India’s Share in Foreign Tourist Arrivals
Share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals in India in the International Tourist Arrivals around the world during 2015 were 0.68%.
Initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Tourism in the recent past for development and promotion of tourism and attract more tourists in the country are as below:
i) E – Tourist Visa (e-TV)
The Government of India has introduced the facility of e-TV for the citizens of 150 countries at 16 airports. Introduction of e-TV is a path breaking measure by the Government in easing entry formalities in the country.
Government of India has also revised the e-TV fee in four slabs of 0, US$25, US$48 and US$60 from November 3, 2015. Earlier e-TV application fee was US$60 and bank charge as US$2 which was uniform for all the countries. The revision of Visa fee has been done on the principle of reciprocity. Bank charges have also been reduced from US$2 to 2.5 % of the e-TV fee. During 2015, a total of 4,45,300 e-TV holders visited India indicating the success of the new online process. Besides the e-TV, the Government of India has also introduced Visa on Arrival scheme for Japanese nationals w.e.f. 1st March, 2016.
ii) Publicity and Promotion
The Ministry of Tourism promotes India as a holistic destination in the international markets. As part of its promotional activities, the Ministry releases campaigns in the international markets under the Incredible India brand-line to showcase various tourism destinations and products including its cultural heritage.
Moreover, a series of promotional activities are being undertaken in tourist generating markets overseas through the India Tourism Offices abroad with the objective of showcasing India’s tourism potential and promoting tourism 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 provides financial assistance to Stakeholders and Tourism Departments of States/Union Territories for undertaking promotional activities under the Marketing Development Assistance Scheme.
iii. Promotion of North East
Ministry of Tourism in association with the North Eastern States and West Bengal organized the 4th International Tourism Mart (ITM) in Gangtok, Sikkim during 14th – 16th October, 2015. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd ITM was organized in Guwahati, Tawang and Shillong, respectively.
Destination North East-2016: The Ministry of Tourism also played an active role in “Destination North East- 2016” organised by Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (M/o DONER) during 12th -14th February, 2016 at Pragati Maidan along with Tourism departments of North Eastern States by exhibiting stalls of various tourism products. One to one business meetings between tourism service providers from North Eastern regions and tour operators from other parts of India and ASEAN countries were also organised.
iv) National Medical and Wellness Tourism Promotion Board
In order to tap the potential and advantages that India has in the field of medical and wellness tourism, the Ministry has setup a National Medical and Wellness Tourism Promotion Board. The Board will provide leadership to the Government within a framework of prudent and effective measures, thereby enabling promotion and positioning of India as a competent and credible medical and wellness tourism destination. The Board will be chaired by the Union Tourism Minister and consists of members representing the related Government Departments, Tourism & Hospitality sector and experts in the Medical, Wellness and Yoga.
The Ministry of Tourism has launched the 24×7 Toll Free Multi-Lingual Tourist Info Line on 8.2.2016. Besides English and Hindi, the languages handled by the contact centers include ten International languages namely, Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. The multi-lingual helpdesk in the designated languages provides support service in terms of providing information relating to Travel & Tourism in India and assist the callers with advice on action to be taken during times of distress while travelling in India and if need be alert the concerned authorities. Since it’s launch, the tourist helpline has received 24523 calls as on 27.4.2016.
Ministry of Tourism is publicizing the Helpline number through advertisements, promotional website of the Ministry www.incredibleindia.org and through promotional material produced by it from time to time. In addition, India Tourism Offices, both Domestic and Overseas, have also been requested to include Helpline Number in the advertisements and promotional material released /produced by them.
Initiatives undertaken by the India Tourism Offices overseas to make the foreign tourists aware of the multilingual tourist helpline are as below:
i) Circulated the information through Press release
ii) Publicized the same during various tourism exhibitions/ seminars/ Road Shows and during other promotional activities
iii) Displayed in all promotional campaigns
iv) Included in all presentations of the office, online Media and Print Media
v) Highlighted in e-Newsletter and official facebook page of some of the offices
vi) Disseminated among the travel trade and to tourists visiting the India Tourism office or to those who make telephonic enquiries
vii) Included in the new brochures, newsletter, facebook page etc.
No such illegal promotional activities under the Incredible India brand line in the internationalmarket have been reported to the India Tourism offices overseas.
Further, as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Tourism, it is permissible for the Travel Agents and Tour Operators overseas to use the Incredible India logo only for events, brochures, publicity material and advertisements for promoting India, for which monetary support has been extended by the India tourism Offices Overseas.
This information was given by Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge) and Minister of State for Civil Aviation in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.