Tag Archives: MoT

MOT’s help desk for medical tourists to open at Mumbai airport in Oct

The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce facilitation centers at six major airports for international patients coming to India for treatment. The first centre will open at the Mumbai airport in October. The purpose of these centers is to allow patients and their relatives, smooth passage for the treatment in the country without being approached by touts and these centers will be operational 24×7, throughout the year. The Ministry has sought help from the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the Consortium of Accredited Healthcare Organisations. “Mumbai will be a pilot project. Depending on how it works out, centers will come up in Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad,” said Dr. K.K. Aggarwal, President, IMA and member of the ministry’s medical tourism board. Aggarwal further informed that the centers will have trained personnel who will guide patients and their relatives if they have already short-listed a hospital and will provide information about accredited hospitals in case they are yet to short-list one. “Often, when some of the patients land up undecided, they are misguided by touts. Through the centre, we can eventually eliminate the touts and avoid these patients from landing up at some quack,” said IMA member Dr. Jayesh Lele, adding that the centre will come up right after the customs clearance. The ministry also plans to have a telephone link at the counter to the Incredible India info helpline for assistance while dealing with persons in need of language services. Source: The Hindu

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MOT’s new GST Cell to address industry queries

Tourism Secretary Rashmi Verma announced that in May the ministry witnessed a 19 per cent increase in inbound tourist numbers despite it being peak summer. She informed that MOT has created a GST cell two days ago to address the industry issues. “We want to handhold the industry through the transition from current tax regime to the new GST regime and solve any hurdles through this,” she said. The much-awaited National Tourism policy would most probably be released before World Tourism Day commemorated on September 27, she added. Verma said that the Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet had suggested some changes in the draft policy which have been incorporated and will releasing it soon. This was revealed during a special session on GST organised by the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) for its members, which was attended by members from Central Board of Excise & Customs, Govt. of India. The government officials addressed the issues related to tour operators and explained to them the intricacies of the GST regime and how would it affect them. The event was also a farewell from IATO to former secretary tourism Vinod Zutshi, where they also welcomed the new secretary Rashmi Verma.

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MOT’s ‘Smart India Hackathon 2017’ from April 1-2

The Ministry of Tourism will host the Grand Finale of “Smart India Hackathon” on April 1-2, 2017, in Kochi, Kerala, featuring 53 teams comprising of 230 students from technology institution/engineering colleges across the country. The Smart India Hackathon is being held across 26 cities in the country including Kochi with the involvement and support of 29 government departments. This Hackathon is an initiative of the Ministry of Human Resources Development organised in collaboration with All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and i4c and is aimed to help institutionalise the model of harnessing the creativity and technical expertise of youth in technical institutions. The Hackathon for Tourism sector, to be held at the Mar Baselios Institute of Technology and Science [MBITS], Kothmangalam, Cochin, will focus on the use of technology to solve problem statements pertaining to Tourism Sector posed by Ministry of Tourism such as Safety & Security of Tourist, Path breaking technological solutions that would catapult India as a leading tourist destination, Museum Commentary etc. The problem statements pertaining to tourism sector were given directly by the Ministry of Tourism based on the industry requirements which will be used to challenge the students for developing innovative digital solutions. The newly developed solutions/technical products will be evaluated by experts and prizes shall be distributed for winners, 1st runner up and 2nd runner up. After the event, the Ministry of Tourism will prepare a plan of action for integrating the products/software which has come out this hackathon into the Departmental functioning.

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16.5% growth in FTAs in Jan’17 over Jan’16

According to the Ministry of Tourism, in January 2017, a total of 9.83 lakh foreign tourist arrivals were recorded in India as compared to FTAs of 8.44 lakh in January, 2016 and 7.91 lakh in January, 2015. The growth rate in FTAs in January, 2017 over January, 2016 is 16.5 per cent as compared to 6.8 per cent in January, 2016 over January, 2015. MoT also informed that a total of 1.52 lakh foreign tourists arrived on e-Visa to India in January, 2017 as compared to 0.88 lakh during the month of January 2016 registering a growth of 72.0 per cent. The share of tourists availing e-Visa facility in January 2017 reached 15.5 per cent as against 10.4 per cent in January 2016. The percentage share of FTAs among the top 15 source countries was the highest from USA (15.01%) followed by Bangladesh (14.91%), UK (11.11%), Canada (4.63%), Russian Fed. (4.46%), Australia (3.65%), Malaysia (3.15%), Germany (2.92%), France (2.89%) and China (2.54%), Sri Lanka (2.45%), Japan(2.15%),Afghanistan (1.84%), Rep. of Korea (1.61%) and Nepal (1.60%). The percentage share of FTAs among the top 15 ports was the highest at Delhi Airport (28.30%) followed by Mumbai Airport (18.23%), Haridaspur Land checkpost (8.17%), Chennai Airport (7.32%), Goa Airport (6.51%), Bengaluru Airport (5.32%), Kolkata Airport (4.32%), Cochin Airport (3.73%), Ahmedabad Airport (3.37%), Hyderabad Airport (2.74%), Gede Rail Land checkpost (1.77%), Trivandrum (1.62%), Trichy Airport (1.38%), Ghojadanga land checkpost (1.08%) and Amritsar Airport (1.02%). The percentage share of top 15 source countries availing e-Visa facilities during January, 2017 was highest from UK (22.9%), followed by USA (13.6%), Russian Fed (8.3%), China (6.3%), France (5.6%), Australia (4.4%), Germany (4.1%), Canada (3.6%), Korea (Rep.of) (3.2%) and Ukraine …

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8 countries added to e-visa list

The visa services, which have been expanded for tourism, medical and business purposes, has been extended to eight countries namely Angola, Rwanda, Niger, Cyprus, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Mali and Burundi, revealed Vinod Zutshi, Secretary – Tourism, Govt. of India. “Apart from this, we are also working on extending the e-tourist visa for five other countries among which Italy, Slovak Republic, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan are included,” he said at a closed-door meeting held in New Delhi. With this announcement, the total count of countries that can avail the e-visa services is 158.

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E-visa to now include eTV, e-medical visa and e-business visa

India’s e-visa will now have three components — e-tourist visa, e-medical visa, e-buisness visa. Talking about the various changes in e-visa, Vinod Zutshi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India, says, “For the first time in this country, medical visa is going the electronic way and so is the case with business visa. This has been one of the biggest landmark decisions, and it’s going to catapult Indian tourism into a new orbit. The best thing is that the initial period of application, which used to be 30 days, has been extended to 120 days, which is logical, especially for foreigners who plan their travel much in advance.” Talking about the extension of eTV, Zutshi says, “The validity of eTV was just 30 days and it’s been increased to 60 days now. Also, when tourists come to India, they would like to visit other countries of Southeast Asia and come back. We have made e-tourist visa and e-business visa double entry. For e-medical visa, the government has provided triple entry, which is a redeeming feature. Film visa has also been streamlined and rationalised, which has come at the right time and would encourage filming in India.”

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2nd Bharat Parv from January 26-31

Riding high on the success of the first Bharat Parv, the cultural program’s 2nd edition, showcasing the rich heritage of India, will be held on January 26-31, 2017 in Red Fort, revealed Vinod Zutshi. “There will be theme based pavilions by all the states to highlight the country’s diverse culture, along with performances, food stalls etc. The last edition of Bharat Parv was well appreciated and because of that, we’ve decided to have another edition next year.”

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MOT treats differently-abled children to Delhi tour for World Tourism Day

On occasion of World Tourism Day, the Ministry of Tourism organised a special sightseeing tour of the monuments and heritage places of Delhi where 35 differently abled students from of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya School for Divyang Children participated. The World Tourism Day theme was ‘Tourism for All – Promoting Universal Accessibility’ on which Dr. Mahesh Sharma said, “Accessible Tourism for all is about the creation of environments that can cater for the needs of all of us, whether we are traveling or staying at home. May that be due to a disability, even temporary, families with small children, or the ageing population, at some point in our lives, sooner or later, we all benefit of universal accessibility in tourism.” Vinod Zutshi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism said, “On this year’s World Tourism Day help us spread the word of both the importance and immense benefits universal accessibility has and can bring to society at large.” The celebrations continued with an awards presentation acknowledging the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism offices and its organisations, where India Tourism, New Delhi held a painting competition. Finally, the minister flagged off the ‘Swacch Paryatan Run’ from Transport Bhawan to India Gate, New Delhi in an effort to promote cleanliness and the Clean India campaign.

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Incredible India Tourism Investors’ Summit 2016 begins

Ministry of Tourism’s maiden Incredible India Tourism Investors’ Summit 2016 kicked off in New Delhi. Arun Jaitley, Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs inaugurated the three-day summit. Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism & Culture delivered the key address. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu also addressed the audience on the occasion. It is an initiative of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, in association with Tourism Finance Corporation of India (TFCI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). IITIS is a platform for domestic and international investors to meet project owners from across Indian states and the private sector. Highlights of this summit will be state presentations encompassing all investible properties, session on “Why invest in India?,” MSME in tourism sector, panel discussions on core infrastructure for tourism, session on start-ups, digital India, investing into Swadesh Darshan, PRASAD, MICE and niche tourism products, B2B meetings and signing of MoUs. Four Knowledge Partners i.e. Ernst & Young, KPMG, Yes Bank and Invest India will assist States and UTs for identifying projects, suggesting tourism policy updates and presenting these to the potential investors during the summit. Around 250 domestic and overseas investors are set to participate in the summit. More than 2000 delegates have registered for the event.

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MOT on a cleanliness drive from Sept 16-30

The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) is observing a Swachhta Pakhwada (cleanliness fortnight) from September 16-30, 2016, to create awareness of the need for cleanliness in all walks of life. The officers and staff of MOT will undertake cleaning of 10 pre-selected tourist sites in the afternoon during this period. In addition to the cleaning, the officers and staff will carry out cleaning in and around Transport Bhawan and C-1 Hutments and weeding out of old documents and files to achieve ‘Swachh’ office environment. An essay competition on the topic of cleanliness will be organised on September 24 in English and on September 25 in Hindi. Considering the importance of September 27 being the World Tourism Day, MOT will organise a ‘Run for Swachh Paryatan from Transport Bhawan to India Gate with the participation of the public, students and faculty of the Institutes of Ministry of Tourism as well as the officers and staff of the Ministry. Awards and Appreciation Certificates would be distributed on World Tourism Day to the best maintained or cleanest offices at head quarter, regional and domestic offices of MOT to acknowledge and encourage the efforts made towards cleanliness.  

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