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The Ministry of Tourism is mandated to promote tourism in the country in a responsible and sustainable manner through inclusive growth and holistic approach for development and promotion of tourism.

The growth rate of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in June, July and August, 2014 has been 9 per cent, 12.9 per cent and 16.9 per cent respectively as compared to corresponding months of 2013.  Thus, Inbound Tourism has been showing remarkable improvement in recent months. This growth trend is visible in Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEE) also. The growth of FEE in June, July and August 2014 has been 17.4 per cent, 19.3 per cent and 26.8 per cent in US $ term as compared to corresponding months of 2013.

The key initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Tourism covered areas such as promotion of safe and honourable tourism, infrastructure development, publicity, promotion and marketing, skill development, simplification of procedures for the classification/reclassification of hotels and restaurants, development of niche tourism products, use of technology for service delivery and market research. The highlights of the initiatives taken in the various areas are as below:

Infrastructure Development:

* In the Budget for 2014-15 two new schemes have been proposed with the following allocation:

(a)     Rs. 500 crore for developing 5 tourist circuits around specific themes.

(b)   Rs. 100 crore for National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenations and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD).

Guidelines are being formulated to implement these schemes.

50 circuits have been identified for development in phases.
Special assistance of Rs.100 Cr for reconstruction of damaged tourism infrastructure in J&K announced
Strategies have been finalized for integrated development of core Buddhist circuits.
Ganga Rejuvenation - The Mega Project for development of Varanasi Ghats ready for launch.
The inspection for upgradation of Varanasi Railway Station has been completed
The project for construction of new Passenger Terminal at Marmugao, Goa Port Trust to promote Cruise Tourism has been launched on 27.8.2014.
Publicity Promotion and Marketing:

Second International Buddhist Conclave  in  collaboration  with  the  State  Govts.  of Bihar and UP in  Bodhgaya  and Sarnath scheduled to be held from 26-28th  September, 2014 has been announced.
Third International Tourism Mart for the North East Region scheduled to be held from13th to 15th October, 2014 at Shillong has been announced.
TV commercials (TVC) on north-eastern region and Jammu & Kashmir are being produced.
9 City Maps have been uploaded on the official website of Ministry of Tourism.
The road shows for promoting the tourism destinations and products of country have been organized in USA, Europe and China in collaboration with stake holders.
The markets for opening of India Tourism Marketing representatives (ITMR) have been finalized and RFP has been formulated.
The National Guidelines for safety and security of tourists has been formulated.
The creatives for thematic brochures have been finalized.
Relevant guidelines for holding spiritual festivals at Bodh Gaya through State Government of Bihar in collaboration with International Monasteries located there, in lean season are being firmed up in consultation with MEA and MHA.
Safe and Honourable tourism

The National Conference of State Tourism Ministers held on 21.8.2014 has discussed promotion of Safe and Honourable Tourism with special emphasis on Safe and Honourable tourism.
All the State Government/UT Administration resolved to continue to ensure the safety and security of all the tourists specially women tourists.
Skill Development

Ministry of Tourism has tied-up with Ecole Hotelier de Lausanne, Switzerland for improving quality of Hospitality Education. First phase has already started.
The foundation stone for setting up of Indian Culinary Institute has been laid on 02-09-2014.
A decision has been taken to set up Sector Skill Council (SSC) to regulate and promote hospitality and tourism related education and skill development in the country.
11367 persons trained under Hunar Se Rozgar Tak scheme from in this financial year upto August 2014.
Culinary Survey of India, for identification and documentation of recipes has been launched.
In order to overcome the bottleneck of shortage of Chinese speaking tourist guides in India, the Ministry has organized 3 month Tourist Facilitator Training Course at Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management at Noida for the Executives of tour operator members of the Indian Association of Tour Operators.
Six months certificate courses in 4 Hospitality Trades have been launched.
Capacity building programme for Tourist Transport Drivers has been conducted.
Hotel and Restaurants

Guidelines revised for classification / re- classification for the hotels under 5 Star, 4 Star, Heritage Classic - with alcohol service or without alcohol service.
Sensitization workshops on Bed & Breakfast / Home stay with all States /UTs and stake holders of tourism industry have been completed. This will add room capacity at tourist destination in the country.
List of Bed & Breakfast / Home stay establishment have been posted in the Ministry of Tourism website. 
Hotel Classification/re-classification/application system simplified.
Niche Tourism

Comprehensive Sustainable  Tourism Criteria  for  India  (STCI)  for three important Sectors of Tourism Industry- Accommodation, Tour Operators and  Beaches,  Backwaters, Lakes & Rivers have been launched on 26.8.2014
A workshop to sensitize all stakeholders on Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India (STCI) for Accommodation, Tour Operators and Beaches, Backwaters, Lakes and Rivers was held on 26.8.2014.
Action has been taken for inviting foreign adventure tour operators to familiarize them with the Incredible Indian Himalayas.
Guidelines for promotion of Golf Tourism revised
Guidelines for the Promotion of Wellness & Medical tourism revised
Scheme for use of Satellite Phones for Adventure Tour Operators drafted.
Revised Guidelines for the Promotion of Wellness & Medical Tourism has been formulated.
Use of Technology for service delivery

Electronic Visa on Arrival (ETA) has been announced.
Ministry of Tourism has upgraded its website www.incredibleindia.org. New features such as Walking Tours, Audio-Tours, Holiday Planner and 360 degree view of monuments have been added on the website.   In addition, selection of system integrator for developing new website of the Ministry has been initiated.
Online monitoring of time bound public grievances has been done.
An online Financial Accounting System (FAS) has been implemented by the Overseas offices.
Mobile application for listing of classified Hotels and recognized Tour Operator/Travel Agents developed.
The work for preparation of on-line computerized Institute Management System for IHMs/FCIs has been initiated.
Content of the promotional website of MOT www.incredibleindia.org is being translated in 8 International languages viz.  Arabic, Chinese (simplified) French, German, Japanese, Russian, Korean and Spanish.
In Ministry of Tourism website the feature of streaming videos is being added.
 Market Research

With a view to prepare third tourism satellite account for India for 2014-15, Ministry of Tourism has undertaken 2 baseline surveys on Domestic Tourism expenditure and International Passenger through NSSO and ISI Kolkata respectively.

The Estimates of the contribution of Tourism in GDP & Employment for the Financial Year 2012-13 have been done.  The contribution of Tourism in GDP & Employment for the Financial Year 2012-13 was 6.88% and 12.36%, respectively.

Methodology for Cleanliness Index drafted and Index calculated for six cities on pilot basis.

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