Sunday, December 26, 2010

Major Initiatives and Achievements of Ministry of Tourism in the Year 2010
Year End Review 2010

1. Growth of Tourism in the current year:

The Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTA) in India during the period of January- November 2010 were 4.93 million as compared to the FTAs of 4.46 million during the same period of 2009, showing a growth of 10.4%. The growth rate during the same period of 2009 over 2008 was (-) 6.0%. Thus, tourism sector witnessed substantial growth in 2010 till November, as compared to same period of 2009.

The number of domestic tourist visits increased from 650.00 million in 2009 as compared to 562.98 million in 2008 showing a growth of 15.5 percent. Thus, the domestic tourism witnessed impressive growth inspite of various adverse factors during this period.

The Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEE) during the period of January-November 2010 were Rs. 57850.00 crore as compared to Rs. 47918.00 crore during the same period of 2009, registering a growth rate of 20.7%. The growth rate in FEE from tourism during the same period in 2009 over 2008 was only 5.0%.

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. Till 30th September, 2010, the Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned 106 projects, including rural tourism projects, for an amount of Rs.376.55 crore for infrastructure augmentation during 2010-11.

The Ministry has launched a scheme for development of nationally and internationally important destinations and circuits through Mega Projects. So far, 38 mega projects have already been identified out of which 23 projects have already been sanctioned. The mega projects are a judicious mix of culture, heritage, spiritual and ecotourism in order to give tourists a holistic perspective.

Ministry of Tourism is also taking initiatives with other Central Govt. Ministries, such as Railways, Civil Aviation, Road Transport & Highways, Food Processing and Urban Development and also the concerned State Governments to achieve convergence and synergy with their programmes so that the impact of investment on these destinations is maximized The Ministry of Tourism has identified 23 destinations/circuits in India, based on their tourism potential, to be covered in the Phase I of the scheme.

Ministry of Tourism holds the Prioritization Meeting with the States/UTs to identify the tourism projects in their States/UTs for funding. While prioritizing the projects, adequate emphasis is given to the projects involving the construction and upkeep of wayside amenities along Highways/Roads leading to tourist destinations, cleanliness at the tourism sites, projects in backward areas, etc.To ensure the contribution of tourism in the development of remote and backward areas in the country, it has now been decided to year mark 2.5% of total plan outlays of the Ministry of Tourism from 2011-12 for tourism development in tribal areas.

3. Human Resources Development

I. Manpower Development:

45 teachers of Institutes of Hotel Management and other organizations were trained by deputing them to the similar institutes in other countries under Management Development Programme.

II. Quality Human Resource Development:

(i) Broad basing of hospitality education:

In order to meet the huge skill gap that affects the hospitality industry, the Ministry has put in place a multipronged strategy which includes strengthening and expanding the institutional infrastructure for training and education. For this purpose, MOT has decided to support additional Institutes of Hotel Management (IHM) in States. New Food Craft Institutes (FCI) are also being set up. MOT has also been providing financial assistance for modernization and capacity enhancement of IHMs and FCIs. 4 new State Institutes of Hotel Management and one Food Craft Institute were established. Moreover 11 ITIs, 6 Government Colleges, 13 Universities, 4 Government Polytechnics and 26 Schools were provided grants for broad-basing of hospitality education. Hospitality and Tourism Education courses were introduced in 26 schools under Central Board of Secondary Education at + 2 stages.

(ii) Skill training of youth in Hospitality Sector (Hunar Se Rozgar Tak): The Institutes of Hotel Management (IHMs) have undertaken a six to eight week fast track skill training Programme for youth under twenty five years of age in Food Production & Food and Beverage Services. About 2700 youth have been trained so far and more than a thousand youth are under training. The target is to train 5500 persons more under this Programme.

(iii) Skill Certification: Under this programme, the Service providers, who are working in the hospitality sector, undertake a five day orientation programme followed by test that is based on practical and viva voce. Thereafter, the participants are provided a Skill Certificate, which enhances their employability in the marked. About 1700 persons were certified under this programme so far and the target is to train 5500 persons more under this programme.

III. Rewards for Hospitality Education:

The Minister of State for Tourism gave away the National Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Education for the year 2008-09 on 15th April, 2010. 22 students and 10 teachers were awarded for meritorious performance. Awards were also given to Institute of Hotel Management under 19 categories. In addition, special achievement awards was given to Director, Haryana Institute of Public Administration and other stakeholders for making contribution towards institutionalizing capacity building of service providers in National Capital Region of Delhi.

4. Travel & Trade:

i. So far, 544 Regional Level Guides (RLGs) have qualified the training programme. An examination to select eligible candidates for Part Time Foreign Language Linguist Guides Training Programme was held on 12.06.2010 at Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management (IITTM), Gwalior.

ii. Ministry of Tourism partnered with the Bureau of Immigration (BOI) to undertake two days training of Immigration personnel so as to bring in the required behavioral

and attitudinal changes for dealing with the foreign tourists. This training programme was organized at the IGI Airport, New Delhi and was conducted by the IITTM, Gwalior from 10th to 19th September 2009. The programme was attended by 127 Immigration personnel in batches of 25 – 30 each. Another training programme for Immigration officials in II phase was organized for one week from June 14th 2010 at the IGI, Airport, New Delhi for about 150 Immigration officers.

iii. The Ministry of Tourism has a scheme of approving Travel Agents, Inbound Tour Operators, Adventure Tour Operators, Domestic Tour Operators and Tourist Transport Operators. The aims and objectives of this scheme are to encourage quality, standard and service in these categories so as to promote tourism in India. This is a voluntary scheme open to all bonafide agencies. The total number of approvals issued to service providers of Travel Trade etc., till 15th December, 2010 is given below:-
Category                                         Number

Inbound Tour Operators              603

Travel Agents                                 467

Tourist Transport Operators       213

Domestic Tour Operators               67

Adventure Tour Operators            33

Total                                               1383

iv. Visa – On – Arrival

(a). As proposed by Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Home Affairs, decided to grant ‘Long Term Tourist Visas’ of five (05) years duration with multiple entry facilities carrying a stipulation of 90 days of each visit on a pilot basis to the nationals of the following 18 selected countries:-

(1) France (2) Germany (3) Luxembourg (4) Netherlands (5) Belgium (6) Finland (7) Spain (8) Switzerland (9) Norway (10) Iceland (11) New Zealand (12) Japan (13) South Korea (14) Argentina (15) Brazil (16) Chile (17) Mexico (18) Vietnam.

(b). The Ministry of Home Affairs accepted the proposal of Ministry of Tourism and introduced “Visa-on-Arrival” Scheme for tourists from five countries viz., Singapore, Finland, New Zealand, Luxembourg and Japan on a pilot basis for a period of one year w.e.f. 01st January, 2010. During the period January – November 2010, a total number of 5644 VoAs were issued under this scheme. The number of VoAs issued under this scheme, during January – November 2010 for nationals of the five countries were Singapore (1623), New Zealand (1604), Japan (1241), Finland (1123) and Luxembourg (53). Total number of VoAs issued during November 2010 were 628 with country wise break up as Finland (90), Japan (131), New Zealand (276), Singapore (122) & Luxembourg (9). During the eleven month period of January – November 2010, the maximum number of VoAs were issued at Delhi Airport (3035), followed by Mumbai (1258), Chennai (1073) and Kolkata (278).

(c). Further, the Visa – on – Arrival scheme is being extended by Ministry of Home Affairs for the nationals of five more countries viz. Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar & Philippines with effect from 01st January 2011.

(v). Seamless Travel:

As a successful culmination of the collaborative and proactive efforts of Ministry of Tourism with Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and other stakeholders, the seamless movement of commercial tourist vehicles finally took off as the first tourist vehicle left for Agra on 18th July 2010.

(vi). Code of Conduct for “Safe & Honorable Tourism”

The Ministry of Tourism has adopted the Code of Conduct for “Safe & Honourable Tourism” on 01st July, 2010 essentially to strengthen the critical pillar of ‘Suraksha’ (Safety) mentioned in the National Tourism Policy, 2002 and ensure that Indian tourism follows international standards of safe tourism practices, applicable for both tourists and local residents i.e. local people and communities who may be impacted by tourism in some way. The Code has been formed to sensitize travelers and the travel industry, close all possibilities of exploitation, specifically of women and children and to make India a safe & honourable tourism destination.

The initiative was launched by Ministry of Tourism in association with PATA India Chapter, Save the Children – India, United Nations Office on Drugs & Crimes (UNODC) and Equitable Tourism Option (EQUATIONS) for its implementation as it is important and essential to enhance the image of the country and add more value to the ‘Incredible India’ campaign.

The ceremony in which the pledge to adhere by the tenets of “Safe and Honourable Tourism” was formally signed by more than 100 stakeholders, was held on 27th September 2010 at Hotel Ashok, Delhi. The Presidents and designated representatives of the various Hospitality/Hotel and Travel Trade related Associations signed the pledge in the presence of Hon’ble Minister (Tourism & HUPA).

5. Publicity and Events:

(i) During the Year 2010, the Ministry of Tourism released Social Awareness Campaigns on TV, Radio and outdoor featuring Shri Aamir Khan as brand ambassador. The objective of the campaigns was to sensitize masses and various stakeholders about the importance of tourism.

(ii) Campaigns on Radio and TV were released to promote Delhi as a tourist destination in the back drop of Commonwealth Games, 2010.

(iii) During the calendar year 2010, various international campaigns were released in print & Electronic Media to project India as a holistic destination in various international source markets.

(iv) A domestic online campaign was also released to project various tourism products in the domestic market.

(v) The Ministry of Tourism produced India map, India brochure and Delhi city map prior to Commonwealth Games, 2010 for distribution among the tourists.

(vi) The Ministry of Tourism released an outdoor campaign in Delhi to coincide with the Commonwealth Games, 2010 to promote India as an attractive holistic destination. The campaign was released at various locations such as metro stations, metro trains, bus shelters, airport etc.

(vii) The Ministry of Tourism finalized guidelines for support to the State Governments/ Union Territory Administrations for production of tourism related publicity material and organizing fairs and festivals.

6. Overseas Marketing

(i). Road Shows and joint promotions were held with major international Airlines linking India to the local market like Finair,Air Arahan, Jet airways, Kingfisher and Air India by the different offices. The joint promotions included fam trips to India of the tour Operators/Media.

(ii) Road shows conducted in May 2010 with PATA India Chapter at Chicago, Boston, New York, Toronto and Los Angeles with 20 tour Operators from India. The delegation was led by Secretary (Tourism). The Road Shows comprised pesentations on India followed by one-to-one business meetings between the trade delegation from India and the travel trade in the respective countries.

(iii). To promote Wellness and Medical Tourism, Road shows were held in Dubai, Riyadh, Kuwait and Doha focusing presentations on Medical and Wellness facilities in the country.

(iv). Road Shows, in collaboration with the Indian Association of Tour Operators, IRCTC were organized in Japan & S. Korea, Malayasia, Thailand & Vietnam to attract Buddhist tourists and promote the Mahaparinirvana Express.

(v). Day long India Food Festivals were organized in several cities of USA, Argentina, Durban, Muscat and Syrian cities. To coincide with the Events, an integrated outdoor advertising campaign and Print Media campaign was also launched in these places.

(vi). For promotion of Indian Cuisine, which is an integral component of the Indian Tourism product, support has been extended to Indian Food Festivals organized in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Montevideo (Uruguay), Colombia & Ecuador, Beijing (China), Dubai (UAE), Durban & Johannesburg (South Africa), Muscat and Syria.

(vii) Tourist publications have been printed in foreign languages, by the overseas offices, to meet the requirements of the markets under their jurisdiction. These include Mandarin, Cantonese, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Russian, Hungarian, Japanese, Korean, Thai and Bhasa Indonesia.

(viii) Till August, 2010, 195 familiarization trips were sponsored for overseas Media and Tour operators.

(ix) Marketing Development Assistance to the extent of Rs. 1.00 Crore was extended to approve service providers for promotional activities undertaken by them in the overseas markets.

(x) For greater visibility of “Incredible India”, outdoor advertising campaigns including advertising on taxis / buses / trams, hoardings & billboards have been undertaken in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou & Kunming, Tokyo, Seoul, Osaka, Sydney, Singapore, Dubai, Bahrain, Kuwait, Doha, Riyadh, Ras-al-Khaimah, Johannesburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Belfast, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vienna, Frankfurt, Munich, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Berlin, Davos, Paris, Cannes and Nice, New York, Washington, Miami, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto and Buenos Aires.

(xi) Indiatourism offices overseas participated in over 190 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. These include Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai, PATA Travel Mart in Gangzhou, China.

(xii) Indiatourism Offices have also participated in / supported Cultural Festivals, including the “Namaste India” Festival in Tokyo, Festivals of India in Argentina, Indonesia and Ireland, “India Week” in Reykjavik, Iceland, the “Shared Histories” Cultural Festival in South Africa and a “Discover Incredible India” Cultural Festival in Los Angeles.

(xiii) Indiatourism, Beijing was awarded the “Best Tourism Promotion Award” at the World Travel Fair in Shanghai.

(xiv). Indiatourism, Tokyo was awarded the “Best Booth Operation Award” at the Korea World Travel Fair and the “Best Tourism Promotion Award” at the Busan International Tourism Fair in South Korea.

7. International Cooperation:

(i) Ministry of Tourism organized, in collaboration with Govt. of Bihar, the Buddhist Conclave titled “Experience Buddhism in the Land of Origin” at Nalanda on 6-7 February, 2010. 103 tour operators, media persons and scholars from various countries were invited under the Hospitality Scheme as delegate for the Conference.

(ii) A Joint Working Group Meeting between Syria and India was organized on 11th May, 2010 at Hotel Ashok, New Delhi. Additional Director General (Tourism) from India and Director (Tourism), Marketing and Development, Government of Syria participated and both agreed to enhance cooperation in the field of Tourism, especially with regard to investment in tourism sector, human resource development, exchange of information, participation in travel fairs/exhibitions, cooperation in exchange of expertise in the field of tourism planning etc.

(iii) Ms. Gloria Guevara, Hon’ble Minister of Tourism, Government of Mexico accompanied by Ms. Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, Ambassador to India paid a courtesy call on Hon’ble Minister (Tourism), Kumari Selja on 17.8.2010. Various issues, including promotion of tourism between the two countries, were discussed in this meeting.

(iv) A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on 27.10.2010 between Ministry of Tourism and International Finance Corporation (a member of World Bank Group) for Integrated Buddhist Circuit Development Strategy targeting increased private investment, local employment, tourism numbers and small and medium enterprises growth in destinations along the Buddhist Circuit in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

(v) Mr. Antonis Paschalides, Minister of Tourism, Commerce and Industry, Cyprus called on the Minister of Tourism on 26.10.2010. Both the Ministers discussed various issues relating to cooperation between two countries in the field of tourism.

(vi) Secretary ,Tourism led an Indian delegation to the World Travel Mart (WTM) in London, United Kingdom during 8-11 November, 2010. During this visit, a press conference on 9th November, 2010 was organised. On 10th November, 2010, a Breakfast meet with Tour Operators and Incredible India Evening for the Trade and media were also organised. In addition to setting up of Indian Pavilion in WTM, advertisement was released in the India supplement of the Conde Nast, UK Magazine which was widely distributed during the WTM.

(vii) Second meeting of the India-Indonesia Joint Commission was held on 20th December, 2010 to review the status of Cooperation between the two countries in tourism sector and identify new areas of cooperation. Indian delegation for this meeting was led by Secretary (Tourism). Secretary General, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Indonesia led the Indonesian delegation.

8. Sustainable Tourism:

(i) Under the new initiative to evolve Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India, Ministry of Tourism organised a two day National Workshop for the tourism industry stakeholders on 27th-28th July 2010 in New Delhi. The National Workshop was attended by the private stakeholders as well as government officials who are responsible for formulating government policies. The tourism and hospitality industry of the country was well represented in the Workshop. Experts from India and international experts from United Nations Foundation (UNF), United Nations Environment Programmes (UNEP) were invited as resource persons for this Workshop. In this Workshop it was agreed that

l There is a need to have Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India

l For evolving Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India and for development of indicators subsequently, the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria developed by the Tourism Sustainability Council and other practices in the world would be considered.

(ii) The Ministry has since constituted a Steering Committee with representatives from all the sectors of the tourism and hospitality industry of India. The Steering Committee had several deliberations to develop draft Sustainable Tourism Criteria which would eventually be adopted by the different sectors of the industry. In the first instance, an attempt has been made to develop the Criteria for the hotel and tour operator sector.

(iii) As a follow-up of these efforts of the Ministry of Tourism, a Pledge for Commitment towards Sustainable Tourism was taken by all the stakeholders of the travel trade and hospitality industry on World Tourism Day, 27th September, 2010.

“Recognizing that every earth resource is finite and fragile, I/We further pledge to fully implement sustainable tourism practices, consistent with the best environment and heritage protection standards, such that my/our present tourism resource requirements optimize both local community benefit and future sustainable uses.”

Once adopted, it would be mandatory for all organizations in travel trade and hospitality industry of India to adopt the Sustainable Tourism Criteria.

9. Important Activities relating to XIX Commonwealth Games, 2010.

(i). Task Force for Creation of Additional Hotel Accommodation for the Games:

A Task Force was constituted in the Ministry of Tourism, under the chairmanship of Secretary, Tourism for monitoring the progress of the various Land Owning Agencies in the NCR region for creation of additional hotel accommodation for the Games. A total of 35 meetings of the Task Force were conducted and the Honorable Tourism Minister also reviewed the position by chairing three such meetings. The last meeting of the Task Force was held on 15.09.2010 with the following room position:

(a) Availability of additional 9, 099 new hotel rooms in the Delhi NCR Region.

(b) For the purpose of augmentation of budget accommodation during the Games, 1287 housing flats of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) under various categories at Vasant Kunj were upgraded and managed by India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) and were utilized for housing the technical staff of the Games.

(c) With a view to augment additional alternative accommodation, the Ministry of Tourism had launched the “Incredible India Bed and Breakfast/Home stay Scheme” all over the country, around 2,199 “Incredible India Bed and Breakfast/ Home stay” units were ready and available during the Games.

(d) 11, 412 rooms from Licensed Guest Houses in NCT of Delhi.

(e) As an alternative source, 50 units each of ‘Tented Accommodation’ was provided for the Games at Surajkund and Dhundahera in Haryana.

There was no information on shortage of rooms for visitors during the Commonwealth Games.

(ii) With a view to upgrade their standards and soft skills under the Scheme of Capacity Building of Service Providers, the Ministry of Tourism trained 962 Guest House Owners and 1,472 staff of licensed Guest Houses in Delhi through the Institute of Hotel Management, Pusa, New Delhi.

(iii) Ministry of Tourism provided central assistance for training of service providers like Tourist Taxi Drivers, Auto Drivers and Immigration personnel in Delhi, NCR region and Agra for making them tourist friendly and hospitable. A total of 2200 taxi/coach drivers were trained in Haryana Institute of Public Administration.

(iv) Ministry of Tourism organized training for the students of Institutes of Hotel Managements (IHMs), Indian Institute of Tourist and Travel Management (IITM) and Graduate/Graduating youths under its “Earn While You Learn” scheme for the volunteer programme of the Organizing Committee. A total number of 3, 861 volunteers were provided for CWG 2010.

(v) Ministry of Tourism provided ‘Central Financial Assistance’ of around Rs. 40.15 Crore to the Government of NCT of Delhi for developing tourism related infrastructure viz., illumination of monuments, public amenities and parking etc. in Delhi.

(vi) To reward the spectacular performance of sports persons, Minister of Tourism announced incentives for the Indian Medal Winners of the XIX Commonwealth Games, 2010. The incentive announced are the complementary travel packages in the luxury trains, two nights-three days hotel packages in selected hotels and Golden Triangle (Delhi-Agra-Jaipur-Delhi) tour for three nights & four days. These incentives will be offered in association with various stakeholders in the tourism sector.

10. India Tourism Development Corporation:

i. ITDC hotels in Delhi were nominated as Games Family Hotels while the Ashok was Games Flagship Hotel for Commonwealth Games 2010. The event at these hotels was a grand success. Accolades were received from the VVIP delegates from 71 nations who stayed in the hotels. In addition to the delegates of Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and International media, those who stayed at The Ashok included HRH Prince Edwards, HRH Prince of Jordon and HRH Prince of Bhutan. The services were appreciated by one and all.

ii. Apart from above, more than 600 National Technical Officers stayed at Vasant Kunj flats which were managed by ITDC and also apartments for stay of athletes in the Commonwealth Games Village at Akshardham were furnished. In addition, ITDC also provided housekeeping services in two towers at Commonwealth Games Village which were occupied by the athlete’s alongwith an Operation & Maintenance (O&M) Cell at the Village which comprised of a team of dedicated engineers till the games were over.

iii. During the year illumination of various ASI monuments namely Khane-e-khana, Dadi Poti Ka Gumbad, Lal Darwaza, Choti Gumti, Sikri Gumti, Barakhamba and Biran Ka Gumbad have been completed.

iv. The Oudh at The Ashok, New Delhi won the ‘Best Awadhi Cuisine Restaurant’ award from HT City.

v. The Sound & Light Show (SEL) at Kumbhalgarh (Rajasthan), Jalianwala Bagh, Amritsar (Punjab) were commissioned and handed over to the respective authorities for operation. The show at Purana Quila is ready for launch in first week of Jan 2011.

vi. A new banquet hall at Hotel Patliputra Ashok, Patna would be operational shortly to meet discerning needs of customers.

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