New Delhi: Ministry of Tourism works in close collaboration with various stakeholders for the development of tourism in the country. Different mechanisms to seek synergy and convergence with stakeholders are:
- National Conference of State Tourism Ministers which are held to discuss various issues related to the development of tourism sector in the country.
- National Tourism Advisory Council which serves as a ‘Think Tank’ of experts in the field of tourism and advises the Ministry on various tourism-related issues. It includes representatives of various Union Ministries, Trade and Industry Associations and Individual Experts in the field of travel and tourism management.
- The Inter-Ministerial Coordination Committee on Tourism Sector (IMCCTS) facilitates the resolution of Inter-Ministerial issues involved in the development of tourism in the country.
- Meetings & consultations held from time to time to take suggestions and inputs from stakeholders in the tourism sector for the development and promotion of tourism in the country.
The promotion of tourist destinations and products is primarily the responsibility of the concerned State Governments/Union Territory administrations. However, the Ministry of Tourism promotes India as a holistic destination including the historical significance of various tourism sites to boost tourism in the country. Several initiatives & programs implemented throughout the country are:
- Launched the Swadesh Darshan Scheme with a vision to develop theme-based tourist circuits.
- Launched the National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) Scheme for the holistic development of identified pilgrimage destinations.
- Launched the Adopt a Heritage Project for development and maintenance of tourist amenities at heritage sites/monuments and other tourist sites.
- Development and promotion of ‘niche tourism’ products to attract tourist with specific interest and to ensure repeat visits for the unique products in which India has a comparative advantage.
- Launched 24×7 toll-free multi-lingual tourist helpline.
- Promoting India as a holistic tourism destination including its various tourism sites and products through Incredible India 2.0 Campaign.
- Providing facility of e-Visa for 5 sub-categories i.e. e-Tourist visa, e-Business visa, e-Medical visa, e-Medical Attendant visa and e-Conference visa for nationals of 169 countries.
- Revamp of Incredible India Website having information on tourism sites/destinations in different States/Union Territory administrations.
- Launch of the Incredible India Tourist Facilitator Program on an online digital platform to provide basic, advanced and refresher courses for tourist facilitators.
- E-Visa has been further liberalized and the visa fee has been substantially reduced.
- New mountain peaks have been opened for mountaineering & trekking to boost adventure tourism in the country
- Lowering of GST on hotels rooms with tariffs of Rs. 1,001 to ₹7,500/night to 12% and that above Rs. 7,501 to 18% to increase India’s competitiveness as a tourism destination.
A total of 77 projects amounting to Rs.6035.70 crore and 28 projects amounting to Rs. 846.54 crore have been sanctioned under Swadesh Darshan Scheme and Prashad Schemes respectively. Moreover, 26 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) have been signed to date under ‘Adopt a Heritage’ scheme.
This information was given by the Minister of State (I/c) of Culture and Tourism, Prahlad Singh Patel in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on November 9, 2019.
Indus Dictum reported earlier that in a move to boost tourism in Southern India, the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) has signed an MoU with IRCTC to run the Golden Chariot Train. IRCTC is planning a revamp of the train itineraries, as also to add different flavours that Karnataka has to offer.
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