Tag Archives: K.J. Alphons

MOT sanctions Spiritual Circuit in Kerala; over 130 religious sites covered

Union Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism, K J Alphons announced that the Ministry of Tourism sanctioned projects worth Rs 85.23 crore for the development of Spiritual Circuit III for Kerala under Swadesh Darshan Scheme. Addressing the media in Thiruvananthapuram, Alphons said that the sites identified under the circuit are spread across all 14 districts of the state and cover 133 religious places. He said the districts where the projects would be implemented are Kasargode, Wayand, Kannur, Kozhikode, Palakkad, Malappuram, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Idukki, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Pathanamhitta, Kollam and Thiruvanathapuram. The Minister said the destinations have been selected keeping in view the inherent historic, cultural and religious significance of the places. The development works include community hall, Annadhana Mandapam, multipurpose hall, toilets, cafeteria, parking facilities, landscaping, pathways, illuminations, signages, dustbins, etc. The circuit covers religious sites all across the state from Ananthapadmanabhaswamy Temple in the northernmost district of Kasargode to the Madre De Deus Church in Thiruvanathapuram, the southernmost district. The circuit will cover several historical religious sites across the state like the Cheraman Jumah Masjid (Kodungallooor), Koodalmanikyam temple (Irinjalakkuda), St Thomas Church (Malayattoor), Thriparayar Sreerama Temple (Thrissur), etc. In reply to a question, Alphons said that the sites have been identified after elaborate study and discussions with all stakeholders. He pointed out that 60 per cent of domestic tourism is related to spiritual circuits.

Read More »

MOT rolls out online certification programme for tourist facilitators

Union Tourism Secretary Rashmi Verma has rolled out the Incredible India Tourist Facilitator Certification (IITFC) Programme in Delhi. Participants will now be able to register for this programme through an online digital platform. IITFC will enable Indian citizens to develop and enhance the skills associated with tourism, and where one can incorporate knowledge about facilitating tourists across the country. Union Tourism Minister K J Alphons had earlier launched the IITFC on the occasion of World Tourism Day. The certification programme comprises basic and advanced self-paced courses designed in a manner that users can learn at their own time, space, path and pace. The course kicks off with a basic introductory module alongside the registration process. This will be followed by payment initiation on November 19, where any 10+2 pass-out candidate can enroll in the basic course comprising seven modules aimed at training the facilitators for knowledge, skills and attitude domains at a nominal charge of Rs 2000. Successful completion of this programme would enable the learner to become a Certified Tourist Facilitator of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. A refresher course is also proposed for launch in due time for those already in the field seeking at an advanced level course to enhance their skill set. Speaking on the occasion, Verma said that the concept of ‘tourist guide’ has changed world over and the new-age tourist facilitators are ‘story tellers’. She added that this online programme will have lots of advantages like job creation for local people, harness the local experience and traditional knowledge.

Read More »

K J Alphons inaugurates two Northeast Circuits in Arunachal Pradesh under Swadesh Darshan Scheme

Union Minister of State (I/C) Tourism K J Alphons, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Arunachal Pradesh Tourism Minister Jarkar Gamlin inaugurated two projects under Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism at PTSO Lake in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh. These projects are ‘Development of Northeast Circuits: Bhalukpong- Bomdila – Tawang Project & Nafra- Seppa- Pappu, Pasa, Pakke Valleys- Sangdupota- New Sagalee- Ziro- Yomcha Project’. Other important dignitaries were also present on the occasion. Speaking at the event, Alphons said, “The efforts of Ministry have shown positive results and the foreign tourist arrivals in the region have shown an upward trend over the years. The region received a total of 1.69 lakh foreign tourist visits during 2017 as against 1.45 lakh in 2016 registering a growth of 16.7% over 2016. The domestic tourist visits reached to 95.47 lakhs in the year 2017 against 77.71 lakhs registering impressive double digit growth of 22.8% over 2016. The increased number of tourists in turn has created better employment opportunity for the local population in the region.” Under the project development of Bhalukpong- Bomdila – Tawang, the Ministry has developed facilities like accommodation, cafeteria, wayside amenities, last mile connectivity, pathways, toilets, multipurpose hall at Jang, Sorang Monastery, Lumpo, Zemithang, Bumla Pass, Gritsang TSO lake, PTSO Lake, Thingbu and Grenkha Hot Spring, Lumla, Sela Lake. The facilities developed under Nafra- Seppa- Pappu, Pasa, Pakke Valleys- Sangdupota- New Sagalee- Ziro- Yomcha include helipad, trekking trails, rafting centre, log huts, craft bazaar, eco park, tourist facilitation centres, parking, festival ground, etc.  

Read More »

K J Alphons presides over UNWTO’s Program and Budget Committee meeting

K J Alphons, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism, along with a delegation of senior officials is attending the 109th session of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Executive Council in Manama, Bahrain. During the opening day of the Executive Council meeting, Alphons chaired the ‘Programme and Budget Committee’ meeting of UNWTO. The three-day session of UNWTO Executive Council began on October 30, 2018. The Executive Council will discuss several topics on the agenda that are related to the development of global tourism sector. In his opening remarks, the Minister highlighted the role of tourism in socio-economic development through job creation, enterprise and environment development and foreign exchange earnings. As the chair of the committee, the Minister informed the session that for the first time, UNWTO had a surplus budget and most of the arrears due have been paid. India will be the chair of Programme and Budget Committee of UNWTO Executive Council till 2021. At the sidelines, the Minister also met Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General, UNWTO, and discussed on involving UNWTO in developing tourism as a strong agent for the better future of the world and establishing the Global Public Private Partnerships.

Read More »

Kerala’s tourism industry revival is astounding: Alphons at KTM

The tourism industry in Kerala has showed its strong character post the devastating floods and the way it made the revival is astounding, said K J Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism at the inaugural ceremony of the tenth edition of Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) held at Samudrika and Sagara Convention Centre, Willingdon Island in Kochi. “I give emphasis on Kerala Tourism’s ability to recoup after a severe natural calamity as an epitome wherever I go. We bounced back defeating all the never-seen-before challenges. It gives the positive sign that tourism has regained its vigour post the flood,” he remarked. On the occasion, he also inaugurated the pavilion of Responsible Tourism put up by Kerala’s Department of Tourism. Later, he made a round of the various exhibition stalls and pavilions. Rani George, Tourism Secretary, Kerala; Baby Mathew, President, KTM Society; M Vijayakumar, Chairman, KTDC; E M Najeeb, Senior Vice President, Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO); and Abraham George, Former President, KTM, accompanied the minister. The four-day event inaugurated by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has its focus on the Malabar as a core theme. KTM 2018 features 1,600 buyers, one-third of them from 66 foreign countries. KTM, with 325 sellers in 400 stalls, has 1,635 buyers who are top functionaries of firms in tourism industry within the country and outside. The number of foreign buyers is 545, and they come from 66 countries, including USA, Russia, Japan, China, Australia and Britain.

Read More »

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurates two projects under Swadesh Darshan Scheme

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated two Swadesh Darshan Scheme projects of the Ministry of Tourism – ‘Development of Kakinada – Hope Island – Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary – Passarlapudi – Aduru – S Yanam – Kotipally and, Development of Nellore- Pulikat Lake – Ubblamadugu Water Falls – Nelapattu -Kothakoduru- Mypadu – Ramateertham – Iskapalli’ in the presence of Union Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism K J Alphons, Andhra Pradesh Tourism Minister Bhuma Akhila Priya and Union Tourism Secretary Rashmi Verma in Tirupati. The projects are the first projects under the Swadesh Drashan Scheme to be inaugurated in the Southern region. Naidu also inaugurated the state-of-the-art Indian Culinary Institute (ICI) campus, Tirupati. Alphons said that the tourism ministry is one among the major contributors to employment generation in the country and this culinary institute will help in imparting skills to more youth, thereby further generating employment. The project Development of Kakinada – Hope Island – Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary – Passarlapudi – Aduru – S Yanam – Kotipally was sanctioned by the Ministry of Tourism in March 2015 for Rs 69.83 crore. The second project was sanctioned in December 2015 for Rs 59.70 Crores. Nellore has huge potential to be developed as a leading tourist destination in the region because of its proximity to Chennai, Bangalore and Tirupati and also due to its abundant natural resources.    

Read More »

Morocco inaugurates National Tourist Office in Delhi, in talks with Air India to boost tourism

Morocco, in an endeavour to double its tourist footfalls from India by 2019, has set up a Moroccan National Tourist Office in Delhi as the first step towards promotion of Morocco as a desirable destination for Indians. His Excellency Mohammed Sajid, Minister of Tourism and Air Transport, Kingdom of Morocco talked about his strategies to boost tourism from India. He said, “In our recent meeting with K J Alphons, Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism, Government of India, we signed an MoU to promote tourism in both the countries. We will be working on our products in Morocco as well as in India. There is also a lot of similarity in both these countries in terms of heritage, civilisation, etc. We will be signing an agreement in air transport field with Civil Aviation. In this trip to India, we have with us the chief of our national transport Royal Air Maroc. We will be having discussions with Air India and other local LCCs to facilitate flights between both the countries.” Morocco is one of the most beautiful cities in Africa with some of the most hypnotic street markets. Moroccan-Indian relations are getting stronger as Morocco prepares to implement several measures to welcome more of Indian tourists in 2019.  

Read More »

K J Alphons to inaugurate first Tribal Circuit Project in Chhattisgarh under Swadesh Darshan Scheme

K J Alphons, Minister of State for Tourism (I/C), Government of India will be inaugurating the project ‘Development of Tribal Circuit: Jashpur- Kunkuri- Mainpat- Kamleshpur- Maheshpur- Kurdar-Sarodadadar- Gangrel- Kondagaon- Nathiya Nawagaon- Jagdalpur- Chitrakoot- Tirthgarh in Chhattisgarh’ implemented under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism, in Gangrel, Chhattisgarh on September 14, 2018. This is the second project under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme being inaugurated in the country. This project was sanctioned by the Ministry of Tourism in February 2016 for Rs 99.21 crores. The project covers 13 sites in Chhattisgarh, namely, Jashpur, Kunkuri, Mainpat, Kamleshpur, Maheshpur, Kurdar, Sarodadadar, Gangrel, Kondagaon, Nathiya Nawagaon, Jagdalpur, Chitrakoot, Tirthgarh. Development of Tribes and Tribal Culture is one of the prime area of focus for the Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry is carrying out an array of activities for development and promotion of tourism in the tribal region.  The Ministry is developing the tourism infrastructure in the region under its schemes of Swadesh Darshan. Under the tribal circuit theme of the scheme, the Ministry has sanctioned four projects to Nagaland, Telangana and Chhattisgarh for Rs 381.37 crores. Major components sanctioned include eco log huts, craft haats, souvenir shops/ kiosk, tourist reception & facilitation centres, open amphitheatre, tribal interpretation centres, workshop centres, tourist amenities centres, last mile connectivity, wayside amenities, viewpoints, nature trails, solar illuminations, signages solid waste management, etc. These components are perceived to improve existing tourist facilities and enhance the overall tourist experience.  

Read More »

14.62 million jobs created by tourism industry in last 4 years 

K J Alphons, Minister of State (IC) for Tourism, highlighted that the tourism industry alone has created 14.62 million jobs in India over the last 4 years. The minister met ambassadors from 20 countries in New Delhi to further promote India. Reaching across the world, the ministry of tourism recently conducted roadshows in the USA and will be conducting roadshows in Russia and China. The Moscow office is also slated to open in the next 3-4 months.

Read More »

Tourism Minister meets 20 ambassadors in New Delhi

In a bid to increase the number of tourist arrivals to India, K J Alphons, Minister of State ( IC) for Tourism, met ambassadors from 20 countries to further promote India. The minister met with ambassadors & diplomatic representatives of various embassies including Austria, Argentina, Bhutan, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Philippines, Brazil, Malaysia, Germany, Indonesia, Finland, Russia, New Zealand, Oman.  He personally made a presentation and showed promotional films further to attract more foreign arrivals to the country. He also highlighted the transformational experience, a visit to India provides. The minister will continue to meet more ambassadors. The newly launched video “Yogi of the Racetrack” has already got 25 million views. Global promotions will continue with films in 9 foreign languages.

Read More »