Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD schemes for an approximate amount of Rs 550 crores.

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Tourism Minister lays foundation stone for Spiritual Circuit in Kerala

Union Minister of State for Tourism, Alphons Kannanthanam laid the foundation stone for a spiritual circuit connecting Sivagiri Sree Narayana Guru Ashram, Arruvipuram, Kunnumpara Sree Subrahmania Swamy temple and Chembazhanthi Sree Narayana Gurukulam, at a function held at Sivagiri Mutt, Varkala near Thiruvananthapuram. The circuit will have facilities like a craft bazaar, bus shelters and an audio-video virtual reality show. Speaking on the occasion, Alphons said that the Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned seven projects to Kerala under the Swadesh Darshan and Prashad schemes at an approximate amount of Rs 550 crore. He further said that Kerala’s future lies in exploring the possibilities in tourism sector. The project was sanctioned in January 2019 for Rs 69.47 crore.

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West Bengal & France sign MoU to redevelop Chandannagar as heritage tourism destination

Heritage and tourism in Chandannagar got a boost with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) recently between France and the Bengal government on the sidelines of the Bengal Global Business Summit. French ambassador Alexandre Ziegler, who was in Chandannagar to unveil plaques on three buildings enlisted by the West Bengal Heritage Commission, tweeted the event after signing the MoU late on Wednesday. “The agreement will initiate a very important revitalisation of Chandannagar’s Indo-French heritage,” he wrote. Tourism and home secretary Atri Bhattacharya said, “We have signed an MoU to together explore ways to redevelop Chandannagar heritage. There are some buildings that are either government property right now or can possibly be acquired. The French will do research and provide expertise in restoration and we will see in what phases we can fund restoration of heritage precincts.” Ziegler said, “With the MoU, we have now created a bilateral arrangement whereby we will provide technical expertise. Specialists in restoring monuments will come before summer for the first visit.” The MoU mentions only the Registry Office, the former French courthouse, by name. It was one of the buildings where a heritage plaque was unveiled on Wednesday. An estimate of the restoration cost will be drawn up with the help of French experts. The ambassador, on his fourth visit to Chandannagar , described the former French colony as “a jewel”. “You have history, charm, proximity to Calcutta… the potential for tourism is immense. Demonstrating what can be done in one building can have a snowball effect. Through honouring the past we are setting up a dynamic for the town’s economic development,” Ziegler said. Source: The Telegraph

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Kerala to cut tax on aviation fuel to 5 per cent for domestic airlines

To promote airlines to extend their service to Kerala, the Kerala government has decided to slash the tax on aviation fuel to 5 per cent from the current 28.75 per cent for domestic airlines. Making the announcement in the assembly during the discussion on the state budget for 2019-20, state’s Finance Minister TM Thomas Issac said that not only airports under the UDAN scheme but also non-UDAN airports would get the new tax breather in the state. “The tax on ATF will be reduced to 5 per cent from the existing 28.75 per cent for domestic airlines operating service from the state airports. A revenue loss of Rs 100 crore is expected through this,” he said. The tax cut is expected to benefit Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode international airports as the government had already decided to levy only 1 per cent fuel tax from airlines operating service from the newly commissioned Kannur airport. Aviation fuel accounts for a major portion of operating cost for airlines. The tax cut can help become Kerala an attractive destination for various airlines as neighboring states like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are charging a state tax of 29 and 28 per cent, respectively on jet fuel. The tax cut benefits would benefit only domestic passengers as the international airlines that operate to and from the state have not been charging VAT as per the new GST regime.  

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J&K Governor reconstitutes Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board; K B Kachru on board

Jammu & Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik reconstituted the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) for a period of three years with immediate effect on February 5, 2019. Malik, who is also chairman of SMVDSB, nominated chairman of emeritus of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group K B Kachru, former IPS officer Ashok Bhan, Justice Permod Kohli, Major General Shiv Kumar Sharma, spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, renowned educationist Vijay Dhar and chairman-cum-managing director of AIMIL Pharmaceuticals K K Sharma as board members. Source: PTI

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J&K Tourism Secretary finalises arrangements for Jammu Mahotsav 2019 from February 8-10

Rigzin Samphel, Secretary—Tourism, Jammu & Kashmir, recenty chaired a review meeting to finalise the arrangements for Jammu Mahotsav 2019 set to be held from February 8-10. Samphel instructed the tourism department to work in coordination with other departments to mobilise maximum participation of people for making the festival a grand success. He asked the concerned to showcase the natural beauty and landscape, diverse culture, art and craft, cuisine and music to attract tourists during the festival. He also asked the tourism department to encourage the local tour operators, hoteliers and guest house owners to develop network with the best tour operators of the country to invite tourists for the festival and the upcoming tourist season.

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AITTC signs MoU with NEITO to open India’s North East Frontier for Australians

As per data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), India features as one of the most popular destinations for Australian travellers. However, travel to the eight North Eastern states – Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim – each of which is gifted with a diverse range of tourist attractions from splendid nature and diverse wildlife to colourful culture and vibrant history, has been limited. To boost this, Australia India Travel & Tourism Council (AITTC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with North East India Tour Operators Association (NEITO), which comprises Ministry of Tourism-approved inbound tour operators specialised for North East destinations. The MoU was signed by Madhushmita Khound , Secretary, NEITO in Guwahati and Sandip Hor, Chairman, AITTC in Sydney. The AITTC part of the signing was done in presence of B Vanlalvawna, Consul General of India in Sydney; Chandru Appar, Deputy Consul General of India in Sydney; Barbara Ward, President, NSW, Australia India Business Council; Phillip Bonicace, Co Chairman, AITTC and Vishnu Daram, Seccretary, AITTC. “This is a major step to put North East India under the tourism radar in Australia”, said Chairman Hor after the signing. According to him, attractions of the region like the Assam’s Brahmaputra River Cruise and the Kaziranga National Park, Tripura’s Royal Palaces Sikkim’s Himalayan beauty, Nagaland’s Hornbill Festival and many more have tremendous potential to add a new dimension to international tourism growth in India. The two main purposes of this MOU are to enhance destination knowledge among Australians and to facilitate the establishment of a suitable ‘travel & tourism connect’ between Australia and North East India.

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Goa Assembly imposes a fine of Rs 2,000 for drinking alcohol and cooking on beaches

The Goa Assembly has passed a bill amending a state tourism law, under which drinking alcohol, cooking and littering in tourist places will be a criminal offence. In fact, tourists are banned from carrying away bottles or cans containing liquor from stores selling alcohol in tourist places. According to the new amendment, violators of the law will be fined Rs 2,000, and if the violation is committed by more than one person, the group will have to pay Rs 10,000. There are, however, no penal provisions in the new law. The passing of the bill has been welcomed by Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) but cautioned that failure to implement the law would defeat the purpose.

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Surajkund International Crafts Mela attracts participants from 30 countries

Showcasing the diversity of handicrafts, handlooms and cultural fabric of India, the 33rd Surajkund International Crafts Mela, 2019 gets underway from February 1-17 at Surajkund Mela Ground, Faridabad. Speaking at a press meet for the event, Yogendra Tripathi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Chairman, Surajkund Mela Authority said, “Tourists today are looking for immersive experiences and the 33rd Surajkund International Crafts Mela provides that very culturally enriching experience for visitors. We have craftspersons from all over India with participants from 30 countries.” Other dignitaries present at the event included Vikas Yadav, Managing Director, Haryana Tourism Corporation and Chief Administrator, Surajkund Mela Authority; Vijai Vardhan, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Tourism, Government of Haryana and Vice Chairman, Surajkund Mela Authority. The event is organised by Surajkund Mela Authority and Haryana Tourism in collaboration with Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture and External Affairs. Maharashtra has been chosen as Theme State for the 33rd Surajkund International Crafts Mela 2019. A large number of renowned national and international folk artistes and cultural groups will present day performances at open-air theatres located in the Mela premises. The multi-cuisine food court provides ethnic cuisines from all over the world.

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