India is a land of colourful and vibrant festivals that form a very important part in the lives of every Indian as they are celebrated by one and all. Festivals are not related to religion alone but also to seasons, harvest to name a few. These celebrations reflect India’s rich culture and tradition and what better occasion to showcase the vibrancy of the various festivals of the country and dance forms in the The EVisa facility, now available to the nationals of 166 countries and valid for entry through 25 designated airports and five designated seaports, has contributed to the increase in Foreign Tourist Arrivals to the country.
Dennis Taylor, former World Snooker Champion, was on hand to brief and share his experiences in India. Taylor won the 1985 World Snooker championship by defeating Steve Davis by sinking the final black in what was the most memorable final ever.
The Ministry of Tourism has formulated an Integrated Marketing Plan that includes the Global Media Campaigns being launched by the Ministry as well as the promotional activities being undertaken by the overseas offices of the Ministry. The Incredible India 2.0 Campaign launched by the Ministry in September 2017 lays more focus on social and digital media.
India’s rich and diverse natural, cultural, and religious heritage provides a unique opportunity for tourism, ranging from the architecture of India’s temples, palaces, forts, to the grandeur of its sculptures, and the beauty of its paintings, the scenic landscapes all offering an unparalleled experience. Theme-based schemes for the integrated development of circuits for improvement of infrastructure in the country have been launched by the Ministry of Tourism to enable tourists experience the destination fully.
The Ministry of Tourism has also taken the initiative of identifying, diversifying, developing and promoting nascent/upcoming niche tourism products. MOT aims to promote India as a year-round destination, to attract tourists with specific interests and to ensure repeat visits. India is already a sought-after destination for healthcare travellers, but the MOT is now consolidating the efforts and generate strategies on how to leverage the available opportunities. To promote adventure tourism to India and to create awareness about the varied adventure options available in India the Ministry has decided to celebrate the year ‘2018 as the Year of Adventure’.
One of the priorities of the Government of India is to ensure the safety and security of tourists travelling in India, domestic and international. Several measures have been taken in this regard and the 24×7 Toll Free Tourist Helpline in 12 international languages, including major European languages, offers assistance to callers during times of distress while travelling in India and, if need be, alert the concerned authorities. This Help line is available on the existing Toll Free Number 1800111363 or on a short code 1363 for dialling in India.
The Ministry of Tourism has launched a new Incredible India website that showcases India as a holistic destination, revolving around major experiences, such as spirituality, heritage, adventure, culture, yoga, wellness and more. This website will be available in Hindi and leading international languages subsequently.
The Ministry has also launched a Certification Course on tourism facilitation. This will be an online learning management system on a pan-India basis to enable the youth living in remotest part of the country to skill themselves and facilitate tourists visiting their places. The Online Learning Programme will lead to creation of jobs and provide tourists with facilitators at reasonable cost.
An Incredible India mobile app has also been launched that showcases India as a holistic destination, revolving around major experiences, such as spirituality, heritage, adventure, culture, yoga, wellness and more. The mobile app has been designed keeping in mind the preferences of the modern traveller and follows the trends and technologies of international standards. The app has been equipped with features to assist the traveller in each phase of their journey to India.
India and ASEAN countries have a history of shared heritage and culture especially from the Buddhism side. The Government of India has announced the year 2019 as ASEAN-India Year of Tourism and the Ministry of Tourism has been designated as a nodal Ministry for the celebration of the ASEAN-India Year of Tourism. As part of this initiative, a series of promotional and cultural activities, including a food festival, quiz competitions, etc. will be organised, for which a year-long calendar of activities for the ASEAN-India Year of Tourism has been drawn up.