Tag Archives: KJ Alphons

Mobile audio guide app for five iconic sites: MOT

Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism, K J Alphons recently handed over a Memorandum of Understanding under the ‘Adopt a Heritage’ project to Resbird Technologies for development of a mobile audio guide app for five iconic sites. The five iconic sites for which the mobile Audio Guide App is to be developed are Amer Fort (Rajasthan), Kaziranga (Assam), Colva Beach (Goa), Kumarakom (Kerala) and Mahabodhi Temple (Bihar). During the function, Alphons also handed over the Letters of Intent to seven shortlisted agencies for consideration under the project in the presence of Tourism Secretary, Yogendra Tripathi. These agencies would become ‘Monument Mitras’ through the innovative concept of ‘Vision Bidding’, which will give them the opportunity to associate their CSR activities with a heritage site if the Vision Bid is selected. The ‘Adopt a Heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan’ project is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), and State/UTs Governments. It aims to involve public sector companies, private sector companies and corporate citizens/individuals to take up the responsibility for making our heritage and tourism more sustainable through development, operation and maintenance of world-class tourist infrastructure and amenities at ASI/ State heritage sites and other important tourist sites in India.  

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15 destinations identified for development under Ramayana Circuit

Ramayana Circuit has been identified for development under the Swadesh Darshan scheme of Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry had earlier identified fifteen destinations for development under the Ramayana Circuit theme namely Ayodhya, Nandigram, Shringverpur & Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh), Sitamarhi, Buxar & Darbhanga (Bihar), Chitrakoot (Madhya Pradesh), Mahendragiri (Odisha), Jagdalpur (Chattisgarh), Nashik and Nagpur (Maharashtra), Bhadrachalam (Telangana), Hampi (Karnataka) and Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu). The details of projects sanctioned under the Ramayana Circuit theme of Swadesh Darshan during the last two years are: development of Ayodhya under Ramayana Circuit theme in Uttar Pradesh (2017-18) – Rs 133.31 cr sanctioned; development of Wayside Amenities in Buddhist Circuit and Ramayana Circuit: Varanasi-Gaya; Lucknow-Ayodhya- Lucknow; Gorakhpur-Kushinagar; Kushinagar-Gaya- Kushinagar (2018-19) – Rs 18.10 crore sanctioned. For the state of Chhattisgarh, the Ministry has sanctioned the project for development of Tribal Tourism Circuit in Jashpur- Kunkuri-Mainpat- Ambikapur- Maheshpur -Ratanpur- Kurdar-Sarodadadar- Gangrel- Kondagaon– Nathiya Nawagaon- Jagdalpur- Chitrakoot- Tirthgarh in the year 2015-16 with a total sanction amount of Rs 99.21 crore. Submission of project proposals by the State Governments/Union Territory (UT) Administrations under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme is a continuous process. The projects for development under the scheme are identified in consultation with the State Governments/UT Administrations and are sanctioned subject to availability of funds, submission of suitable detailed project reports, adherence to scheme guidelines and utilisation of funds released earlier.

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Nearly 16 per cent growth in FTAs for medical tourism in 2017: Alphons

The Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India on medical visa during 2016 and 2017 were estimated at 4, 27, 014 and 4, 95, 056 respectively, registering a positive growth of 15.9 per cent, said KJ Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C), Tourism in Lok Sabha recently. Medical Tourism holds immense potential for India. The Indian systems of medicines, viz. Ayurveda, Yoga, Panchakarma, Rejuvenation Therapy, etc., are among the most ancient systems of medical treatment in the world. The country can provide medical and healthcare of international standards at low costs. The Ministry of Tourism has taken various steps to promote Medical Tourism which inter-alia includes: launch of campaigns in the international markets including for medical tourism under the Incredible India brand-line; conducting roadshows, know India seminars. The Ministry also produces brochures, CDs, films and other publicity material for promotion of Medical & Health Tourism. Apart from it, Medical Tourism is being promoted across various social media platforms. Also, in order to provide dedicated institutional framework to take forward the cause of promotion of Medical Tourism, a national Medical and Wellness Tourism Board has been constituted. Department of Commerce and Services Export Promotion Council has launched a Healthcare Portal www.indiahealthcaretourism.com, as a single source platform providing comprehensive information to medical travellers on the top healthcare institutions in the country in various languages. The e-tourist visa regime has also been expanded to include medical visits. Medical and Medical attendant visa has been introduced to ease the travel process of Medical Tourists. The maximum duration of stay in India under the e-Medical visa is six months.  

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WTTCII appoints Rajeev Talwar & Ajay Singh as Chairman & Vice Chairman respectively for 2019

After the Annual General Meeting of the World Travel & Tourism Council, India Initiative (WTTCII), the company has appointed many office bearers for the year 2019. Rajeev Talwar, Chief Executive Officer, DLF, has been appointed as the Chairman, WTTCII for the year 2019. Talwar, who served as the Vice Chairman, WTTCII for the year 2018, takes over from Sunder G Advani, Chairman & Managing Director, Advani Hotels & Resorts (India). Ajay Singh, Chairman & Managing Director, SpiceJet, has been unanimously appointed as the Vice Chairman, WTTCII for the year 2019. KJ Alphons, Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge) for Tourism and Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Tourism, along with former officials of Ministry of Tourism, SK Misra and VK Duggal felicitated the new team. On his appointment, Talwar said, “WTTCII has three main asks from the government — firstly, Airline Turbine Fuel – ATF must be included under GST; secondly, the 28 per cent on hotel rooms is hurting – GST should be pegged at 5 per cent for rooms of transaction values of Rs 5,000 and 12 per cent for transaction values of Rs 5,001 to Rs 15,000, along with ITC. Lastly, a tourism board to handle the marketing of Incredible India. Today, destination marketing has to be more deft, sharp, agile and cannot be strapped with bureaucratic procedures. A tourism board with inclusion of public and private stakeholders will make brand India successful. We would also need avenues to open up new markets, take, for instance, China; we are 4-6 hours away from major Chinese cities. China’s huge outbound of 130 million trips is every country’s envy and a prime source market, yet we are unable to tap the Chinese outbound. We need to be connected to …

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Tourism is the future of India: Alphons at 14th CII Annual Tourism Summit

Addressing delegates during the inaugural ceremony of 14th CII Annual Tourism Summit in Delhi, KJ Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C) Tourism, said that tourism is the future of India. “Tourism is the future of the country. Foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) have gone up by 14 per cent, while the global figures were at 7 per cent. Approximately, 84 million people are currently employed by the tourism industry across the country,” he said. Suggesting ways to keep tourists for longer in the country, he said, “We are also thinking in terms of further visa reforms. I think Yoga and Ayurveda are the two things that can bring wellness and help us to keep tourists for longer in our country. Tourism is about jobs, money and bringing the world together. We have ambitous targets and we all can achieve them together.”

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7th International Tourism Mart to be held in Tripura from November 22

The Ministry of Tourism, in association with the Department of Tourism, Government of Tripura and the north-eastern states is organising “7th International Tourism Mart” in Tripura from November 22-24, 2018. To be held at the Pragna Bhawan, the event will be inaugurated by Professor Kaptan Singh Solanki, Governor, Tripura, in the presence of KJ Alphons, Union Minister for Tourism; Biplab Kumar Deb, Chief Minister, Tripura; Rashmi Verma, Union Tourism Secretary and other dignitaries from central ministries and north-eastern states. The event aims at highlighting the tourism potential of the region in the domestic and international markets by bringing together the tourism business fraternity and entrepreneurs from the eight north-eastern states. The event has been planned and scheduled to facilitate interaction between buyers, sellers, media, government agencies and other stakeholders. The earlier editions of this mart have been held in Guwahati, Tawang, Shillong, Gangtok and Imphal. The ITM will see wide participation of International buyers and media delegates from countries around the world and from different regions of the country. They will be engaging in business-to-business meetings with sellers from the North Eastern Region. A total of 41 foreign delegates from 18 countries namely Australia, Canada, China, France, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, the UAE and the USA will be in Tripura for the mart. These include 23 tour operators and travel agents, 18 media representatives, journalists, travel writers and bloggers. The three-day event will also include presentations by state governments of the region on their tourism potential, panel discussion, cultural evenings, sightseeing visits to local attractions in and around Agartala and a press meet on November 23.

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K J Alphons inaugurates Tourist Facilitation and Information Counter at IGI Airport, Delhi

Union Minister for Tourism (I/C) KJ Alphons has inaugurated the Tourist Facilitation and Information Counter at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. The counter is located at the T3 arrival gates of the airport. Opening the first-of-its-kind facilitation centre for visitors, Alphons said that this shall be of great help to the tourists visiting the country. He further added that the counter shall cater to non-English speaking tourists also as the counter will be connected to the 24*7 Helpline – ‘1363’ of the Tourism Ministry where the tourists can speak directly with the foreign language agents and get guidance in French, German, Italian, French, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Arabic. The Ministry of Tourism has set-up this counter with an objective to provide 24*7 information to both domestic and international visitors arriving into IGI Airport, New Delhi. The Tourist Facilitation Counter will be manned by two staff members and a supervisor to answer the queries of the tourists and also guide them with information. The counter is also stocked with sufficient high-quality tourist literature and brochures to be provided to the tourists. Along with it, the Tourism Ministry is also starting facilitation counters in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Gaya and Varanasi.

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Piyush Goyal inaugurates first-ever India Tourism Mart in Delhi

With around 250 foreign buyers and 150 exhibitors, the first-ever India Tourism Mart (ITM) 2018 was inaugurated by chief guest Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways, Coal and Corporate Affairs, Government of India, along with Mohammed Sajid, Minister of Tourism, Air Transport, Handicraft and Social Economy of the Kingdom of Morocco, KJ Alphons, Minister of State for Tourism (I/C), Government of India; Navjot Singh Sidhu, Minister of Local Government, Tourism, Cultural Affairs and Museums, Government of Punjab; Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Tourism, Government of Kerala and other officials.

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Rajnath Singh inaugurates Paryatan Parv

The Paryatan Parv by the Ministry of Tourism was inaugurated by Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister, in presence of KJ Alphons, Union Minister for Tourism; Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and other dignitaries from participating Central Ministries and State Governments at Rajpath Lawns, New Delhi. This is the second edition of Paryatan Parv — a nation-wide celebration of Tourism, from September 16-27, 2018. Inaugurating the Parv, Singh said that India is the only country where all major religions of the world, diverse culture, customs and cuisines are found, and we should see and experience this Incredible India. The Home Minister added that the Government has ensured ‘ease of travel’ through various steps like simplification of process of e-tourist visa application. The Minister also urged Indians to visit various places in the country and thereby understand its rich and varied culture and heritage, while also enjoying its natural beauty. Speaking at the event, Alphons said that Indians have made 1.8 billion domestic trips in the last year and added that the Ministry is aiming for twice these visits in next 3 years. The Tourism Minister also called upon everyone to see, experience and get transformed by travelling across India.

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MTDC participates in roadshow in China

With the rising tide of Chinese tourists visiting India, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) participated in Tourism Roadshow in China organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, in association with the Indian Embassy, Beijing and Consulate General of India in Guangzhou and Shanghai. The event was successfully concluded in major cities, including Guangzhou, Wahun and Shanghai in the presence of KJ Alphons, Tourism Minister (I/C), Government of India; Jaykumar Rawal, Tourism Minister, Government of Maharashtra; Gautam Bambawale, Indian Ambassador to People’s Republic of China; Vice Governor, Hube region Wuhan, Chang Hyei and other officials. The roadshow consisted of buyer-seller meet, Incredible India seminar, a presentation on tourism promotion strategy by Chinese companies focussing on why Chinese travellers should travel to India and the state of Maharashtra. The aim is to draw Chinese travellers by highlighting Buddhist circuits across the state and the country. Circuits in Aurangabad, Pune, Nashik, Mumbai, Satara and Kolhapur, Raigad and Nagpur were promoted to encourage Buddhist tourism. The objective of the roadshow was to create awareness about Maharashtra and its many destinations among Chinese travellers. Rawal said, “It’s a pleasure to perceive that the roadshow has received an overwhelming response from all the stakeholders across China.”

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