Tag Archives: Ministry of Tourism

MOT extends validity of classifications of hotels till 30th June; 6 months’ relaxation to all categories of tour operators

Considering the current situation, The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) has decided that validity of approval or certifications of hotels and other accommodation units whose project approvals/reapprovals and classification/reclassification have expired/are likely to expire during the period (24th March-29th June) are deemed to be extended till 30th June. Similarly, MOT has decided to allow six months’ relaxation or extension to all categories of Tour Operators (Inbound, Domestic, Adventure) Travel Agents and Tourist Transport Operators for their approval with the ministry subject to the following conditions: The previous approval expired or the current approval expires during the period of 20th March 2020 (i.e. the date of issuance of an order by the Ministry for discontinuation of inspection work by India Tourism offices) till continuation of lockdown. They applied for renewal before expiry of their current/previous approval. The Ministry has a scheme of approving Travel Agents, Tour Operators, Adventure Tour Operators, Domestic Tour Operators and Tourist Transport Operators etc. the idea being to encourage quality, standard and service in these categories so as to promote Tourism in India. Similarly, MOT classifies hotels under the star rating system to conform to the expected standards for different classes of tourists. Under this system, hotels are given a rating, from One Star to Three Star, Four and Five Star with or without alcohol, Five Star Deluxe, Heritage (Basic), Heritage (Classic), Heritage (Grand), Legacy Vintage (Basic), Legacy Vintage (Classic), Legacy Vintage (Grand) and Apartment Hotels, Homestays, Guest house etc. The classification/ certification is valid for a period of five years.

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MOT to release new post-lockdown protocols for accommodation units: Prahlad Singh Patel

Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State (I/C), Tourism & Culture, Govt. of India, has said that they will be releasing new post-lockdown protocols for accommodation units, so that the clients can feel confident about travelling as well as overall safety. “Our objective is to revive demand as soon as possible. One way we can do this is to help overcome the fear of health while travelling. The ministry will soon be releasing new post-lockdown protocols for accommodation units to give confidence to clients to travel and stay safely. We are also coming out with a set of recommendations for different segments—travel agents, tour operators, transport operators, and facilitators/guides,” he shared in an interview to Hindustan Times.

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DGFT to devise standard list of documents on filing SEIS claims

In a webinar organised by MOT and IATO to address queries related to filling Service Exports from India Scheme (SEIS) by tourism industry stakeholders, Suman Sharma, ADG, Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), said that she and her team are trying to devise an industry-wise standard list of documents, which can help firms while filing SEIS claims. “The work on the document is almost complete from my end. I will submit the same to DGFT for their approval. It will probably help all the industries including tourism and will help them know what additional documents DGFT needs while they file SEIS and reduce the time of processing their application. Currently, DGFT doesn’t have FAQs specific to SEIS filing and claim procedure. Hence, a lot of travel industry professionals are facing issues with the same.” During the webinar, Rupinder Brar, ADG, MOT inquired about the FAQs looking at the number of queries from the trade and Suman Sharma agreed to do the same to help travel trade. Sharma is also the nodal officer to deal with SEIS claims and issues on tour and travel cases.

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MOT holds virtual conference with travel and hospitality associations

The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) held a virtual conference with the tourism and hospitality sector associations of the industry recently, which was led by Yogendra Tripathi, Secretary Tourism, MOT, along with senior officials of the Ministry. The Associations represented through remote conferencing were FAITH, CII, FICCI, PHDCCI and IMAI. The industry put forth a number of ideas and suggestions for tiding over the crisis created by COVID-19 in the sector of tourism and hospitality. The Ministry on its part shared the concerns and assured the associations that the government is very much with them in this grim hour and that they would work towards the suggestions put forth. There would be a lot of thrust on promoting domestic tourism was a common takeaway. MOT is using its social handles to create awareness of the need to stay at home safe in the period of lockdown and prepare to travel once the world opens up. In the meantime, the course modules of the Institutes of Hotel Management are being held online and faculty and students are using technology to remain abreast with their course curriculum.

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MOT puts forth industry requests to Finance Ministry to avoid losses: Rupinder Brar

Rupinder Brar, Additional Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, has revealed that they have put forth the industry representation and requests in front of the Finance Minister, so that they can work towards reducing the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on businesses. “The industry stakeholders need working capital and they are looking at interventions either from the banking sector in easing out of norms, or they will be looking at support through reduction of taxes. These are the things that would leave money in the hands of the industry as of now. We would be carrying out or taking with us the representation of the industry and the thrust would be that the industry needs to survive so that job losses do not happen. I would refer to the honourable PM’s speech to the nation, where he has himself mentioned that we should make sure that we don’t stop wages of anyone. Hence, all the efforts of the Ministry of Finance would be to ensure that no such job losses happen in the tourism and hospitality sectors.”

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MOT launches ‘Champion Sector’ scheme for M!CE tourism from 1st April 2020

Rakesh Kumar Verma, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism (MOT), Govt. of India, has revealed that they have launched a champion sector scheme to boost MICE tourism in India. “The Champion Sector scheme reimburses part of the expenditure on hotel stay by the foreigners during events. We will start this scheme from 1st April this year. There are certain conditions but broadly for the first night’s stay, the GST charged on the stay will be reimbursed to the customer. MICE tourism is a very important component of tourism ministry and we are putting a lot of focus on developing this sector. India has great opportunity for growing this sector. We are trying to improve our rank and increase the number of meetings, which are happening in our country. As a Ministry, we will facilitate this bureau in taking this sector forward and growing this sector,” he said.

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FAITH shares regular updates with PMO & MOT on COVID-19 impact on industry

Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) has been sharing a regular updates with the Ministry of Tourism(MOT) and Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on the impact of COVID-19 on the industry and apprise the Government on the effect of the outbreak has been till now. The update letter reads, “This is one of the worst crisis ever to hit the Indian tourism industry  impacting all its geographical segments – inbound, outbound & domestic, almost all tourism verticals— leisure, adventure, heritage, mice, cruise, corporate & niche segments. The whole tourism value chain across hotels, travel agents, tour operations, destinations, restaurant, family entertainment venues & air, land & sea transportation.” – Inbound foreign tourism of $ 28 bn + in value terms accounts for on an average basis almost 60-65%  between October to March. As the news of the virus started picking up from November, the percentage  of cancellations started going up in this segment exponentially and is reaching a peak of almost 80% now in March in many Indian locations. The value at risk from this segment will be in multiples of tens of thousands of crores. – The forward bookings for the inbound season of October 2020 – March 2021, which should have started picking are all muted.  These are showing highly discouraging signs with cancellations of important global travel marts which are marketplaces for contracting for the next season. – The value of NRI segment from developed markets whose major season for visit to their families and relatives is around 60% + during April to September. There are reports of large-scale forward cancellations from these and unless the progression of the virus stops the almost entire value …

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Amusement Parks in India attract over 30 million visitors annually

Amusement Parks in India attract over 30 million (3 crore) visitors annually. Children & Youth visit the park either in school groups or with families and constitutes 50% of park visitors. Adults constitute the remaining 50% as they either visit with their families or in corporate groups. India has over 160 plus amusement parks and the future growth of the sector are going to be away from the city limits along with resorts and hotels at a tourism destination. The figures were revealed at the 20th IAAPI Amusement Expo 2020, the biggest B2B exhibition on sourcing for amusement, leisure and recreation industry supported, by Ministry of Tourism (Incredible India). It was inaugurated by Amanda Thompson, Chairperson – International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) with Sohansinh Jadeja – President – Indian Association of Amusement Parks and Industries (IAAPI), along with key office bearers.

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MOT changes gears at ITB Berlin, to have panel discussion with German tour operators

Rakesh Kumar Verma, Joint Secretary, MOT, will be travelling for ITB Berlin 2020 with a delegation of around 49 exhibitors, which will be led by Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State (I/C), Tourism and Culture. The format has been changed this time for ITB Berlin, as there will not be a presentation and press conference, but a panel discussion instead. “We will be having a breakfast meeting with the German FTOs in Berlin. We have a panel discussion on the first day, which will focus on global trends in tourism focusing on Incredible India and will be moderated by a CNN journalist. It will have around 5 panelists including German tour operators who will be talking about India and their experience. While there will not be a specific campaign for ITB Berlin, we will project the efforts we are taking and the whole range of offerings we have been developing at MOT. Apart from that we have small group engagements and one-to-one engagements at the VIP lounge at India Pavilion of ITB. We are trying to project India as an experiential and transformational destination for the travellers, which is one of the key messages that we are putting across,” he shares. “The Ministerial delegation would consist of 49 co-exhibitors, including state governments, tour operators, hotels, wellness centres, as well as Ayurveda society. We’ve taken a huge space of 705 sq. m. CMD, ITDC, will also be there. It will be a combined marketing effort by the Government and the stakeholders,” reveals Verma.

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No funding of expenses under ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ campaign, MOT clarifies

The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) has released a statement saying that there will be no funding of travel expenses for tourists visiting 15 destinations under ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ campaign, launched recently. MOT, has instead proposed to recognise the selected domestic travellers. The statement read, “It is to clarify that the Ministry of Tourism has no scheme for funding the travel expenses of tourists for visiting destinations in the country under the Dekho Apna Desh Campaign. However, the Ministry of Tourism proposes to give recognition to select domestic travellers who undertake a visit to various tourist destinations in the country through random selection for which details are being finalised.”

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