12 Jan 2014

Achievements of Ministry of Tourism during the year 2013

1.       Growth of Tourism in the year 2013:

Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs)-Despite negative signals from the global economy, the number of foreign tourist arrivals in the country in 2013 showed an increase of about 4.1 % over 2012. During the period January- December 2013, 68.48 lakh (Provisional) tourists visited India against 65.78 lakh in 2012.
Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from Tourism-Foreign exchange earnings from tourism in rupee terms during 2013 were Rs.1,05,836 crore (Provisional) with a growth of 12.0% over the same period in 2012.The foreign exchange earnings during 2012 was to the tune of Rs.94,487 crore.         
            FEE from tourism in terms of US$ during January to December 2013 were US$ 18.133 billion with a growth of 2.2%, as compared to US$ 17.737 billion with a growth of 7.1% during January-December 2012 over the corresponding period of 2011.
Domestic Tourism  -Domestic tourism continues to be the main contributor to the sector providing much needed resilience. The domestic tourist visits during the year 2012 are estimated to be 1036 million (Provisional), showing a growth of 19.9% over 2011
2.         Infrastructure Development:-Infrastructure development holds the key to India’s sustained growth in the tourism sector. Therefore, the Ministry of Tourism has been making efforts to develop quality tourism infrastructure at tourist destinations and circuits. Ministry has sanctioned Rs. 4090.31 crore for a total number of 1226 tourism projects, which includes projects relating to Product/ Infrastructure Development for Destination and Circuits (PIDDC), Human Resource Development (HRD), Fairs and Festivals and Adventure & Rural Tourism for infrastructure augmentation.
The Ministry has launched a scheme for development of nationally and internationally important destinations and circuits through Mega Projects. So far, 71 mega projects have already been identified out of which 53 projects have already been sanctioned till 30.09.2013.  The mega projects are a judicious mix of culture, heritage, spiritual and ecotourism in order to give tourists a holistic perspective.                     
3.         Human Resource Development 
Broad Basing Of Hospitality Education-In order to meet the huge skill gap in the hospitality industry, the Ministry has adopted a multipronged strategy which includes strengthening and expanding the institutional infrastructure for training and education. For this purpose, Ministry of Tourism supports creation of new Institutes of Hotel Management (IHM) and Food Craft Institutes (FCI) in States besides providing financial assistance for modernization and capacity enhancement of existing IHMs and FCIs.
The National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology (NCHMCT), the administrative body for the Institutes of Hotel Management (IHMs) is poised to tie up with Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, Switzerland for the upgradation of curriculum and teaching methods at all IHMs in the country.
 As a policy of broad basing of hospitality education, grants were provided to 24 ITIs, 7 degree colleges, 4 Polytechnics, 26 Schools and 14 Universities to start new hospitality courses.
The Ministry of Tourism has so far established 21 Central IHMs.  15 State IHMs have become operational with the financial assistance of the Ministry.  Besides 15 State IHMs are various stages of completion.  22 FCIs have been sanctioned so far of which 7 are operational. Besides, a proposal for grant of CFA to 24 Schools located in States of Delhi, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh is also under process.
Capacity building and employment generation:-MoT pursues its skill development effort for skilling over 2.8 lakh person during the 12th Plan Period in terms of its Plan Scheme namely the “Scheme for Capacity Building for Service Providers”. The major initiatives of MoT under its skill development effort are :
Skill Testing and Certification programme for existing service providers.
Hunar Se Rozgar Tak programme aimed primarily at increasing the net benefits to the poor and ensuring that tourism growth contributes to poverty reduction.
Skill Testing and Certification of the Existing Service Providers-A programme for certification of skills of service providers employed in the hospitality sector has been instituted by the Ministry under which the service providers would undergo a 5-day orientation, followed by practical test and viva voce. So far the facilities have been instituted in 21 Central IHMs, 15 SIHMs, 6 FCIs and NITHM. For the year 2013-14, against the target of 16950, skills of 12430 service providers have been certified up to 30/11/2013.
Hunar Se Rozgar Tak (HSRT) programme-A special initiative was launched in 2009 -10 for creation of employable skills amongst youth belonging to economically weaker strata of society in the age group of 18 to 25 years (upper age limit raised to 28 years in November, 2010) with the basic objective to reduce the skill gap affecting the hospitality and tourism sector and to ensure the spread of economic benefit of tourism to the poor. The programme offers short duration courses of 6 to 8 weeks which are fully funded by MoT.
New Initiatives of Human Resource Development
 ·         Mid day Meal Scheme of MHRD- training of cook-cum-helpers
·         Heritage Walk Escorts (Proposed) 
·         Tourist Facilitators Programme
·         Earn While You Learn Programme
·         Training of Jail inmates at Tihar Jail
·         Skin Care & Spa Therapy, Basic Fitness Training, Flower Arrangements in Hotels & Events
·         Tour Assistants, Transfer Assistance and Office Assistants in Tourism Sector.
·         Skill Certification programme for drivers of tourist vehicles            

4.         Travel Trade
Liberalisation of visa regime:-
a)      Collective landing permits for groups of four and more for all countries except PR countries notified on 01st April, 2013 to be operational in 2014;

b)      The provisions relating to two months gap between two visits of a foreign national to India on a Tourist Visa and Tourist Visa on Arrival has been reviewed by the Government. It has been decided to lift the restriction of two-month gap on re-entry of foreign nationals coming to India on Tourist Visa and Tourist Visa on Arrival.  However, this relaxation does not include nationals of Afghanistan, Maldives, China,  Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, foreigners of Pakistan origins and Stateless persons.

c)      Conference Visa made as simple as Tourist Visa. 

d)     Four new international airports now grant Visa on Arrival (Hyderabad, Thiruvanathapuram, Kochi and Bengaluru).  Goa notified, but not yet operational.

e)      Tourist Visa on Arrival payment can now be made by credit cards.  Earlier it was only to be paid in rupees.

f)       Earlier visa application form was only in English.  Even in Germany a cottage industry developer who wishes to fill up the form in English have to pay a typical 50 Euros per form.  At least Germans can read the Roman script.  Japanese and Koreans cannot.  Now the visa application is available in English and several other languages including those in the Roman script.

g)      Standardization of visa form:  Now roughly 55 per cent of the Indian Missions around the world have a standard visa form.  We are trying to move towards 100 per cent standardization.

h)      Bank and employment statement is no longer required by the Indian Mission in Paris.

i)        Even though India has not yet introduced an electronic visa, at least the application form is now available electronically on the Incredibleindia.org website.

j)        Earlier every passenger had to fill an Embarkation/ Disembarkation card.  Now it will be only one card either Embarkation or Disembarkation.

More Port of Entries added for Tourist Visa on Arrival-The Tourist Visa on Arrival facility as extended to four more airports viz. Thiruvananthapuram, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kochi w.e.f. 15.08.2013.
VOA Scheme becomes popular-The “Visa on Arrival” (VoA) Scheme of the government has become popular with the tourists. During the period January to November 2013, a total number of 17,594 VoAs were issued as compared to 13,903 VoAs during the corresponding period of 2012 registering a growth of 26.5%. The number of VoAs issued under the Scheme during January to November 2013 was Japan (5,704), New Zealand (3,349), the Philippines (2,615), Indonesia (2,400), Singapore (2,070), Finland (889), Vietnam (181), Myanmar (143), Luxembourg (126),Cambodia (100) and Laos (17)
 The total number of approval issued to service providers of Travel Trade etc., is given below:-
 (v)       Tourist Police- The Ministry of Tourism in consultation with State Governments/UT Administrations had proposed to set up Tourist Police at prominent tourist spots. The State Governments / UT Administrations of Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha have deployed Tourist Police, in one form or the other.   
5.          Publicity& Events
I respect women campaign:- The Ministry of Tourism organized a National Conference of State Tourism Ministers on 18th July, 2013 in New Delhi.
            The meeting passed the unanimous Resolution that the Departments of Tourism of all States and Union Territories will work for ensuring safety and security of the tourists especially of women tourists.  Ministry of Tourism has also launched a new campaign for the safety of women titled ‘I respect women’.
International focus on the North-East:-The 1st International Tourism Mart (ITM) was held at Guwahati in January, 2013 to promote the tourism potential of North-Eastern States of India. The 2nd International Tourism Mart (ITM) was held in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh in the month of October, 2013.  The North-East which was termed as a “Paradise Unexplored” has a huge tourism potential that is yet to be tapped of its true potential. Ministry of Tourism gives top priority to promote the tourism sector for having potential to generate massive self employment avenues. Ministry invited almost 100 international delegates to the International Tourism Mart held in Guwahati in January, 2013 and in Tawang in October, 2013.
Focus on Bodhgaya:-The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, the Departments of Tourism of the Governments of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group) have entered into an agreement to cooperate in upgrading the quality of services and goods provided for tourists along the “Buddhist Circuit” in UP & Bihar.
Additional Central Financial Assistance for the State of Uttarakhand:- Ministry of Tourism was the first to announce a additional central financial assistance of Rs. 50 core within two days of the Uttarakhand disaster.  The amount of was raise to Rs 100 crore later on. Overall all Uttarakhand will get roughly Rs. 195 crore from the Ministry of Tourism this year.
Two new campaigns launched.-India Tourism launched two new campaigns: an International Campaign called ‘Find What You Seek’ and a Domestic Campaign called ‘Go Beyond’.  These campaigns were launched at the recently concluded “World Travel Market 2012” which was held at London. The launch of these campaigns reflects a very important paradigm shift in our strategy to promote India within the country and abroad. The ‘Go Beyond’ campaign focuses on promoting lesser known destinations to domestic as well as international tourists.
Campaign Clean India:-Clean India Campaign has been initiated by the Ministry of Tourism with the objective to increase tourist arrivals to the country and to improve quality of services and provide a hygienic environment in and around tourist destinations across the country.
On the request from the Tourism Minister, the Oil & Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) has agreed to adopt and upkeep the environs of Taj Mahal Complex including up gradation of tourist facilities in the monument. The ONGC will directly fund the aforesaid works covered under the Clean India Campaign to Archaeological Survey of India.
777 days of the Indian Himalayan Campaign-The idea is to remind the world that 73% of the Himalayas are in India.  The main motive is to attract tourists during the Indian summer traditionally considered an off-season for India.  This is being done to boost hotel occupancy not only in the Himalayas but also in the towns where the air and rail heads for the Himalayas are located.
            50% concession has been announced on the climbing fee for climbing these mountains.
Virtual Walking Tours:- India has become the first country in the world to give free walking tours.  At present they are available for six towns.  Software for another three cities is ready.  Within two years every Indian state will have one walking tour.
            360° Tours:  These have been created for almost 100 Indian cities already.  The target is 1,000 cities mainly visited by foreign and domestic tourists.
Revamping of Incredibleindia.org website to help the tourism sector:
From under 4,500 hits a day, now the website on some days gets more than 50,000 hits on peak days and on all days more than 18,000 hits.
            Travel Planner:-Google has created a Travel Planner for 200 odd Indian destinations.  India is the only country in the world right now to have a Travel Planner.  It has been made by Google.  In the past, Google made a planner for Brazil also.  However, that planner is no longer functioning. By clicking a few important details of what you are looking for India, you could get a video, several pictures, 360° views and all the relevant information about that particular place.
Creation of bank of videos:-Through a collaboration with Pixel, the Ministry of Tourism has created a small bank of videos about India; within few months we should have at least three videos about three every important destinations/monuments in India.
6.         Overseas Marketing:-
                        Participation in travel shows-India tourism offices overseas have participated in the major international Travel Fairs and Exhibitions in important tourist generating markets the world over as well as in emerging and potential markets to showcase and promote the tourism products of the country. For 2013 these include:
·         Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai,
·         ITB – Asia in Singapore,
·         World Travel Market (WTM) in London,
·         WTM-(Latin America)
·         PATA Travel Mart,
·         CITM, (China),
·         Top Resa (France),
·         Virtuoso (USA),
·         Cannes Film Festival (France)

The Ministry of Tourism, through the overseas offices participated in major MICE related travel fairs and exhibitions including IMEX-America 2013 in Las Vegas; and IT & CMA (Thailand).
                        Road Shows-As part of the promotional initiatives undertaken, Road Shows were organized in important tourist generating markets overseas with participation of different segments of the travel industry. The Road Shows comprised presentations on India followed by one-to-one business meetings between the trade delegation from India and the travel trade in the respective countries. Road Shows organized in 2013:
·         Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Jeddah, Riyadh and Damman),
·         Nordic Europe (i.e Oslo, Stockholm & Helsinki)
·         Australia (Sydney & Melbourne)
·         USA (East Coast)
·         South East Asia ( Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Manila)
·         USA- (West Coast)/ Canada and China (Shanghai, Beijing & Gungzhou)
·         Germany  (Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Stuttgart & Munich)

            Besides, India Tourism Offices in Overseas also participated in Road Shows organized by Tour Operators/ Travel Agents in their respective jurisdiction.
            Food Festival-For promotion of Indian Cuisine, which is an integral component of the Indian Tourism product, support has been extended to Indian Food Festivals by sponsoring Indian Chefs through ITDC for the food festivals organized in 2013:
·         Paraguay
·         Seoul
·         Taipei
·         Cambodia
·         Hamburg,
·         Brussels 
·         Malta,
·         Santo Domigo,
·         Havana,
·         Peru,
·         Cuba,
·         Chichen,
·         Mexico
·         Guadalajara
·         Buenos Aires
                ·         India Joined Global Leaders for Tourism Campaign
           ·         25th Joint Meeting of UNWTO Commissions for South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific and UNWTO Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development
             ·         1st Joint Working Group Meeting on Tourism Cooperation between India and Ukraine
            ·         20th session of the UNWTO General Assembly
             ·         1st Tourism Working Group Meeting of the BIMSTEC

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