Efforts by Govt. to improve Tourism in India
As per the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, December 2013, India’s rank in the World Tourism Receipts during 2012 was 16th and rank in international tourist arrivals was 41. The rank of India was 7th among Asia & the Pacific Region in terms of tourism receipts during 2012.
The Government of India has amended its Visa Manual to extend the collective landing permits facility with effect from 1st April 2013. Foreign tourists in groups of four or more arriving by air or sea and sponsored by Indian travel agencies approved by the Ministry of Tourism and with a pre-drawn itinerary will be granted Collective Landing Permit for a period not exceeding 60 days, with multiple entry facilities. In order to avail this facility the tourists or travel agencies shall mandatorily fill in an application online.
4 more airports have started operating the Tourist Visa on Arrival facility this year, taking the total to 8.
Conference Visas have been made simpler. A 60-day gap between two consecutive visits by an international tourist to India is no longer required.
To boost tourism in the country, the Ministry of Tourism, as part of its on-going activities, annually releases print, electronic, online and outdoor media campaigns in the international and domestic markets, under the Incredible India brand-line, to promote various tourism destinations and products of the country and to increase foreign tourist arrivals to the country. In addition, a series of promotional activities are undertaken in important and potential tourist generating markets overseas through Indiatourism Offices abroad with the objective of showcasing India’s tourism potential and increasing tourist arrivals to the country. These promotional activities include participation in travel fairs and exhibitions; organising road shows, Know India seminars & workshops; organizing and supporting Indian food and cultural festivals; publication of brochures; offering joint advertising and brochure support and inviting media personalities, tour operators and opinion makers to visit the country under the Hospitality Programme of the Ministry.
The Ministry of Tourism also provides financial assistance to stakeholders and all States/Union Territory Tourism Departments for promotion of tourism in the international markets under the Marketing Development Assistance (MDA) Scheme.
Other efforts made by Ministry of Tourism to boost tourist inflow include promoting Safe & Honourable tourism. The most important activity is improving the facilities for foreign and domestic tourists, creation/up gradation of tourism infrastructure, wayside amenities, providing last mile connectivity and increasing the availability of trained manpower.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Tourism (I/C) Shri K. Chiranjeevi in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.