Tag Archives: Ministry of Tourism

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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MOT formulates guidelines for approval of Online Travel Aggregators

The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) has formulated the guidelines for approval/re-approval of Online Travel Aggregators (OTAs). The scheme is expected to set standards towards accreditation and add value to the dependability and reliability to the aggregators in the online space operating in the organised tourism sector. This is a voluntary scheme open to bonafide online travel aggregators to bring them on a common platform in the organised sector and the guidelines will be rolled out online by year end. There are several players in the OTA segment operating now without any accreditation/validation. One of the risks of letting the market operate unhindered is that unscrupulous players can vitiate the entire market through unethical trade practices. In order to engage with the OTAs constructively, it is imperative that a system is put in place with qualitative benchmarks to accredit them. The paramount concern would be the assurance of quality of service delivery for the customer by the OTA. The major features of the guidelines are: recognition as an approved OTA shall be granted by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, for five years, based on the inspection report/recommendations of a committee comprising the concerned Regional Director (RD), a representative of FHRAI and a representative of IATO, and approval of Competent Authority (Chairman, HRACC); the re-approval shall be granted for five years after inspection conducted by a committee of the same constitution, based upon an application, complete and free from all deficiencies, made by OTA along with the requisite fee/documents on the online platform, at least a clear 6 months prior to the expiry of the previous approval. In case the application is complete in all respects and free from all deficiencies is …

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New Tourism Secretary, Yogendra Tripathi addresses IATO members

Yogendra Tripathi, the newly-appointed Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, marked his presence at the special luncheon organised by Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) to bid farewell to Rashmi Verma, Former Secretary, Tourism on her superannuation from the post. Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO, thanked Verma for her support and welcomed Tripathi on behalf of the association. Addressing the members, Tripathi said that he is aware of the contributions of his predecessor for the industry and is hopeful to take the industry voice to the government in the same manner. “There are always unresolved issues, as well as new problems and agendas for the industry. I believe that the Tourism Secretary is nothing but an advocate for the tourism industry. Apart from what we do indirectly, what we do directly is primarily promotional, which is also supporting the industry one way or the other. It is our job to support the industry, and we will continue to do that,” he added.

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Govt inaugurates first project under Swadesh Darshan scheme in Nagaland

The central government has launched ‘Development of Tribal Circuit: Peren-Kohima-Wokha Project’ under its Swadesh Darshan scheme to develop Nagaland as a tourist state. Neiphiu Rio, Chief Minister, Nagaland, inaugurated the project at Kisama Heritage Village in the presence of KJ Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C), Tourism, and H Khehovi Yepthomi, Adviser, Tourism, Art & Culture, Government of Nagaland. The project was sanctioned by Ministry of Tourism in November 2015 for Rs 97.36 crores. Under the project, the Ministry has developed facilities like tribal tourist village, eco log huts, open air theatre, tribal rejuvenation centre, cafeteria, helipad, tourist interpretation centre, wayside amenities, last-mile connectivity, public conveniences, multi-purpose hall, nature trails, trekking routes, etc. In addition to the above project, the Ministry has sanctioned another project in Nagaland ‘Development of Tribal circuit: Mokokchung–Tuensang-Mon’ for Rs 99.67 crores. The implementation of the project is in progress.

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Vinod Zutshi inaugurates International Conference on Rural Tourism Development in Delhi

Vinod Zutshi, Former Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Nagesh Singh, Former Additional Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, inaugurated the three-day International Conference on Rurality, Ruralism and Rural Tourism – Challenges and Coping Strategies at Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi. Organised by the Department of Tourism & Hospitality Management, Jamia Millia Islamia, the ongoing conference is being attended by delegates from eminent tourism institutes from India and 25 other countries. “Rural tourism is at a nascent stage but there is a lot of scope and potential to promote rural destinations in India. It is an untapped market and we need to identify more and more destinations across the country,” said Zutshi during the conference sponsored by Ministry of Tourism. MP Bezbaruah, Former Secretary, Ministry of Tourism; S K Misra, Chairman, Indian Trust for Rural Heritage and Development and Ex-Secretary, Ministry of Tourism; Sujit Banerjee, Secretary General ,WTTC India attended the event while Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Tourism, Government of Delhi is set to preside over the valedictory function. This conference will help bring various stakeholders on a single platform to discuss future tourism trends, ideas, implications and methodologies, theoretical and practical approaches for rural tourism development. The objective is to discuss the contemporary research in the area of rural tourism. The event will showcase rural life, art, culture, and heritage at rural locations and in villages, which have core competence in art and craft. Handloom, textiles, and also an asset base in the natural environment.

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Tourism Secretary, Rashmi Verma, inaugurates India pavilion at WTM London 2018

The India pavilion at World Travel Market 2018 in London was packed with activities for the trade and consumers alike. Addressing a press conference, Rashmi Verma, Secretary-Tourism, Government of India, enlisted the achievements of the Ministry. Accompanying Verma were Pramod Kumar Singh, Tourism Minister, Bihar; Vellamandi N Natarajan, Tourism Minister, Tamil Nadu; Aashima Mehrotra, Director, Ministry of Tourism and Charanjeet Singh, Deputy High Commissioner of India to the UK. Verma highlighted, “Last year has been a very good year for India tourism with a growth of about 14 per cent in foreign tourist arrivals and about 19 per cent in terms of foreign receipts, much more than the global growth of 6.8 per cent. We also crossed the 10 million mark for the first time. This was possible because of our adoption of the multi-pronged strategy. We focus hugely on creating world-class infrastructure in and around our tourist sites.” She pointed out, “Incredible India 2.0 campaign is more thematic in nature. Looking at the needs and demands of major markets like the US and the UK, we have made some thematic films on niche products like adventure, yoga, Ayurveda, etc. This campaign focuses heavily on social media besides print and electronic media. We are hopeful that through this new Incredible India campaign we will be able to encourage people to revisit india, stay longer and experience the various products we have on offer.” The MOT also recently concluded two new events — India Tourism Mart (ITM) and Paryatan Parv —to create awareness about India both internationally and domestically. “More than 250 foreign buyers participated at the first-ever ITM. Buddhist Conclave was also held to showcase various Buddhist destinations in India.” The key initiative of introduction …

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India witnesses 7.9% growth in FTAs from January to June 2018 YOY

India has witnessed a total of 51,63,343 Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in 2018, a growth of 7.9% compared to 2017, reveals a latest report ‘India Tourism Statistics at a glance 2018’ by the Ministry of Tourism (MoT). Last year, from January to June, the country saw 47,84,847 FTAs. However, in 2016, there were 41,68,864 FTAs during the same months. When compared, an increase of 14.8% was found in FTAs from 2016 to 2017. The report also mentions that in FY2016-17, the months of April and June saw 21.3% increase in the number of FTAs – the maximum in the year. In April 2016, there were 5,92,004 FTAs in the country, whereas 7,17,899 in 2017. The report also highlights that in the current year, March 2018 records the highest percentage (18%), with 10,25,830 FTAs in India.

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Oman conducts three-city roadshow in India

The Ministry of Tourism, Oman, has successfully conducted the second leg of the multi-city roadshow in Mumbai. The event witnessed participation from around 140 companies to bridge connections between local travel agents and destination management companies in Oman. The unique interactive platform with pre-fixed meetings gave trade partners and travel agents an opportunity to interact and learn more about the diverse product offerings and experiences that Oman has to offer. Her Excellency, Maitha Saif Al Mahrouqi, Undersecretary, Ministry of Tourism (MOT), said, “The objective of the roadshow is to highlight the various facets of Oman as a destination and to create awareness about the new segments and offerings that the country has to offer. We see India as a promising potential market and have witnessed significant growth over a period of time. We recognise and acknowledge the demand from India and other potential markets. Hence, as part of the Sultanate’s National Tourism Strategy 2040, the Ministry of Tourism seeks to introduce the sector’s latest developments, services, projects and facilities of the tourism industry like opening the new passenger terminal at Muscat International Airport and launching the electronic visa.” Commenting on the roadshow, Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative, Ministry of Tourism, Oman, said, “The roadshow offers us a platform to expose the uniqueness of Oman as a holiday destination from India. From luxurious resorts and campsites to exotic scuba diving spots to rustic shopping experiences, Oman has something to offer to anyone who has a quest for adventure and thirst for a distinctive cultural experience. Oman is not only seeing a surge in MiCE travel, but is also a preferred wedding destination for many.”

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Oman witnesses 31 per cent growth in Indian arrivals

The Ministry of Tourism, Oman successfully conducted the first leg of its multi-city roadshow in Delhi at The Taj Mahal Hotel. Her Excellency Maitha Saif Al Mahrouqim, Undersecretary, Ministry of Tourism, Oman; Sunil VA, Regional Vice President, ISC, Oman Air and Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative – Ministry of Tourism, Oman along with other representatives were present at the roadshow. On the occasion, Mahrouqi said that Oman has witnessed over 31 per cent growth in Indian arrivals since 2014. “In 2017 alone, Oman received 321,161 Indian visitors with a growth of over 7 per cent in just one year. In the first six months of 2018, the country witnessed 15 per cent growth in comparison to the same period last year. Oman is a ideal for every kind of traveller but we are looking to focus immensely on MiCE opportunities from India.” Furthermore, to encourage more travellers to visit the country, Oman has recently announced a new short-term tourist visa at 5 Omani Riyal (OMR) equivalent to approximately Rs 940 to visit the Sultanate for a period of 10 days. This is in addition to the existing e-visa for Oman which is available at 20 OMR with a validity of one month.

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India witnesses 6.17% increase in tourists from the USA

The Ministry of Tourism has clarified that the Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India from the USA during 2017 have registered a positive growth of 6.17 per cent over 2016. Since 2010, the number of FTAs from the USA in India has never declined. However, it is observed from the report of National Travel & Tourism Office (NTTO), USA, that the outbound tourists from the USA to India have declined by 7 per cent in 2017, as compared to 2016. The figures of outbound travellers in the report are 1,195,000 and 1,111,000 for the years 2016 and 2017, respectively. In the said report released by NTTO, it is also mentioned that traveller volume is based on the US Department of Homeland Security Advanced Passenger Information System wherein all airlines are required to electronically submit passenger data on flights arriving into and departing from the United States. Thus, it is obvious that the source of data for the report is only airlines reporting. In the cases where direct flight between the USA and India is not operating, it is not known whether the final destination is reported as India by the passengers. Moreover, departures at international check posts other than airports are not captured in the report.

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