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India is having glorious culture and heritage in the name of Indus Valley Civilization and it is also having historical monuments like Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar, Iron Pillar, Khajuraho, ancient Buddhist site of Sanchi, Humayun’s Tomb, Mahabodhi Temple, Red Fort, Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, Group of Monuments at Hampi, Group of Monuments at Pattadakal, Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka, Ajanta-Ellora Temple, Elephanta Caves and Sun Temple which were recognised by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. Promotion of tourism helps for preserving culture, converging ancient culture heritage, promoting art and culture and earning foreign exchange to the national economy. Ministry of Tourism is the nodal agency to formulate national policies and programmes to develop and promote tourism. In the process, the Ministry consults various Central Ministries and agencies, the State Governments/Union Territories and the representatives of the private sector. Secretary (Tourism), who is also the ex-officio Director General (DG) of Tourism, is the executive chief of the Ministry. The Directorate General of Tourism, which is an attached offices within the country and 14 overseas offices. Some of the important organizations under the administrative control of Ministry of Tourism are Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM), National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology (NCHMCT), India Tourism Development and National Institute of Water Sports (NIWS) merged with the IITTM. The Ministry of Tourism formulates and implements policies and programmes to develop and promote tourism in India and to attract foreign tourists by developing tourism infrastrure, publicity and promotion, dissemination of information, co-ordination with hotels, travels, tour operators, etc. There is a need for preserving environment through promoting eco-tourism. Government of India formulated a National Tourism Policy in 1982 for promotion of tourism. The first marketing initiative of its kind, Incredible India was conceptualized in 2002 by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The primary objective of this branding exercise was to create a distinctive identity for the country. This resulted in the iconic “Incredible !ndia” logo, where the exclamation mark that formed the “I” of India was used to great effect across all communications. The campaign successfully established India as a high-end tourist destination, generating a 16% increase in tourist traffic in the first year. The Ministry of Tourism also taken initiatives for organising conducted tours and tourism circuits of National importance namely Buddhist Circuit, Heritage Tourism, Pilgrimage Tourism, Health Tourism, Wildlife Tourism etc. The Department of Tourism also promotes development of heritage hotels of ancient and medieval palaces and buildings for providing accommodation to tourists and create an ambience of royal treatment. Tourism also transmits the knowledge to posterity by inviting tourists from domestic and international areas. Promotion of tourism provides maximum employment opportunities to the youth in hotels, hospitality and transport sectors. Indian legacy indicated respecting the guests as “Atithi Devo Bhava”. World Tourism Day is being celebrated on 27th every year across the globe.


Tourism emerged as the largest global industry of the 20th century and is projected to grow even faster in the 21st century. India has immense possibilities of growth in the tourism sector with vast cultural and religious heritage, varied natural attractions, but a comparatively small role in the world tourism scene. A New Tourism Policy, which builds on the strength of the national Tourism Policy of 1982, but which envisages new initiatives towards making tourism the catalyst in employment generation, environmental re-generation, development of remote areas and development of women and other disadvantaged groups in the country, besides promoting social integration is, therefore, vital to our economy. It would lead to larger foreign exchange earnings and create conditions for more Foreign Direct Investment. The mission of Tourism Policy is to promote sustainable tourism as a means of economic growth and social integration and to promote the image of India abroad as a country with a glorious past, a vibrant present and a bright future. Policies to achieve this will be evolved around six broad areas such as Welcome (Swagat), Information (Suchana), Facilitation (Suvidha), Safety (Suraksha), Cooperation (Sahyog) and Infrastructure Development (Samrachana). Conservation of heritage, natural environments, etc. and development and promotion of tourist products would also be given importance. The objectives of tourism development are to foster understanding between people, to create employment opportunities and bring about socio-economic benefits to the community, particularly in the interior and remote areas and to strive towards balanced and sustainable development and preserve, enrich and promote India’s cultural heritage. One of the major objectives is the preservation and protection of natural resources and environment to achieve sustainable development. Given the low cost of employment creation in the tourism sector and the low level of exploitation of India’s tourism potential, the new tourism policy seeks to expand foreign tourist arrivals and facilitate domestic tourism in a manner that is sustainable by ensuring that possible adverse effects such as cultural pollution and degradation of environment are minimised. The New Tourism Policy also aims at making the stay of foreign tourists in India, a memorable and pleasant one with reliable services at predictable costs, so that they are encouraged to undertake repeated visits to India, as friends. This would be in tune with India's traditional philosophy of giving the highest honour to a guest (Atithi debo bhava).


programmes for the development and promotion of tourism. In the process, the Ministry consults and collaborates with other stakeholders in the sector including various Central Ministries/agencies, the State Governments/ Union Territory Administrations and the representatives of the private sector. Positioning tourism as a major engine of economic growth and harnessing its direct and multiplier effects on employment and poverty eradication in a sustainable manner by active participation of all segments of the society is the main objective of the tourism policy of Government of India. Tourism sector is one of the largest employment generators in the Country and it plays a very significant role in promoting inclusive growth of the less-advantaged sections of the society and poverty reduction. Apart from marketing and promotion, the focus of tourism development plans Ministry of Tourism is the nodal agency to formulate national policies and is now on integrated development of tourism infrastructure and facilities through effective partnership with various stakeholders. The role of Government in tourism development has been re-defined from that of a regulator to that of a catalyst. Tourism plays an important role in economic development and employment in India. The Approach Paper of the 12th highlights the need to adopt “pro-poor tourism” for increasing net benefits to the poor and ensuring that tourism growth contributes to poverty reduction. Tourism plays a key role in socio-economic progress through creation of jobs, enterprise, infrastructure and revenue earnings. The Planning Commission has identified tourism as the second largest sector in the country in providing employment opportunities for low-skilled workers. During the period 2002 to 2012, Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) increased from 2.38 million to 6.58 resulting in the average annual increase of about 10.7 per cent. The growth rate of 4.3 per cent in the year 2012 over 2011 was higher than the estimated growth rate of 4 per cent in 2012 for the world as a whole. India’s share in world tourism arrivals the year 2012 was 0.64 per cent. Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEE) from tourism increased from Rs. 15064 crore in 2002 to Rs. 94,487 crore (Provisional) in 2012 with an annual growth rate of 21.8 per cent. The FEE in US$ 3.10 billion, which increased to US$ 17.7 billion in 2012 with an annual growth rate of 7.1 per cent. Domestic tourism plays an important role in the overall development of tourism in the country. The number of domestic tourist visits increased from 270 million in 2002 to 1027 million in 2012 with an average annual growth rate of 20.0 per cent. New Advertisement campaigns titled “Find What You Seek” for promotion of India in the overseas markets and “Go Beyond” for domestic market was launched in 2012-13. A Global Media Campaign in the leading Print Publications and TV Channels was launched for promotion of India in the tourist generating markets in Europe, Americas, West Asia, South East Asia, Australasia, etc. A scheme for development of nationally and internationally important destinations and circuits through Mega Projects has been launched by the Ministry, the purpose of which is to present before the tourist a judicious mix of culture, heritage, spiritual and eco-tourism in order to give tourists a holistic perspective of India. So far, 71 mega projects have been identified and for 53 projects of which Central Financial Assistances have been sanctioned.


Five Year Plan prepared by the Planning Commission In order to ensure the contribution of tourism in the rural sector, the scheme of Rural Tourism was started by the Ministry of Tourism in 2002-03 with the objective of showcasing rural life, art, culture and heritage at rural locations and in villages. The villages selected for funding were the areas which had core competence in art and craft, handloom, and textiles as also an asset base in the natural environment. The scheme also aims to benefit the local community economically and socially and enables interaction between tourists and local population for a mutually enriching experience. The promotion of village tourism is also aimed at generation of revenue for the rural communities through tourists’ visitations. A total of 203 rural tourism projects were sanctioned up to 31st December, 2013 in 29 States/Union Territories. India, being a signatory to the proclamation on full participation and equality of people with disabilities acknowledges its responsibility to ensure barrier free access at all public places including tourist destinations. People with disabilities are now acknowledged as a Consumer Group and efforts are being made to tap the potential of this group for promotion of tourist destinations in the country. Detailed instructions have been issued to all the State Governments/UTs for making all tourist-facilities which are being created with central financial assistance, barrier free. Software has been made ready to give all smartphone owners free audio guides to 20 destinations in India which include Golden Temple in Amritsar, Jewish Synagogue in Kochi, Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad; etc. Ultimately the service will be available in 9 international languages. 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.


undertaking under the charge of the Ministry of Tourism. ITDC came into existence in October 1966 and has been the prime mover in the progressive development, promotion and expansion of tourism in the country. Broadly, the main objectives of the Corporation are to construct, take over and manage existing hotels and market hotels, Beach Resorts, Travellers' Lodges/Restaurants to provide transport, entertainment, shopping and conventional services; to produce, distribute, tourist publicity material; to render consultancy-cum-managerial services in India and abroad; to carry on the business as Full-Fledged Money Changers (FFMC), restricted money changers etc, to provide innovating, dependable and value for money solutions to the needs of tourism development and engineering industry including providing consultancy and project implementation. The Corporation is running hotels, restaurants at various places for tourists, besides providing transport facilities. In addition, the Corporation is engaged in production, distribution and sale of tourist publicity literature and providing entertainment and duty free shopping facilities to the tourists. The Corporation has diversified into new avenues/innovative services like Full-Fledged Money Changer (FFMC) services, engineering related consultancy services etc. The Ashok Institute of Hospitality and Tourism Management of the Corporation imparts training and education in the field of tourism and hospitality. Presently, ITDC has a network of eight Ashok Group of Hotels, five Joint Venture Hotels, 1 Restaurant, 11 Transport Units, one Tourist Service Station, 9 Duty Free Shops at airports and seaports and two Sound & Light Shows. Besides, ITDC is also managing a hotel at Bharatpur and a restaurant at Kosi on behalf of the Department of Tourism. In addition, it is also managing catering services at Western Court, Vigyan Bhawan and Hyderabad House in New Delhi. autonomous organization of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, is one of the premier institutes in the country offering education, training, research and consultancy in sustainable management of tourism, travel and other allied sectors. IITTM is committed to developing quality human resources for tourism and allied services. The target groups of its educational and training programmes extend much beyond the organized sectors of the economy. The National Institute of Water sports (NIWS) has been setup by the Ministry of Tourism as an ‘apex’ body for training, education, consultancy and research to usher in an era of leisure-water sporting segment in the country. It is the first Institute India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) is the only public sector Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM), an of this nature in the South East Asia covering the entire range of water sport disciplines such as life saving, boat handling, sailing, windsurfing, water skiing, scuba diving, river rafting and kayaking. Since its inception, 20 courses have been developed for water sport professionals, managers and the tourists, particularly those who are visiting visiting Goa. The Government of India set up National Institute For Hotel Management And Catering Technology (NCHMCT) as an autonomous body for coordinated growth and development of hospitality education in the country. Initially, the Council was set up as the National Board of Studies in Food Management, Catering and Nutrition under the administrative control of Ministry of Agriculture (Department of Food) and subsequently transferred to the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India in the year 1984. It was rechristened as National Council for Hotel Management & Catering Technology. The Council regulates academics activities in the field of Hospitality Education and Training that is imparted through Twenty One Central Govt. sponsored Institutes of Hotel Management, Twenty One State Government sponsored institutes, fifteen Pvt. institutes and Seven Food Craft Institutes, that function in different parts of the country.


The Union Ministry of Tourism has identified certain functional domains of tourism and hospitality as part of the “capacity building for service providers” scheme (CBSP). This scheme is essentially meant to raise the standards of service delivery and the target group shall be those working as part of the unorganized sector.


tourists, the Ministry of Tourism classifies hotels under the star system in six categories, One Star, Two Star, Three Star, Four Star, Five Star Deluxe And Heritage Hotels (introduced in 1994) which is undertaken by the Hotel and Restaurant Approved and Classified Committee (HRACC) set up by Ministry of Tourism. The extending guidelines for Project Approval Classification/ Reclassification of Hotels were amended in June 2012. Heritage Hotels cover running hotels in palaces/castles/forts /hunting loges/ residence of any size built prior to 1950. The facade, architectural features and general construction should have the distinctive qualities and ambience in keeping with the traditional way of life of the area. The architecture of the property to be considered for this category should not normally be interfered with. Any extension, improvement, renovation, change in the existing structures should be in keeping with the traditional architectural styles and constructional techniques harmonising the new with the old. Such hotels are classified under three categories namely Heritage Basic, Heritage Classic and Heritage Grand. The Union Ministry of Tourism has launched a Scheme to classify fully operational rooms of Home Stay Facilities as “Incredible India Bed and Breakfast (B&B) Establishment”. The basic idea is to provide a clean and affordable place for foreigners and domestic tourists alike, including an opportunity for foreign tourists to stay with an Indian family to experience Indian customs and traditions and relish authentic Indian cuisine.


In order to conform to the expected standards and to sustain international The Ministry of Tourism extends Central Financial Assistance to the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations for tourism projects identified in consultation with them for the improvement of existing tourism products and also for developing new ones. Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Product and Infrastructure Development for Destinations and Circuits, 100% Central Assistance is given for development of destinations/ circuits including mega projects to world standard and also for rural tourism infrastructure development. The Ministry of Tourism provides financial assistance up to Rs. 5.00 crore for the development of Destinations and Rs. 8.00 crore for Circuits. The upper limit of financial assistance has been increased to Rs. 25 crore and Rs. 50 crore for development of identified mega destinations and circuits respectively. To promote rural tourism in the country, the thrust is for development of tourism infrastructure at the identified rural tourism sites so that socio-economic benefits percolate down to the rural community under the tourism schemes. A maximum of Rs. 50.00 lakh is sanctioned for each project under this scheme for development of tourism related infrastructure. The Ministry of Tourism has taken a policy initiative to develop the tourist destinations / circuits of national importance in a holistic and integrated manner. The objective is to ensure that the infrastructure of these mega destinations / circuits is developed to the extent that it can cater to the future tourist inflows so that visitors get a satisfying and memorable experience. The Ministry has identified 29 mega projects for development.


The Ministry of Tourism has a scheme of approving Travel Agents, Inbound Tour Operators, Adventure Tour Operators, Domestic Tour Operators. Tourist Police and Legislation in States/ Union Territory Administration and Raising of Tourist Facilitation and Security Organisation (TFSO) by States/UT. The Ministry of Tourism in consultation with State Government and Union Territory Administrations has proposed to set up Tourist Police at Prominent tourist spots. The State Government/ UT Administrations of Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha have deployed Tourist Police in one form or the other.


The Government of India has introduced Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVOA) scheme for the nationals of eleven countries, namely, Japan, Singapore, Philippines, Finland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia. At present, only aforementioned nationalities can avail TVOA facility and it is not applicable to nationals of any other country. The TVOA facility is provided only at designated international airports namely, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Trivandrum, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kochi. The TVOA is not allowed at any other immigration checkpoint or airport, apart from those which were identified. The TVOA is allowed for a maximum validity of 30 days with single entry facility at designated immigration checkpoints on payment of a fee of US $ 60/ or equivalent amount in Indian Rupees at specified official exchange rates, per passenger (including children). In January 2011, the TVOA Scheme was extended to citizens of six more countries, viz. Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Laos, Indonesia and Myanmar.


The Ministry of Tourism, through its 14 India Tourism Offices Overseas endeavours to position India in the tourism generating markets as a preferred tourism destination, to promote tourism products and to increase India’s global market. The promotional activities include participation in Travel Fairs and Exhibitions, organising Indian Food and Cultural Festivals etc.


The code of Conduct of Safe Tourism has been adopted by the Ministry and the stakeholders on 1st guidelines for approval of various categories of travel trade service providers and classification of various categories of accommodation and hotels. The objective of the code is to follow the internationally accepted best practices of safe tourism, applicable to both tourists and local residents with special emphasis on safety of women and children. Public Service Delivery System (PSDS) for Project Approval, Classification and related Services. In order to have more transparency and accountability, the Tourism Ministry has launched a web based Public Service Delivery system (PSDS) for granting approvals for hotel projects, hotel classification, re-classification and related services in 2013. July, 2010. The code of Conduct has been incorporated in the
Dr. P.J. Sudhakar IIS
Add. Director-General
Press Information Bureau

What ails Indian tourism?

Tourism along with railways has always been a key focus area of the new prime minister even before he became one and it is now time that these sectors are actually harnessed for the national good. Unfortunately tourism, an activity of the masses has always been looked upon with an elitist undertone and therefore the sector rarely got the attention and the priority it rightfully deserved despite its unmatched multiplier effect and capacity for generating employment.

There has always been an ongoing debate over whether tourism is a state or a federal subject and voices to bring it on the concurrent list were always getting raised. Yet the fact remains that merely being on a list is not a guarantor of growth or development and what really matters are intentions and also the efforts to convert them into reality. During my earlier roller coaster stint in the federal ministry of tourism I always wondered whether merely putting Agra, the home of the Tajmahal in order should not be the starting point for setting right the entire gamut of tourism in the nation. Yet it was never to be as we always aspired to do something big while failing in achieving the small.

Another issue that has always been on the top of my mind is whether the primary role of the tourism departments at the federal and state levels is tourism for the mandarins or tourism for the masses. For masses obviously it has to be, yet the tours beyond the confines of the shores have continued unabated, cutting across states and shades of governance. Our focus definitely needs to shift from beyond the shores to setting our own house in order and then zoom forward.

It is not merely about how many visitors we receive from beyond the shores. Tourism to my mind is more about enabling our countrymen to explore the richness of their own country, something that gets shrouded by the glimmer of what is regarded and worshipped as foreign stuff.

It is also of essence that the national perspective on tourism does not remain confined merely to figures both of foreign tourist arrivals and the home population moving within the country. Unfortunately the national mind-set is guided and also led by statistics, and therein lies the malaise. Even while remaining confined to statistics, the essential difference between the tourist, who is basically an explorer, and the traveller, who may be moving for many reasons needs to be appreciated, though both form part of the tourism statistics that are regularly being churned out and touted by those who matter in the matter of tourism in the country.

Another fallacy is related to international advertising. Our sheer inability to appreciate that the bottleneck in so far as foreign tourist arrivals is concerned is not the inability to showcase but the number of seats in the aircrafts plying between the homeland and the rest of the world. It is time to realize that advertising is not merely for increasing the numbers but also for improving the image perception and creating the desire to visit and it therefore has to be primarily driven by the Indian ethos, culture and achievements and not merely the numbers game.And it is also about infrastructure.

The much-needed basic tourist infrastructure is a dire necessity and merely releasing grants to the State Governments who permit only a trickle to reach the ground is not making the difference it actually should. The release of funds alone is an inadequate measure unless it results in an actual conversion and in its absence a pat on the back is not really in order. The emergence of a good monitoring and executing machinery is the desperate need of the hour.The India Tourism Development Corporation is indeed the sad story of Indian tourism. An inherently profitable commercial organization also entrusted with the national mandate of development of tourism has been brought to seed by inept leadership provided by high ranking bureaucrats. Is it not really unfortunate that along with Air India, ITDC is also now regarded as the national symbol of sloth, inefficiency and corruption? Both these commercial monoliths could have given a tremendous push to the cause of tourism as well as travel within the country, something they did till professionalism remained at the core of their operations. Yet both can turnaround provided………

It is beyond doubt that tourism as an activity almost always happens on its own, without prodding from the governments, and that it helps local economies to grow at a pace much higher than in other sectors. Its employment potential as well as impact on economy many times over the investment in the sector have already received adequate national hype and now it warrants real inputs not merely rhetoric from the governments.

It is now time that the handling of tourism moves beyond the established clichés and it actually starts driving local economies, besides giving a thrust to the re-emergence and positioning of ancient Indian heritage, art, culture and thought. It would indeed be futile to look at tourism without looking at all that the country stands for. The sectors encompassing tourism and culture are complimentary and a much higher natural synergy will now perhaps be achieved after the merger of the two ministries.The role of the Government of India Tourist Offices, popularly known as GOITO’s that earlier formed the backbone of the national effort to give a thrust to tourism need a much deeper understanding and appreciation.

Merely finding faults without suitably empowering them to function efficiently in a fast changing international scenario is causing more damage than good. Perhaps an injection of fundamentals of administration and management is the need of the hour. It is also necessary that the unfortunate state of affairs in which these offices and the men who man them stand castigated should cease once and for all. Lack of cleanliness and hygiene is also a bane of the tourism sector in the nation. Perhaps it is an issue related to the mind-set that is prevalent, yet there is no alternative to maintaining in a state of utmost cleanliness both our tourist destinations as well as places of human habitat in general. The recent clean india campaign marked a good beginning, yet the effort has lost steam midway or so it appears.
And make it easy for the private sector to invest. That the number of hotel rooms in the organized sector is far lower than that in the city state of Singapore indeed says it all. A multi-pronged strategy focussed on cleanliness, private sector participation, infrastructure development, promotional advertising and tourist facilitation would make all the difference in proper positioning of the country as a tourist friendly nation in its own national interest, is indeed the need of the hour
Ashwani Lohani

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