Tag Archives: Government of India

Indian Aviation Academy launches new campus in Vasant Kunj

A new campus of Indian Aviation Academy was launched in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi. P. Ashok Gajapati Raju, Minister of Civil Aviation, Government of India, inaugrated the campus in the presence of R. N. Choubey, Secretary, Civil Aviation; Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman, Airports Authority of India (AAI); Dr. Dewakar Goel, Director, Indian Aviation Academy (IAA) and Kumar Rajesh Chandra, DG, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS). The academy is a joint venture by BCAS, AAI and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

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FICCI’s Global MICE Travel Mart begins in Delhi

The government shall soon roll out its much-awaited National Tourism Policy, expected to provide single window clearance for organisation of meetings and conferences, informed Satyajeet Rajan, Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, while addressing the second edition of Global MICE Travel Mart, organised by FICCI jointly with the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, on September 14 at The Lalit, New Delhi. He said that there was a need to provide incentives to this sector to make it competitive in the world market. He added that there was a pressing need to conduct a study to assess size of the industry and a consultant was being appointed to suggest a workable roadmap for the development of the sector. During the inaugural of this mart, which is underway until Sept 16, a FICCI-MRSS Knowledge Paper on ‘MICE Tourism Powerhouse of a New Era Tourism’ was unveiled by the dignitaries. The six-point agenda of the study suggested a six-point roadmap for development of India as a MICE tourism hotspot. Chander Mansharamani, Vice Chairman, ICPB and Managing Director, Alpcord Network Travel & Conferences Management Company, said that MICE was an economic activity and there was an imperative need for the creation of a market for the sector. Besides, he emphasised on the need for readily available comprehensive database, building capacities and capabilities while taking into account competition to make India a MICE hub. Highlighting the immense potential of MICE tourism in West Bengal, Amitava Rathod, Deputy General Manager, West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation, said that that with new convention centres projects such as HIDCO, Digha and Bagdogra coming up in the state, West Bengal is bound to lead the country in …

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Tourism Minister invites trade to share out-of-box ideas on Sept 18

Alphons Kannanthanam, Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism, Government of India, has said that he is very happy to meet and exchange “radical” ideas on tourism with the travel trade in New Delhi. He said, “I am going to have a meeting at Transport Bhavan in New Delhi on Septmber 18, 2017, and I invite the travel industry to come and share their ideas. But they need to come with radical ideas, not the time-tested, overdone suggestions. Please get in touch with the Secretary Tourism with these ideas. Not suggestions like GST has to be abolished, etc. No, that all we know. Please come up with something new and imaginative.” He announced this at his first official event that he attended after taking on the role as the tourism minister – the 33rd IATO Annual Convention held in Bhubaneshwar from September 7-10, 2017.

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MOT to launch ‘Adopt a Heritage’ campaign soon

Tourism Secretary Rashmi Verma has said that the Government of India will soon announce a new ‘Adopt a Heritage’ campaign in association with Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). With an aim to encourage the corporate and private sectors to adopt a heritage monument, the campaign will give a boost to the heritage tourism circuit through public-private partnership. Verma announced this on the sidelines of IATO Convention underway in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. She also announced the second edition of Incredible India campaign, which will be market specific and will be based on India’s thematic circuits.

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Guwahati to host international aviation conference

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, and the International Chamber for Service Industry (ICSI) will jointly organise an International Conference on Strengthening Aviation Network between North East Indian Region and Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (BCLMV countries) at Radisson Blu Hotel Guwahati in Assam today. The mega event aims to bring nations closer by augmenting and improving travel, trade and people to people contacts through a stronger aviation network. It will be attended by dignitaries from the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Airports Authority of India, as well as Indian and international carriers and other leading aviation business entities. Over the past few years India’s trade with the BCLMV countries has grown exponentially with the total trade with CLMV countries growing seven-fold from $1.4 billion in 2005 to $10.3 billion in 2015 and current trade volume with Bangladesh at about $6.6 billion. The key points of deliberation at the conference were the need of direct connectivity of airlines between NER and BCLMV countries, infrastructure development and capacity building along with the liberalisation of ASEAN open sky policy for NER (I). The initiative shows that the NER figures very high in the list of priorities of not only the government but also of the air transport sector which sees immense unrealised potential in this part of the country.

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MoCA grants ‘in principle’ approval for setting up of 18 Greenfield Airports

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Government of India (GoI), has granted ‘in principle’ approval for setting up of 18 Greenfield Airports in the country. The list of these airport along with the estimated cost is: Mopa in Goa (approx. Rs. 3100 cr), Navi Mumbai (approx. Rs. 16704 cr), Shirdi (approx. Rs. 320.54 cr) and Sindhudurg (approx. Rs. 520 cr) in Maharashtra, Bijapur (approx. Rs. 150 cr), Gulbarga (approx. Rs. 13.78 cr in initial phase), Hasan (approx. Rs. 592 cr) and Shimoga (approx. Rs. 38.91 cr) in Karnataka, Kannur in Kerala (approx. Rs. 1892 cr), Durgapur in West Bengal (approx. Rs. 670 cr), Dabra in Madhya Pradesh (approx. Rs. 200 cr), Pakyong in Sikkim (approx. Rs. 553.53 cr), Karaikal in Puducherry (approx. Rs.170 cr), Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh (approx. Rs. 448 cr), Dholera in Gujarat (approx. Rs. 1712 cr) and Dagadarthi Mendal, Nellore Dist. (approx. Rs. 293 cr), Bhogapuram in Vizianagaram District near Visakhapatnam (approx. Rs. 2260 cr) and Oravakallu in Kurnool District (approx. Rs. 200 cr), Andhra Pradesh. The timeline for construction of airport projects depends upon many factors such as land acquisition, availability of mandatory clearances, financial closure, etc. by the individual operator. This information was given by the Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha. The construction of airport project depends upon many factors such as land acquisition, availability of mandatory clearances, financial closure, etc. by the individual operator. The State Government of Maharashtra has completed the tendering process and MIAL is the highest bidder.

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Cruise tourism action plan in 4 months

The Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with Ministry of Shipping will prepare an action plan for development of cruise tourism in India. MOT intends to promote cruise shipping and tourism in a big way and will be an important element of the Incredible India 2.0 campaign. The Netherlands-based consultant Bermello Ajmali has prepared a report on cruise tourism in India, which has a low penetration rate in the sector. During the National Workshop on Cruise Tourism conducted by MOT and Ministry of Shipping, Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, Government of India, said, “The report prepared on cruise tourism by the foreign consultant will be discussed and the action plan will be ready in next 3-4 months. Next year is going to be very good for cruise tourism in India.” At present, India has a very small share in world cruise tourism market, as against 23 million passengers globally in 2016. Various stakeholders from the ministry of tourism, Shipping ministry, Bureau of Immigration, Central industrial Security Force (CISF), department of Revenue (Customs) and policy consultants etc. came together to discuss the nuances of the action plan to be put in place. Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister for Tourism, Government of India, said that cruise tourism will be a game changer for tourism sector as it helps in foreign exchange earnings as well as job creation. Rashmi Verma, Secretary-tourism, Government of India, informed that in 2013-14 only 103 cruise ships visited India which increased to 158 in 2016-17 and in 2013-14, 80,645 cruise passengers disembarked in India which grew to 191,725 passengers in 2016-17. She said, “This workshop is a landmark in promotion of cruise tourism in India and …

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GST Council levies 5% rate on tours

The Government of India’s GST Council finalised the tax rates on services under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime at their meeting held in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir. The GST regime is scheduled to kick-in from July 1, and the council has approved the GST rates for services at Nil, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. According to the current rate, the 5% rate of GST will be levied on transport of passengers by rail (other than sleeper class); transport of passengers by air in economy class; transport of passengers with or without accompanied  belongings, by air, embarking from or terminating in a Regional Connectivity Scheme Airport;  as well as supply of tour operators’ services. There is 12 per cent GST rate levied on transport of passengers by air in other than economy class. These rates will be further subjected to vetting and would undergo some changes.

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Rashmi Verma is the new Secretary, Tourism

Rashmi Verma (IAS), of 1982 batch from Bihar Cadre, has joined as the new Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. Before this, Verma was serving as the Secretary in Ministry of Textiles. Not new to tourism, she has previously served as the Chairman & MD of Bihar Tourism Department as well as Additional Director in Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. She will be replacing N. K. Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, who had taken up the additional charge as Secretary Tourism after Vinod Zutshi retired from the position.

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India cashes in on yoga & wellness at ATM 2017

India has been participating at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) since its inception 24 years ago and this year is no different. Speaking at a media briefing held at ATM 2017, HE Vipul, Consul General of India, Dubai said, “We have 54 participants in total from India who are here at ATM including goverment agencies like IRCTC, ITDC, as well as a number of private tour operators. Two state governments Jammu & Kashmir and Kerala have put up stalls while officials from Madhya Pradesh are also participating. The theme this year is yoga and wellness and Dubai particularly has embraced yoga in a big way. There has been a consistent and positive growth from this region to India over the last 3 years with 2016 having registered an overall growth of around 17 per cent over the previous year. India is today the biggest source of tourist arrivals in UAE with the numbers increasing every year and with the simplification in e-Tourist Visa and introduction of e-business and e-medical visa, we expect more tourists to travel to India.” Gyan Bhushan, Economic Advisor, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, highlighted the country’s growing tourism figures, and said, “India registered a growth of 10.6 per cent in 2016, which is higher than the global average of about 4.3 per cent. It is an all round destination and offers diversity throughout the year since we have the Himalayas, the desert, beaches, plains and much more. Our focus on health & medical tourism, wellness, cruise tourism, among others has grown as well since these are booming sectors.” Saket Saran, Country Head, Air India, reiterated the fact that traffic has been strong between Dubai and India and said, “The …

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