India moves 13 position ahead from 65th to 52nd rank in Tourism & Travel competitive index as per world Economic Forum Report
E-tourist visa now available for Citizens of 113 Countries arriving at 16 Airports in India
Setting up of Medical and Wellness Tourism Promotion Board
Foundation stone laid of pt. Deen Dayal Upadhayay Paryatan Bhawan in New Delhi
M/O Tourism launches ‘Welcome Booklet’ for distribution at immigration counters for International Tourists
The Ministry of Tourism, is the nodal agency for the formulation of national policies and programmes and for the co-ordination of activities of various Central Government Agencies, State Governments/UTs and the Private Sector for the development and promotion of tourism in the country. This Ministry is headed by the Union Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge).
The administrative head of the Ministry is the Secretary (Tourism) who also acts as the Director General (DG) Tourism. The office of the Director General of Tourism provides executive directions for the implementation of various policies and programmes. It has a field formation of 20 offices within the country and 14 offices abroad and one sub-ordinate office/project i.e. Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering (IISM)/ Gulmarg Winter Sports Project. The overseas offices are primarily responsible for tourism promotion and marketing in their respective areas and the field offices in India are responsible for providing information service to tourists and to monitor the progress of field projects. The Ministry of Tourism has under its charge a public sector undertaking, the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) and Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM) and National Institute of Water Sports (NIWS) ; and National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology (NCHMCT) and the Institutes of Hotel Management.
INDIA’S POSITION IN TOURISM AND TRAVEL COMPETITIVE INDEX:
- India moves 13 position ahead from 65th to 52nd rank in Tourism and Travel Competitive Index as per the World Economic Forum (Davos) Report.
ACCOLADES FOR INDIA TOURISM
- At ITB 2015 held in Berlin in March, 2015, the Indian Pavilion set up by the Ministry of Tourism won the 2nd place for the Best Stand in the Asia, Australia and Oceania category.
- Ministry of Tourism participated At WTM (World Travel Market) held from 2nd to 5th November, 2015 in London. The theme of the India Pavilion was Yoga. A live Yoga demonstration was organized at the India pavilion during all 4 days of WTM, 2015. The WTM, London was one of the largest attended travel show. At WTM, London, India was voted as Most Preferred Destination in Asia.
- At the World Travel Market (WTM) Africa 2015 held in Cape Town, South Africa in April 2015, the India Tourism Stand of the Ministry received the ‘Best Feature Award’ from M/s Reed Travel Expo (organizers of the event).
- India participated as the ‘Guest Country of Honour’ at the China International Tourism Mart (CITM) held in Kunming, China in November 2015. India Tourism won 3 awards at CITM 2015, i.e. Award for Best Booth Design, Award for Best Organization and Award for Best Innovation of Sales.
- India tourism Tokyo participated in Busan International Travel Fair 2015 in BUSAN, KOREA. India Pavilion received two AWARDS, i.e. “The Best Booth design Award” and “The Best folklore performance award” for organizing promotional activities during this show.
FOREIGN TOURIST ARRIVALS
- Foreign Tourist Arrivals (Provisional) from January to November, 2015 were 7.10 million, representing an increase of 4.5% over the same period of the previous year, which was 6.79 million.
- Foreign Exchange Earnings (Provisional) of Rs. 1,12,958 crore during the period January to November, 2015 representing an increase of 1.0% over the same period of previous year, which was Rs. 1,11,889 crore.
- A path breaking initiative by the Government, e-Tourist Visa launched on 27th November, 2014, which enables the prospective visitor to apply for an Indian Visa from his/her home country online without visiting the Indian Mission and also pay the visa online.
- Till December, 2014 e-Tourist Visa was available to the citizens of 43 countries. During the year 2015, 70 more countries were covered under e-Tourist Visa regime. This facility is now available for citizens of 113 countries arriving at 16 Airports in India.
- During January-November, 2015 a total number of 3,41,683 tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa while during the same period in 2014 a total number of 24,963 tourist arrived on e-tourist visa registering a growth rate of 1268.8%.
- The percentage share of top 10 source countries availing e-Tourist Visa facility during October 2015 were as follows:-
UK (22.80%), USA (16.70%), France (17.09%), Germany (7.02%), Australia (5.53%), Canada (4.39%), Russian Fed. (3.99%), China (2.93%), Ukraine (2.14%) and Spain (2.11%).
SWADESH DARSHAN FOR INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT OF THEME BASED CIRCUITS
- Launched in pursuance of the Budget announcements of 2014-15, Swadesh Darshan Scheme aims at integrated development of circuits having tourist potential in a planned and prioritized manner, promoting cultural heritage of country, development world-class infrastructure in circuit destinations, pro-poor tourism approach, promoting local arts, handicrafts, cuisine and generating employment.
- Twelve Circuits have been identified for development under the scheme namely Swadesh Darshan. Eight projects have been sanctioned under Swadesh Darshan during the year at a total cost of Rs.582.40 crore.
NATIONAL MISSION ON PILGRIMAGE REJUVENATION AND SPIRITUAL AUGMENTATION DRIVE (PRASAD):
- The scheme aims at integrated development of pilgrimage destinations to provide complete religious and spiritual tourism experience.
- 13 cities identified for implementation in first phase – Varanasi, Amritsar, Ajmer, Mathura, Gaya, Kanchipuram, Velankanni, Dwarka, Puri, Amravati, Kedarnath, Kamakhya and Patna.
- Eight projects have been sanctioned under PRASAD during the year 2014-15 and 2015-16, two for Mathura and one each for Gaya, Puri, Amritsar, Ajmer, Kamakhya and Amravati for a total estimated cost of Rs.187.81 crores.
SWACHH BHARAT ABHIYAN
- The initiatives of ‘Swachh Bharat – Swachh Paryatan’ Swachh Bharat – Swachh Smarak’ and ‘Swachh Bharat – Swachh Pakwan’ were announced during the celebrations of Good Governance Day on 26th December, 2014.
- A Nation-wide Sanitation/Cleanliness Campaign from 25th September – 31st October, 2015 was observed by Ministry of Tourism and its subordinate offices and affiliated Institutes. As a part of it, to motivate the Officers and staff of the Ministry towards the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ and invite innovative ideas for making the Mission a ‘Jan Aandolan’, an essay competition was organized both in Hindi & English for the officers and staff of the Ministry.
SWACHH BHARAT SWACHH PAKWAN (HUNAR ZAIKA)
- Launched in December, 2014, this programme aims at upgrading the skills and hygiene standards of Street Food Vendors. As part of the orientation, the vendors are also sensitized to personal, environmental and waste disposal hygiene. The initiative converges two important initiatives of the Government – ‘Skill India’ and ‘Clean India’. Funds provided under this programme by the Ministry includes compensation to the vendors for the income loss during the duration of orientation.
The programme has seen certification of more about 4500 vendors during the year upto 30.11.15.
HRD/ SKILL DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES:
- Hunar Se Rozgar Tak, a flagship Programme of the Ministry of Tourism to impart employable skills to youth in the age group of 18 to 28 years, sustained its acceptance and momentum as over 65000 persons were trained in the first eleven months of the year. With this, the total number of persons trained under the Programme since its inception in the year 2009 stood at about 229500.
- In order to expand the HSRT outreach, it was opened up to implementation by private organizations with domain specific credentials / competence in terms of two verticals titled Badhate Kadam I and Badhate Kadam II. While Badhate Kadam I covers four hospitality trades namely Food Production, Food & Beverages Services, Bakery and Patisserie and Housekeeping Utility, Badhate Kadam II provides training courses to bring up Event Facilitators, Tour Assistants, Transfer Assistants and Office Assistants, Tourism Security Guards, Skin Care & Spa Therapists.
- In January, the IITTM organized a course targeting the local youth, to bring up tourist facilitators.
- Under the National Skill Testing & Certification, a total of about 14000 existing service providers were oriented and certified upto 30th November. This number is exclusive of street food vendors sponsored by NASVI and certified during the period under Swachh Bharat – Swachh Pakwan (Hunar Zaika).
INDIAN CULINARY INSTITUTE
- Indian Culinary Institute (ICI) at Tirupati with its Northern Regional Chapter at Noida is being set up by the Ministry of Tourism. Foundation Stones for both the Institutes have already been laid.
- The main objective of setting up of ICI is to institutionalize a mechanism to support efforts intended to preserve, document, promote and disseminate the Indian Cuisine, meet the sectoral requirement of specialists specific to Indian Cuisine, as also of teachers, and promote Cuisine as a Niche Tourism product. The ICIs are proposed as Institutes of Excellence that will offer structured regular programmes of study specific to culinary arts leading to graduate and post graduate level degrees, promote research and innovation, organize demand driven certificate and diploma courses, document and create data base specific to Indian cuisine and commission studies and survey on cuisine.
- The construction of ICIs at Tirupati and Noida is all set to begin, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Indian Culinary Institute (ICI) Society and the National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd. (NBCC) on the 9th of December 2015 at the Ministry of Tourism, New Delhi.
ASHOK INSTITUTE OF HOSPITALITY & TOURISM MANAGEMENT – CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE:
- The Union Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), Culture (Independent Charge), and Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma inaugurated the Ashok Institute of Hospitality & Tourism Management which is part of the HRD division of India Tourism Development Corporation Ltd., (ITDC) a PSU under Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India, on 27th September, 2015. As part of its contribution towards supplying trained manpower to the Hospitality Industry, ITDC has envisioned to set up a Centre of Excellence in Hospitality Education at Hotel Samrat, New Delhi. The courses offered by AIH&TM are a blend of the rich heritage and culture of India and hospitality management education system. It provides the students with a world class contemporary education to have an edge over others in the field.
OTHER HRD INITIATIVES:
- National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology (NCHMCT), an autonomous regulatory body of the Ministry of Tourism has signed an MOU with the ‘Lausanne Hospitality Consulting SA (LHC)’, which is a division of world oldest and top ranked Hospitality school- ‘Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne’, Switzerland.
- The agreement will broadly a) review the existing curriculum, identify knowledge and skill gaps specific to the requirement of the market and recommend new inputs; b) provide faculty development on the new inputs including inculcating global standards of academic delivery; and c) conduct regular academic audits.
4TH INTERNATIONAL TOURISM MART (ITM) IN GANGTOK, SIKKIM:
- The 4th International Tourism Mart (ITM) was inaugurated by Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), along with the Chief Minister of Sikkim, Shri Pawan Chamling in Gangtok, Sikkim on 15th October, 2015. The ITM was organized by the Union Ministry of Tourism in association with the North Eastern States and the state of West Bengal.
- This 4th International Tourism Mart 2015, spread over three days saw participation of fifty two (52) international delegates comprising of tour operators and media persons from 23 countries. These delegates were from Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, UK, USA and Vietnam. This mart also had participation of 71 tour operators from eight north eastern States and West Bengal besides domestic buyers (tour operators) from different regions of the country.
- The State Tourism Departments of eight north eastern states and West Bengal put up colourful exhibitions at the mart venue. These States also highlighted their rich and varied culture and distinct cuisines.
5TH MEETING OF THE SAARC WORKING GROUP ON TOURISM
- The 5th meeting of the SAARC Working Group on Tourism was held in Delhi from 25th and 26th November, 2015. The meeting was attended by private tourism stakeholders from SAARC Countries to discuss the strategies/action plan to promote intra-regional tourism in the SAARC region and for promotion of SAARC as a tourism destination in international markets.
PATA TRAVEL MART
- The State Government of Karnataka supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, hosted the PATA Travel Mart, 2015 at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre from the 6th to 8th September, 2015. The PATA Travel Mart (PTM) is the premier travel trade show in the Asia Pacific region, which brings together International buyers and sellers for one-to-one meetings, educational forums and networking sessions. It provides an excellent platform for buyer delegates to get information about the varied tourism destinations and products of countries hosting the event and to conduct business with their counterparts from other countries. An India Pavilion was set up at the Mart by the Ministry of Tourism, to showcase and promote the tourism destinations and products of the country.
IMPORTANT MoUs /AGREEMENTS
- An Agreement between the Government of The Republic of India and the Government of People’s Republic of China for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism was signed during the visit of the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India to China on 15thMay, 2015.
- The Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania signed a Memorandum of Understanding for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism on 19th June, 2015 in New Delhi.
- The Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan signed an Agreement on cooperation in the field of Tourism on 6th July, 2015 in Tashkent.
- The Government of the Republic of India and the Government of Turkmenistan signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of Tourism on 11th July, 2015 at Ashgabat.
- The Government of the Republic of India and the Government for the Arab Republic of Egypt signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of Tourism on 24th August, 2015 in Cairo.
- The Ministry of Tourism, Government of the Republic of India and the National Council of Tourism and Antiquities of the United Arab Emirates signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of Tourism, on 3rd September, 2015 in New Delhi.
- The Ministry of Tourism, Government of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Tourism of the Royal Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia signed Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of Tourism, on 16th September, 2015 in Phnom Penh.
RELEASE OF TOURISM VISION DOCUMENT 2030:
- The Union Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), Culture (Independent Charge), and Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma released the document which goes into the challenges for the sector and details the way towards Vision 2030. ‘Tourism vision 2030’ has been commissioned by the Experience India Society and prepared by KPMG.
FORMULATION OF NATIONAL TOURISM POLICY, 2015
- Draft of the National Tourism Policy, 2015 has been prepared after rounds of consultations held with Stakeholders, State Governments and Union Territory Administrations and Experts and veterans in the field of Tourism.
The main highlights of the draft new Policy is:-
- Focus of the Policy on employment generation and community participation in tourism development.
- Stress on development of tourism in a sustainable and responsible manner.
- An all-encompassing policy involving linkages with various Ministries, Departments, States/Union Territories and Stakeholders.
- Setting up of “National Tourism Advisory Board” and “National Tourism Authority” proposed.
- Setting up of a dedicated university for tourism & hospitality education.
- Emphasis on technology enabled development in tourism.
SETTING UP OF MEDICAL AND WELLNESS TOURISM PROMOTION BOARD:
- The Union Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), Culture (Independent Charge), and Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma announced the constitution of the Medical and Wellness Tourism Promotion Board on 27th September, 2015. The Board has been formed to tap the potential and advantages that India has in the field of medical and wellness tourism.
- The Board will provide leadership of the Government within a framework of prudent and effective measures, thereby enabling promotion and positioning of India as a competent and credible medical and wellness tourism destination. The Board will be chaired by the Union Tourism Minister and consists of members representing the related Government Departments, Tourism & Hospitality sector and experts in the Medical, Wellness and Yoga.
LAUNCH OF WELCOME BOOKLET FOR TOURISTS;
- The Ministry of Tourism has launched a ‘Welcome Booklet’ for distribution at immigration counters to tourists arriving at international airports. The ‘Welcome Booklet’ contains information on Dos and Don’ts for Tourists, contact details of India Tourism Domestic Offices and ‘Tourist Helpline Number’. The Booklet is intended to be a helpful aid to foreign tourist immediately on arrival.
LAUNCH OF INCREDIBLE INDIA HELPLINE
- The Ministry of Tourism has launched a 24×7 ‘Incredible India Help Line’ in December, 2014 to provide the tourist with valuable information and to guide them during emergencies. It is intended to provide a sense of security to the tourists. The service is available toll free on telephone no. 1800111363 or on a short code 1363.
LAUNCH OF BI-LINGUAL WEBSITE OF MINISTRY OF TOURISM:
- The Union Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), Culture (Independent Charge), and Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma launched the revamped official website of the Ministry http://tourism.gov.in/ which was made bilingual (English & Hindi). This Administrative website of the Ministry of Tourism contains the activities and information of all the divisions of the Ministry including the web based E-Recognition System for recognition of Travel Trade Service Providers and Approval and Classification of Hotels.
NATIONAL TOURISM AWARDS 2013-14:
- The Hon’ble President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented the National Tourism Awards 2013-14 at a function held at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi on 18th September, 2015. More than eighty awards were given to various States, Travel Trade, Hospitality Industry, Individual and Institution.
WORLD TOURISM DAY 2015:-
- A seminar on the theme of World Tourism Day 2015 “ One Billion Tourist, One Billion Opportunities” was held, with Shri Vikram Oberoi, President Hotel Association of India, Shri Subhash Goyal, President Indian Association of India and Shri Atul Bhatnagar, Chief Operating Officer of National Skill Development Corporation as panellists on 27th September, 2015.
- An Audio Visual Presentation ‘Introduction to India’ was also released on the occasion.
- Among other important events, a street play was also enacted at the Dilli Hatt, INA Market by the Students of Institute of Hotel Management, PUSA, New Delhi on the theme “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan-Swachh Bharat Swachh Paryatan. The students performed the play at regular intervals throughout te day to sensitize the tourists and visitors to Dilli Haat about keeping India clean.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA:
Ministry of Tourism has prepared a special brochures titled as ‘Destinations Yoga – India’ which was released on the eve of International Yoga Day (21st June, 2015).
FOUNDATION STONE LAYING CEREMONY OF PT. DEEN DAYAL UPADHAYAY PARYATAN BHAWAN IN NEW DELHI:
The Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information & Broadcasting, Shri Arun Jaitley laid the foundation stone of the new Office Complex of the Ministry of Tourism ‘Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhayay Paryatan Bhawan’ at Mandir Marg (opp. Birla Mandir) in New Delhi on the occasion of World Tourism Day on 27th September, 2015. The foundation stone was laid in the presence of the Union Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), Culture (Independent Charge), and Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma and Member of Parliament, Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi.