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Indiatourism Delhi office, in association with the Delhi Police, recently launched an initiative to curb cheating of foreign tourists by fake tour and travel agencies in New Delhi railway station area. The initiative was taken under the direction of Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma who assured travel fraternity initating an action at various platforms to curb this menace. The issue has been raised by industry associations since a long time. Indiatourism Delhi office took due cognizance of this issue and worked on the redressal.

Acting on the Minister’s promise to industry, Indiatourism Delhi office (North India Regional office of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India) has associated with Delhi Police, Indian Railways, Delhi Metro for curbing cheating of foreign tourists in Delhi.

Foreign Tourists have been facing menace of cheating, stalking, duping, bullying and over-charging in Delhi since decades. Touts and travel agencies have always claimed themselves as office of India Tourism Delhi office or its approved agency.  Most of these companies display misleading signage outside their office. Unsuspecting foreign tourists from airport, railway stations and bus depots are lead to such travel companies wherein they charged exorbitantly for tour packages and travel services.

Most of these unscrupulous companies are mostly located around New Delhi railway station, Paharganj area, Connaught Place, Panchkuian Road.  This practice has been constantly bringing disrepute and negative publicity to the country.  This has been one of the major hindrances for the growth of Indian tourism. Such incidents have also severely compromised safety of Foreign Tourists in India.

In a major breakthrough, Regional Director North succeeded in bringing this important issue to the notice of the Delhi Police and getting Commissioner of Police Delhi to nominate Joint Commissioner of Police New Delhi Range nominated as Nodal Officer for foreign tourist cheating cases.  All foreign tourists cheating complaints are now been systematically redressed. The travel industry has lauded this effort.

Conveying his happiness over the development, Subhash Goyal, President IATO said “On behalf of IATO, I would like to commend and appreciate the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism in the progress made on our long standing request for helping solve the problems of touts and illegal travel agents in Delhi. The successful efforts made by Arun Srivastava, Regional Director North in getting Delhi Police to designate a Nodal Officer for tourist complaints will go a long way in helping us collectively solve this problem. WE appreciate his honest work in this regard. “

Indiatourism Delhi identified the sensitive touch points where tourists are easily targeted. As most of the foreign tourists are cheated in and around Railway Station areas, Indiatourism Delhi also approached Indian Railways & Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to provide space for prominent places to put informative signages leading foreign tourists to the correct office of Ministry of Tourism in Delhi. Indian Railways & Delhi Metro agreed and tourism friendly signages have been put up by the office of the Regional Director Northern India, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India at various railway stations in Delhi visited by foreign tourists regularly i.e  New Delhi Railway Station, Hazrat Nizzamuddin, Old Delhi, Delhi Safdarjung, Sarai Rohilla, Rajiv Chow, Janpath, Mandi House, Barakhambda Road This has immensely helped foreign tourists in locating Indiatourism Delhi office and this getting proper facilitation and guidance and thus avoiding traps of touts of unscrupulous agents.

President of Indian Tourist Transporters Association, Krishna Dutt Yadav also expressed is happiness over the development and said “We are happy to note that Indiatourism Delhi is implementing several projects to ensure safety and security of the foreign tourists and save them from touts and unscrupulous elements, the latest of which is installation of signage prominently at important locations in New Delhi Railway Station premises”

Jyoti Kapur, President, Association of Domestic Tour Operators on India said “On behalf of the ADTOI, I would like to thank the Ministry of Tourism for taking action with the Police Headquarters to nominate the Joint Commissioner of Police New Delhi Range as the Nodal Officer for cases related to Foreign Tourists cheating in Delhi. This initiative of the Regional Director North is certainly laudable and shall definitely go a long way in reinforcing confidence among the tourists and Travel Tourism & Hospitality Industry, in particular boosting their morale to provide services professionally, satisfactorily with accountability to the tourists going places around the country.”  

While launching these initiatives, our effort was to facilitate and provide visiting foreign and domestic tourists with the correct information with the active support of stakeholders such as Railways, Metros etc.  Modalities have been worked with New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) to display prominent road sign boards around Indiatourism Delhi office to further facilitate tourists.   These efforts have resulted in positive feedback of the foreign tourists; many such tourists have been helped through this initiative.

On such tourist Helen Ruth Angelinetta wrote back “I would like to say that Indiatourism office dealt with complaint admirably. I was accompanied by a member of the tourists’ office to the Delhi Police Station where my complaint was taken seriously. The police took me back to the bogus tourist company and help me to retrieve all my money.”

Leading travel tourism trade bodies such as Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), Indian Tourist Transport Association (ITTA), Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI), Indian Golf Tour Operators Association have welcomed this effort and pledged their wholehearted support.

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