Tag Archives: Ministry of Tourism

Rs 190 crore projects sanctioned under Swadesh Darshan & PRASHAD schemes

The Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned four new projects for Rs 190.46 crores under the tourism infrastructure development schemes, Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD in Meghalaya, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. Under north east circuit of Swadesh Darshan Scheme, the Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned the project ‘Development of West Khasi Hills (Nongkhlaw- Krem Tirot – Khudoi & Kohmang Falls – Khri River- Mawthadraishan, Shillong), Jaintia Hills (Krang Suri Falls- Shyrmang- Iooksi), Garo Hills (Nokrek Reserve, Katta Beel, Siju Caves)’ in Meghalaya for Rs. 84.95 crore. Through this project, the Ministry will be developing facilities like festival grounds, tourist facilitation centre, last-mile connectivity, public conveniences, cable suspension bridge, cafeteria, trekking routes, boating facilities, illumination, solid waste management, drinking water facility, caving facilities, visitor centres, adventure sports activities, craft haats, etc. in the state. Development of Gorakhnath Temple (Gorakhpur), Devipattan Temple (Balrampur) and Vatvashni Temple (Domariyagunj) has also been sanctioned for Rs 21.16 Crores under spiritual circuit of Swadesh Darshan scheme. The facilities being developed under this project include tourist facilitation centre, toilet blocks, pathways, shelters, landscaping, gazebos, illumination, CCTV camera, benches, dustbins, informative and directional signages, etc. Under the PRASHAD scheme, the ministry has sanctioned the project ‘Development of Govardhan’ in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh for Rs 39.74 crores. The sites taken up in the project include Govardhan Parikrama Marg, Kusum Sarovar, Chandra Sarovar and Manasi Ganga. The facilities like development of bus stand, toilets, illumination of ghats, parking, pathways, landscaping and beautification, PA system, benches, toilets, etc. are also being developed under the project. The ministry has also sanctioned the project ‘Development of Pilgrimage Amenities at Somnath – Phase II’ for Rs 44.59 crores under the PRASHAD scheme. The facilities being developed …

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ANA plans direct daily on Tokyo-Chennai route from October

Japan-based All Nippon Airways (ANA) is planning to launch its direct daily flight from Tokyo to Chennai starting from October. Speaking on the reception of 3rd Meeting of India- Japan Tourism Council, Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, says, “We are focused on building the relationship between India and Japan. For this, ANA is planning to launch its operations from Tokyo to Chennai. Though this is the initial phase of discussion, but if it materialises, it will be a daily flight.”

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Meghalaya CM inaugurates northeast circuit tourism project

Chief Minister of Meghalaya Conrad K Sangma has inaugurated the project “Development of North East Circuit: Umiam (Lake View) – U Lum Sohpetbneng- Mawdiangdiang – Orchid Lake Resort” in Umiam, Meghalaya, implemented under the Swadesh Darshan scheme of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. Others present on the occasion were Metbah Lyngdoh, Minister of Tourism, Government of Meghalaya; Yogendra Tripathi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Sanbor Shullai, Chairman, Meghalaya Tourism Development Corporation. The project was sanctioned by the Ministry of Tourism in July 2016 for Rs 99.13 crores. Under it, the ministry has developed facilities like traditional healing centre, tribal rejuvenation centre, tourist information centre, multi-purpose hall, log huts, cafeteria, sound and light show, souvenir Shops, water sports zone, zip line, canopy walk, trekking routes, cycling track, last-mile connectivity, caravan parking, public toilets and solid waste management. The nort-east region received a total of 1.69 lakh foreign tourists during 2017 as against 1.45 lakh in 2016 registering a growth of 16.7 per cent over 2016. The domestic tourist visits reached 95.47 lakhs in the year 2017 against 77.71 lakhs, registering impressive double-digit growth of 22.8 per cent over 2016.

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ICPB requests MOT to declare 2019 as ‘The Year of MiCE’

Being in the forefront for promoting India as a preferred MiCE destination for years, ICPB has now requested the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) to declare 2019 as ‘The Year of MiCE.’ Chander Mansharamani, Vice Chairman, ICPB, informs, “We have recommended to Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, to declare 2019 as ‘The Year of MiCE’, which will certainly give us an opportunity to organise a number of activities in collaboration with all stakeholders throughout the year to propagate the importance of MiCE and its economic and social impact, and also undertake various marketing activities to promote India as a preferred convention destination.” On the year gone by, he added, “The year 2018 has been very fruitful and full of activities. We conducted training programmes and a successful international road show in Europe, 11th Convention India Conclave in Kolkata. We also participated at various international trade shows. “There has also been a substantial increase in our membership in the last one year, also the one-time membership of eight State Government’s, has not only given us the financial benefits, but also has enhanced the status of ICPB. Now, we can truly call ourselves a pan-India bureau.” Regarding plans in the pipeline, he said, “We are planning two international residential training programmes with ICCA and IAPCO, apart from regular training programmes. We will be holding  the12th Convention India Conclave in Kochi for which we have initiated the process with Kerala Government. We hope to open  new ICPB State Chapters in two more states. We will be conducting road shows in India as well as international road shows in the UK and Europe. We will also aim for a greater participation of ICPB in …

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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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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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