The Indian Ministry of Tourism has taken various initiatives to attract more foreign tourists in the country. The Ministry of Tourism (MOT), as part of its on-going promotional activities releases print, electronic, online and outdoor media campaigns in the international markets, under the ‘Incredible India’ brand-line, to showcase India’s tourism potential and to increase foreign tourist arrivals to the country.
In addition, a series of promotional activities are also undertaken through the India Tourism Offices overseas in important and potential source markets overseas, with the objective of attracting a larger number of foreign tourists to the country. These include participation in international 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 details are as under:
a) Launch of e-Tourist Visa for citizens of 77 countries.
b) Promotion of the destinations through the Incredible India Campaign across the globe.
c) Participation in major International Tourism Travel Fairs and Exhibitions.
d) Organising Road Shows to promote tourism destinations and products of country in major tourist source markets in collaboration with stakeholders.
e) Development and promotion of “Niche Tourism” products.
f) Creating an increased pool of trained manpower in Hospitality Tourism sectors for delivery of quality service to the tourist.
g) Release of regular domestic advertisement campaign in national print and electronic media.
h) ‘Welcome Booklet’ with information on Dos and Don’ts for tourists, contact details of India Tourism domestic offices and Tourist Helpline Number for distribution at immigration counters to tourists arriving at international airports.
i) 24x7 ‘Incredible India Help Line’ to provide the tourist valuable information and to guide them during emergencies.
The Ministry of Tourism also provides financial assistance to approved stakeholders and Tourism Departments of States/Union Territories for promotion of tourism in overseas markets, under the Marketing Development Assistance (MDA) Scheme.
The Ministry of Tourism has launched following two new schemes pursuant to the Budget 2014-15 announcements:
1) Swadesh Darshan for Integrated Development of Tourist Circuits around Specific Themes.
2) National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) to beautify and improve the amenities and infrastructure at pilgrimage centres of all faiths.
Twelve theme based circuits i.e. North East Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Desert Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit and Ramayana Circuit have been identified for development under “Swadesh Darshan”. The circuits can provide engaging and complete tourism experience to both domestic and foreign tourists.
Under PRASAD, initially twelve cities have been identified namely Ajmer, Amritsar, Amravati, Dwarka, Gaya, Kedarnath, Kamakhaya, Kanchipuram, Mathura, Puri, Varanasi and Velankanni.