Tag Archives: Secretary

International Buddhist Conclave to boost tourism to Buddhist sites in India

President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the International Buddhist Conclave (IBC), 2018 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi  in the presence of KJ Alphons, Minister of State (I/C), Tourism; Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Tourism; Satyajit Rajan, Director General, Tourism; ministerial delegates from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Travel trade representatives from India and various other countries were also present for the conclave. Addressing the audience, Kovind said, “India is the land of Buddha and this initiative by Ministry of Tourism would attract visitors from around the world to come to India and experience the Buddhist destinations in the country.” The first day of the conclave also included presentations by the Ministry of Tourism and state governments on Buddhist tourism prospects in the country. An investor’s summit was also going on alongside the conclave to look for investment opportunities in the Buddhist tourism sector in the country. A B2B session was also conducted between foreign and Indian tour operators along with a panel discussion on ‘Role of Living Buddhist Heritage in the Contemporary Society’. The Conclave is being organised by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the state governments of Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh from August 23-26, 2018 at New Delhi and Ajanta (Maharashtra).

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Kannur airport to start operations from October 1

Commercial operations are all set to start from Kannur International Airport in Kerala from October 1, 2018. This was recently announced at a joint press conference by Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister, Civil Aviation, along with KJ Alphons, Minister of State (I/C), Tourism; Jayant Sinha, Minister of State, Civil Aviation; as well as RN Choubey, Secretary, Civil Aviation. The officials shared that all the pending licences would be cleared before September 1 and the final aerodrome licence would also be given by that date. The airport will play a major role under the UDAN scheme of the government. Also, three domestic carriers will be operating international flights from this airport. Jet Airways will be flying to Abu Dhabi; Go Air would ply to Dammam and IndiGo will be flying to Doha from Kannur airport.

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Rashmi Verma highlights 3-pronged strategy at PATA India’s Tourism PowerHouse

Highlighting areas where the Ministry of Tourism will spend more on promotional activities, Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Tourism and Chairman, PATA India Chapter, spoke of the Ministry’s three-pronged strategy at PATA India’s first-ever Tourism PowerHouse held at The Park, New Delhi. “We have a three-pronged strategy for increasing inflow to the country. First, we have G2G interactions; 16 MOUs have been signed in this regard. The second is promoting through B2B interactions, where we have employed a number of methods. We have been participating in all major world tourism marts that give us an excellent opportunity. Apart from that, we have roadshows in which we lead a delegation of the industry and give a platform to them for further networking. This year, we’re taking things a step forward and organising India Travel Mart in September, which is likely to get 250 buyers from around the world. The third part of the strategy is more B2C interactions. How we reach out to consumers is the third aspect of our strategy,” she elaborated.

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PATA adventure travel to be held in Rishikesh from February 13-15, 2019

More than 300 foreign delegates are expected to participate in the PATA adventure travel conference, to be held in Rishikesh from February 13-15, 2019, a senior official said. PATA Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart 2019 (ATRTCM) would be hosted by the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board. “Uttarakhand won bid this time. The travel mart is a better way of showcasing the state to international clients,” said Dilip Jawalkar, Secretary, Uttarakhand Tourism. The event, that brings together public and private sector players involved in the adventure tourism, would be held from Responding to a query on whether there was any financial bidding for hosting the event, he replied in the negative. “One has to commit tourist facilities for visiting travel agents like accommodation, transportation, site seeing, etc.” he added. This year, the conference was held in Abu Dhabi.

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Tourism minister launches first-ever safety guidelines on adventure tourism

KJ Alphons, Minister of State (I/C), Tourism, Government of India, has launched the Indian Adventure Tourism Guidelines along with Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Tourism; Satyajeet Rajan, Director General, Tourism; Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Tourism and Swadesh Kumar, President, Adventure Tourism Association of India (ATOAI). A total of 26 activities have been covered in the guidelines including land, air and water based activities. The guidelines have been put in place to make the unorganised sector to adopt them. These guidelines will be reviewed every three months. In an effort to make adventure sports safer, the set of guidelines lists out the basic minimum standards required for adventure tourism activities in India. Adventure tourism has grown rapidly over the past few years playing a vital role in the economic growth of India as well as attracting a large number of travellers from across the globe to the country. The sole aim is to help adventure tour operators understand and execute safety guidelines in a better manner. These guidelines cover activities like mountaineering, trekking, bungee jumping, paragliding, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkelling, river rafting and many other sports.

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TAAI-NR holds general meeting for members of northern region

Travel Agents Association of India – Northern Region (TAAI-NR) recently held a meeting for its members at ITC Maurya, New Delhi. Gaurav Dogra, Secretary, TAAI-NR, said, “We discussed various queries of the members and updated them about TAAI Connect. TAAI Connect will help empower the members to have their own websites and mobile apps for better customer services.” Anil Khaitan, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry was also present to share the highlights of MoU signed between TAAI and PHD Chamber of Commerce, and how they would help to overcome the obstacles faced by TAAI members in their respective business.

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10th Great Indian Travel Bazaar kicks off in Jaipur with 280 buyers & 270 exhibitors

The 10th edition of Great Indian Travel Bazaar (GITB) opened with 280 foreign buyers from 55 countries and 270 exhibitors at The Lalit Jaipur on April 22. Committed to boost tourism in India, the inbound show was inaugurated by Vasundhara Raje, Chief Minister, Rajasthan; Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism; Jyotsna Suri, Chairperson, FICCI Tourism Committee; Dipak Deva, Co-Chairman, FICCI Tourism Committee; Nihal Chand Goel, Additional Chief Secretary (Tourism, Art & Culture), among other officials from the Government of Rajasthan. The show, celebrating a decade of successfully promoting inbound tourism in Rajasthan, hopes to cross the 11,000 mark in terms of pre-scheduled B2B meetings between the exhibitors and buyers. Raje said, “It is heartening to see such an enthusiastic participation at GITB. The tourism sector has seen a new vigour and dynamism after the launch of the campaign ‘Jane Kya dikh Jaye’. Our vision was to get 50 million tourists in Rajasthan by 2020 but by the end of 2017 itself, the state received 47.5 million tourists and we would compete our target by the end of 2018.” Raje also thanked the central government for the financial support provided for the state’s various tourism projects. An MoU was also singed on behalf of the Government of Rajasthan and FICCI under which the GITB will continue to be hosted till 2024. The dates for the next edition of the show in Jaipur are April 28-30, 2019.  

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Kerala records 10.9% rise in tourist arrivals in 2017

Tourist arrivals to Kerala have registered a significant growth of 10.93 per cent during 2017, compared to figures of the previous year. According to statistics compiled by Kerala Tourism, Kerala saw as many as 15.54 lakh tourists including both domestic and foreign travellers during the year. An increase of 15 lakh new domestic tourists was recorded this year, with footfalls going up to 1,46,73,520 in 2017 as against 1,31,72,535 in 2016. As per the report, it was found that foreign tourists preferred travelling to Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam districts, while also opting for destinations like Alappuzha, Munnar and Wayanad. In terms of specific locations, both foreign and domestic tourists were found to have preferred Kochi as a prime destination. According to Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Tourism, Cooperation and Devaswoms, the statistics show up encouraging trends in terms of increasing footfalls both in the international as well as domestic segments. Rani George IAS, Secretary, Department of Tourism, said, “The trend in tourist arrivals over the past five years has shown a marked change in the pattern of tourist visits to different destinations. It is exciting that more destinations are being sought after by tourists, and that shows more destinations in Kerala are gaining in prominence in travellers’ minds.”  

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Skal Delhi to launch wellness programme on April 15

Skål International Delhi-125 will be hosting the club’s first wellness programme on April 15 at Nehru Park, New Delhi. The members will be able to enjoy various active and wellness activities based on health and age like nature walk, yoga and meditation and cycling tour, informed Ranjit Vig, Secretary, Skål International Delhi-125. Vig further added that this year, the club has witnessed an increase of 26 per cent in membership, making it the largest club. The announcement was made at a special dinner event hosted at Le Meridien Gurgaon. The gathering was also a way to boost the morale of one its members, Ajeet Bajaj, Managing Director, Snow Leopard Adventures and his daughter Deeya Bajaj who will be undertaking an expedition to climb Mt. Everest in April. Sharing details about the activities of the club, Vig added, “For the first time, Skål Delhi has formulated an events calendar to have a clear agenda for the year. The same has been shared with all the members to allow them enough time to plan and participate wholeheartedly.” The club has also strengthened its PR and communication arm by making inroads to various social media platforms, informed Sunil Ghadiok, President, Skal Delhi. He said, “This year we will be twinning with Washington, wherein like minded members will come together to find business opportunities, network and share the best business practices. An agenda for the same is underway and will be announced soon.” It was also noted that the CSR and wellness committees of the club have taken initiatives to support child education and NGOs.

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325 more routes in UDAN second round; IndiGo, SpiceJet, Jet Airways win big

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has given a nod to 90 proposals for 325 routes during the second round of bidding in the UDAN regional connectivity scheme. While SpiceJet and Air India subsidiary-Alliance Air have been a part of the scheme from the first round itself, IndiGo and Jet Airways participated in the second round only. R N Choubey, Secretary, Civil Aviation, said, “In all, we got 141 proposals for 502 routes (for both planes and choppers). Out of 325, 129 routes are in a newly created category of ‘priority areas’ that include Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal, Uttarakhand, North East, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep Islands.” IndiGo has got 20 routes Kannur-Bangalore; Kannur-Trivandrum; Cochin-Hubli-Goa; Bangalore-Allahabad-Pune; Nagpur-Bhubaneswar-Allahabad; Mumbai-Allahabad; Hindon-Allahabad-Dehradun; Hindon-Gorakhpur-Allahabad and Hindon-Jaisalamer-Udaipur. SpiceJet was awarded 20 new sectors. “Out of these 20, 15 will cater to unserved markets of Kannur (Kerala), Darbhanga (Bihar), Ozar (Nashik), Pakyong (Sikkim), Kishangarh (Rajasthan).” Alliance Air has got 18 routes like Nashik-Ahmedabad-Kandla; Hyderabad-Kohlapur; Hubli-Hyderabad; Bikaner-Jaipur and Jammu-Bhatinda. Jet has got four proposals.  

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