Tag Archives: Tourism Minister

New Zealand to levy tourist tax on visitors from mid-2019

New Zealand has announced plans to introduce a tourist tax and increase other fees for international visitors to fund infrastructure development in the face of a tourist boom. Tourism numbers in the country of 4.5 million have surged by nearly a third in the past three years to 3.8 million in April this year. “This rapid growth has impacted the costs and availability of publicly-provided infrastructure,” said Kelvin Davis Tourism minister. “Many regions are struggling to cope and urgently need improved infrastructure, from toilet facilities to car parks,”Davis said. A tax of NZ$25-35 (US$17-24) would be imposed on international visitors from the middle of next year while price hikes for immigration fees and visas will take effect this November. Australians and most Pacific Island forum countries will be exempt from the new charges. Tourism is a key pillar of the New Zealand economy and the new tax is expected to raise up to NZ$80 million in its first year, which will be split between tourism infrastructure and conservation initiatives. The main opposition National Party claimed the new tax system would make New Zealand a “less attractive” destination. But Davis believed the impact on tourist numbers would be minimal. “When you’re talking about the additional cost to, say, someone coming from the United States who are already paying about NZ$1,200, an extra NZ$25-NZ$30 isn’t going to make that much of a difference,” he said. Source: AFP

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UP unveils new Tourism Policy; enhances budget to Rs 687 crore

Uttar Pradesh Government has revealed its new Tourism Policy 2018, with an enhanced budget of Rs 687 crore from the earlier Rs 347 crores. An additional Rs 650 crores will be provided by the Centre for different schemes. The new policy promises to generate 5 lakh jobs annually by investing Rs 5000 crore per year for the next five years. The policy will also aim to achieve an annual increase of 15 per cent domestic tourists and 10 per cent foreign tourist arrival in the state. Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Tourism Minister, Government of Uttar Pradesh, informed that the policy will grant the status of industry to all activities of tourism sector. “The tourism policy will lay a foundation to make UP the most preferred tourism destination in the country by increasing tourist arrivals and recording highest tourist receipts, develop tourism circuits and providing other facilities. Safety and security of all tourists, especially women, will remain the utmost priority for the state government.” “The state government has assured to provide Rs 1000 crores for the implementation of the new tourism policy of which Rs 70 crores have already been sanctioned,” said Joshi. The new policy also promises to offer a wide range of financial incentives and benefits to investors. As of date, the state tourism department has received an investment of over Rs 10,000 crore as 23 companies have shown interest. “All benefits would be offered within 20 kms of all tourist sites of 10 tourism circuits including Ramayan circuit, Krishna/Braj circuit, Buddhist circuit, wildlife and Eco tourism circuit, Bundelkhand circuit, Mahabharata circuit, Shakti Peeth Circuit, Aadhyatmik circuit, Sufi/ Kabir circuit and Jain circuit,” added Joshi. Salient features of the new …

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Homestay, adventure tourism policies in the offing in West Bengal

West Bengal tourism department is currently focusing on homestay tourism policy and has also started promoting adventure tourism in different destinations of the state, said Gautam Deb, Tourism Minister, Government of West Bengal, on the sidelines of the Bengal Travel Mart (BTM) in Siliguri. Deb inaugurated the third edition of BTM along with Bratya Basu, Information Technology Minister, Government of West Bengal, and James Kujur, Tribal Development Minister, Government of West Bengal. “Bengal has immense potential. We are currently working to develop each sector of tourism in the state – from forest to hills to coastal areas. We are also preparing our integrated tourism policy along with homestay and adventure tourism policies,” he said. Deb also pointed out that the Bagdogra airport’s instrument landing system (ILS) will start operating from March 29, as per an AAI notification. He was happy to inform that in the previous year, the passenger growth at the airport touched 22 lakh. The three-day travel mart was attended by buyers and sellers from across the country and abroad to establish partnership. The event was organised by Eastern Himalaya Travel and Tour Operators Association  (EHTTOA) in association with North Bengal Development Department and West Bengal Tourism.

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Goa enforces strict rules for its annual Carnaval

Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar along with other officials and representatives from the government, Goa police, traffic police, municipal bodies have deliberated over the last few weeks to take stock of every minute detail towards ensuring the successful conduct of Goa’s gala festival – Carnaval, set to be held from February 10-13, 2018. Polluting vehicles in the junk car category will not be allowed in the parade and no offensive exposure will be permitted. Consumption of liquor and carrying of lethal weapons will not be permitted on the floats during the parade. All committees are in the process of submitting their centrewise programmes to be carried out during Carnaval. Likewise, committees have been directed to take assistance from the police and district administration for ensuring security arrangements at the events and parade routes. Float parades in the four major cities will be held as follows – Panjim on February 10, Margao on February 11, Vasco on February 12 and Mapusa on February 13. All floats in the parades will be screened  by a committee to ensure that it follows the theme and does not violate any of the rules and regulations.

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Odisha to invest Rs. 76 crore for coastal tourism

Odisha is planning to develop coastal tourism circuit in the state and for the same, the state government has announced an investment of funds to the tune of Rs. 76 crore. “We have taken several steps to tap the tourism potential in the state and attract more tourists,” said Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister, Government of Odisha. He further added that the government is giving added emphasis on the development of infrastructure facilities in tourist spots. Ashok Panda, Tourism Minister, Government of Odisha, informed that the government would develop the coastal tourism circuit with an investment of Rs 76.50 crore under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme of the Centre. Gopalpur, Tampara, Barkul and Satapada will be in the coastal circuit tourism project. Infrastructure growth and beach development will be the priority in the state and the Central government has released about Rs 15.30 crore in the first instalment of the project and work shall begin for the same shortly. He further added that the government has provided over Rs 20 crore for infrastructure development of tourist spots in Ganjam district in the last two years. Source: PTI

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Kerala aiming for double the FTAs, 50% rise in domestic tourists by 2021

The Government of Kerala is looking at 50 per cent increase in the number of domestic tourists and 100  per cent increase in foreign arrivals by 2021, Tourism Minister, Kadakampally Surendran has said. “Digital platforms are the key to achieve the aim. Year after year, we see a constant growth in the number of tourists we host. Hence the industry needs to evolve in accordance with the changes in global market. Kerala Tourism has been exploring new media as a key platform and has witnessed the reach and response to it,” he noted. Dr. Venu V, IAS, Principal Secretary, Kerala Tourism, says, “Kerala Tourism has always been in the forefront as we were the first tourist destination to start a website. Later, we spread our presence to other social media platforms. The technology platforms are gently stronger. Hence we need to redesign and reengineer to cater the demands of guests.”

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Kerala draws Maland-Malabar Cruise Tourism project worth Rs. 300 crore

In an attempt to boost cruise tourism from North Kerala, the state government has drawn the Maland-Malabar Cruise Tourism project which aims at linking rivers and backwaters in the region. Funds to the tune of Rs. 300 crore have been sanctioned for the same. This was informed by Kadakampally Surendran, Tourism Minister, Government of Kerala. He said, “The aim is to ensure that the project is ready by early next year.” Surendran further added that this project is expected to be a milestone in the region’s development. A committee with Kannur’s district collector as chairman will be constituted to monitor the project which also envisages development of basic amenities and tourism infrastructure facilities. Walkways and boat jetties will be constructed at Parassinikadavu and Pazhayangadi for which the state government has sanctioned Rs 15 crore. The River Bank tourism project envisages linking of the rivers and water bodies at Valapatnam, Kuppam, Perumba, Anjarakkandy, Mahi, Thalassery, Nileswaram, Thejaswini, Vilaya, Paramathadakkam and Chandragiri and their art forms and places of natural beauty has been drawn up. In order to provide homestay facilities for tourists, Kerala Institute of Travel Tourism Studies has been assigned the task to provide basic training to the owners. As part of responsible tourism, three islands will be brought under the Malabar Cruise tourism project. (Source: PTI)

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Maharashtra Tourism inks MoU with Ola

In a bid to boost tourism, Maharashtra Tourism has signed an MoU with Ola. Under this MoU, the state tourism and Ola will set up a mutual system of cooperation based on the respective expertise, to reinvent the ‘Mumbai Darshan’ package with its own offers pertaining to Ola Rentals. These packages offer 10 hour rides or for 100 kms subject to the conditions provided on the Ola App in four categories namely Mini, Prime Play, Prime Sedan, and Prime SUV. The Mumbai Darshan package will cover 10 must visit destinations of the city. Those identified are Gateway of India, Haji Ali, Juhu Beach, Bandra-Worli sea link, Hanging Gardens. Marine Drive, Shahrukh Khan’s bungalow ‘Mannat’. The locations can be modified basis the requirement of the customers. The first batch of exclusively co-branded Mumbai Darshan and Maharashtra Tourism cars were flagged-off by Jayakumar Rawal, Tourism Minister,  Government of Maharashtra, along with Valsa Nair Singh, Principal Secretary-Tourism, and Pranay Jivrajka, Founding Partner at Ola, in Mumbai on April 12, 2017. The state tourism department in association with Ola will train drivers in imparting information related to Mumbai Darshan, Bollywood trivia, details of heritage legacy and hidden gems. Pick up points across the city have been provided by Ola who are the official partners for the ‘Visit Maharashtra’ Campaign. Rawal said,  “Keeping in mind the global trends and the boom in the digital market scenario, we are glad to partner with Ola. Transportation is one of the most important areas where technology can make a big difference. Ola is a pioneer in public transport space and we are confident that this tie up will benefit the entire transportation ecosystem in the state. This not only lets …

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Heritage Circuit in Assam gets funds worth Rs 98.35 cr

To leverage tourism sector in Assam, the Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned funds to the tune of Rs 98.35 crores for a Heritage Circuit in the state. This was announced by Mahesh Sharma, Tourism Minister, Government of India. This amount which has been sanctioned for development of the Tezpur, Majuli and Sivasagar circuit under the scheme of Swadesh Darshan includes development of a composite tourist infrastructure in Majuli, comprising of an interpretation centre near Kamalabari ghat, log huts, watch towers, cafeteria, elevated walkway, solar illumination and landscaping worth Rs. 61.26 crores, development of Ranghar, Joy Sagar and Talatal Ghar in Sivasagar and development of Kanaklata Udyan and Bamuni Hills in Tezpur. Also, the Tourism Ministry has decided to transfer the rights of Brahmaputra Ashok Hotel, currently managed by ITDC, to Government of Assam. All necessary modalities to formalize the transfer of rights will be executed within next 15 days. An amount of Rs. 2 crore was also sanctioned by MoT for the Namami Brahmaputra festival organized for the first time by the Government of Assam to glorify the river Brahmaputra as well as to promote tourism, economy and civilization of the state at global arena. Source: Economic Times

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770 foreign tourists visited Mizoram from April 2016-Jan 2017

Mizoram, one of the seven sister states received a total of 770 foreign tourists arrivals during the nine month period from April 2016 to January 2017. This was informed by John Rotluangliana, Tourism Minister, Government of Mizoram. Rotluangliana added that efforts are underway to concentrate on eco tourism, adventure tourism and rural tourism to attract more tourists. The state is focusing on both domestic and international tourists to boost its economy. He further said that Integrated Development of New Ecotourism under Swadesh Darshan – North East Circuit was being undertaken at Thenzawl and South Zote villages in Serchhip district and Reiek village in Mamit district. Also, implementation of Rural Home Stay Scheme was being taken up in six villages in Champai district on Myanmar border with fund from the New Economic Development Policy (NEDP) of the state government. Source: The Statesman

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