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Tuesday, September 29th, 2020

Visit India Year 2009 scheme for incentivising travel to India extended till March 2010: Sultan Ahmed

INVC,, The Union Tourism Minister of State Shri Sultan Ahmed has said that while the Foreign Tourist arrivals are subject to various external factors that are beyond our control, the domestic travellers continue to be the mainstay of national tourism Industry. He was speaking after inaugurating the Road Show for Domestic Tourism in Bengaluru . The show was organized to focus the tourism attractions of Southern Indian States including Union Territories. He said, Domestic Tourism is an important engine for promoting National Integration and taking this cue the Union Ministry of Tourism has been attaching great importance to the development of Domestic Tourism in the country. He said, domestic tourism also continues to show encouraging trends, with the availability of greater disposable income and affordable holiday packages, tourism in India is increasing steadily. Wide publicity and tremendous awareness about the diverse products have inspired people to travel to different regions. He urged upon the Sates to capitalize on the trend to maximize arrivals to their destinations. The Minister said, this segment can certainly counter the negative impact of the global meltdown and give the required fillip to the economy. The Minister said, his ministry is organizing domestic Road Shows in collaboration with private sector participation in North, South, West, Central, East and Northeast Regions of the country. The first Road Show on the Eastern & North Eastern Region was successfully organized in Kolkata on the 11th and 12th August 2009 and this is the second such event. Referring to the different initiatives taken by his Ministry, he said, Market Development Assistance (MDA) Scheme has been extended to provide financial incentive to Approved Domestic Tour Operators who participate in such events. MDA scheme has also been extended to Medical Tourism service providers as well as Wellness Tourism service providers for participation in overseas events. He said, the Ministry of Tourism has highlighted wellness in a big way through publicity and promotional activities. Considering the importance of this segment the Ministry of Tourism has instituted a new category of award for Wellness Centers in the National Tourism awards Namely “Best Wellness Center” Shri Sultan Ahmed said, Adventure Tourism has immense potential for growth. For experiencing the different types of adventure tourism right from rock climbing, river rafting, para gliding, mountaineering and under water diving, the Ministry has sanctioned several projects to different States during last four years. He urged upon the Industry in Southern India to promote the adventure tourism in their region and constantly strive to diversify the tourism products. The Minister said, in a major move to encourage more and more Travel Industry Service providers to seek recognition from Ministry of Tourism, the guidelines for approval of Inbound Tour Operators has been relaxed in terms of Space requirement and also manpower employed. He expressed the hope that the Tour operators will make use of this relaxation. The Minister said, The Visit India Year 2009 in collaboration with all stakeholders including State Governments, airlines, hotels, and tour operators was launched for incentivising travel to India in January 2009. He said, it has now been extended till March 2010. He requested the travel trade to make use of this extension and support by adding new programs to attract more visitors. The State Tourism departments made presentations to the travel trade invited from other regions of the country who are promoting domestic tours so that they can familiarize with the southern tourism products and the new initiatives taken by the State Governments. There was also an interaction as Buyer – Seller Meet where the Tour Operators of the other regions interacted with the package providers of Southern Region as well individuals, Hotels, Transporters etc.

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