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December 14, 2011
National Tourism Advisory Council Meet Chalks Out Strategies For Tourism Development In India


14 December 2011

Mumbai: In order to develop tourism infrastructure in India, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has appointed a national level consultant, which is in the process of identification of the four tourist circuits/destinations and two rural clusters in each State/UTs. This information was provided by Subodh Kant Sahai, Union Minister for Tourism.

According to a PIB release, chairing the meeting of the National Tourism Advisory Council, which was recently held in New Delhi, Sahai said that 35 tourist circuits/destinations/cities are planned to be developed in Phase-I by 2016. He said the list of identified circuits/destinations of the first phase would be available very soon. The idea is to be develop identified circuits/destinations in Public Private Partnership mode.

Sahai said, “We must keep pace with changing trends and requirements of the overseas and domestic travellers, who are increasingly more demanding. For implementation of different strategies, MoT has asked Planning Commission for an allocation of about Rs 23,000 crore in the 12th Five Year Plan as against the allocation of Rs 5,156 crore during the 11th Plan. I am confident that if requisite funds are made available to us, we will be able to take tourism to new heights and tap its full potential for India’s development.”

Sahai briefly outlined the strategies for development of tourism in 12th Plan, which is given below:

Skill Development
Strategy I

Enhancing the Institutional Infrastructure of Hospitality Education by: Opening new Institutes of Hotel Management (IHM) and Food Crafts Institutes (FCI); Augmenting the capacity of existing IHMs/ FCIs by strengthening and upgrading infrastructure.

Strategy II
Hospitality Education to be broad based to cover: Universities / Colleges; Polytechnics: Industrial Training Institutes; Vocational education at +2 level through CBSE and other state level boards.

Strategy III
Skill development through 'Hunar Se Rozgar' programme through IHMs/ FCIs; Government/ Private educational/ training institutions recommended by state governments; classified hotels; Programmes proposed for following trades; Food Production, Food & Beverages Services, Housekeeping, Bakery, Travel & Tour Facilitators, Home Stay owners/ workers, Valet Parking Assistants, Spa Therapists, Bell Boys, Golf Caddies, Security Personnel for hotels.

Strategy IV
Skills of existing service providers to be certified through a stringent process to enhance their employability; New sectors to be identified e.g. restoration workers of heritage buildings (Neemrana)

Infrastructure Development
Strategy I

Identify 35 major Circuits/ Destinations (one in each State/ UT) - having potential to attract large number of visitors – for development in Mission Mode on pattern of JNNURM and Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor; To be identified by National Level Consultant engaged by Ministry of Tourism, in consultation with state governments. A State Level Project Monitoring Agency (SLPMA), funded by MoT, to be set up in each state for facilitating implementation of these projects.
Government of India to provide approximately Rs 270 crore for infrastructure development at each such circuit – Proposed outlay of Rs 9,450 crore for 35 circuits.

Strategy II
Develop 20 tourism parks to be located in developed / underdeveloped / unexplored area of tourist interest; Each tourism park to have at least 50 acres of land; Sufficient land earmarked for hotels, convention centres, theme parks, skill training centres; Facilities for craft centres / haats, entertainment and amusement, food street, sports and hosting of cultural events/ festivals; On pattern of Sentosa (Singapore), Cancun (Mexico); Development of tourism Parks through PPP / SPV of Central Government and state government; Land to be provided by the state government or private partner; Local community participation/ employment; Initially in Phase-I, 20 tourism parks to be developed in Mission Mode with an outlay of Rs 1,000 crore; State government to provide tax incentives, speedy clearances, higher Floor Area Ratio (FAR) and connectivity and  Central Government to provide core infrastructure and tax incentives.

Strategy III
Identify Rural Tourism Clusters of five to seven vilages having unique craft, ethnic art form for development as tourism products; Creation of tourism awareness in the host community; Facilitating marketing of local products through creation of Craft Bazaars/ Haats; Assist in developing basic local infrastructure and sanitation; Development of accommodation; Home Stay facilities for tourists within the cluster; 70 RTCs to be identified and developed in 12th Plan with an outlay of Rs 770 Crore.

Strategy IV
Existing scheme of development of tourism circuits / destinations to continue.
The financial limit of Rs five crore and Rs eight crore for destinations and circuits to be increased to Rs seven crore and Rs 10 crore respectively; Scope of the scheme to be enlarged by including ropeways, green buses, renewable energy, marine parks, infrastructure for film cities and film museums, etc.

Marketing, Branding and Promotion
To undertake widespread and aggressive promotional activities; Develop new markets; CIS, ASEAN, Middle East and African countries; Open new representative offices overseas for wider reach; Promoting new tourism products; Golf, Polo, Wellness, Medical, MICE, Caravan, Cruise, Adventure & Wildlife, Film.

Hygiene and Sanitation
Lack of hygiene and sanitation at tourist destinations major irritant for the tourists. To improve the situation; Ministry to undertake extensive Social Awareness Campaign under ‘Atithi Devo Bhav’ initiative; To involve NGOs, Schools, industry associations, etc. to carry out cleanliness drive at major tourist destinations; Workshop scheduled on December 20, 2011; Top priority by Ministry in sanctioning the setting up of wayside amenities, bio-degradable toilets and other cleanliness projects.

Sustainable Tourism
For enjoying the advantage of tourism for a long period, its growth has to be sustainable. For this purpose efforts will be to: Based on the finalised Sustainable Tourism Criteria and Indicators (STCI) of for tour operators and the accommodation sector, implementation of STCI certification to be done by the existing agencies already engaged in the process of certification, through innovative use of existing mechanisms. Financial assistance under the Ministry’s Market Development Assistance scheme to be provided for representatives of recognized national associations to participate in workshops/seminars on sustainable tourism organized by reputed organizations in India or overseas.

Safe and Honourable Tourism
Ministry alongwith stakeholders already adopted Code of Conduct for Safe and Honourable Tourism. Scheme of 'Tourist Facilitation and Security Organisation (TFSO) being implemented on Pilot Basis'

Following further steps would be taken: Wide-scale dissemination of tenets of Code of Conduct for safe and Honourable Tourism; Implementation of TFSO Scheme in all States/ UTs during 12th Plan.

Niche Tourism Products
To showcase India as round-the-year tourism destination, promotion of following niche products:
Adventure, Medical, Wellness, Golf, Polo, Cruise, MICE, Pilgirmage/ Spiritual travel, Film Tourism.

Taxation and Incentives
Following measures are proposed; Taxes levied on Tourism industry should be unified, rationalised and made globally competitive; GST for tourism should not be more than eight per cent; Incentives available to hotels need to be extended to all tourism service providers under Sec 35 AD of Income Tax Act, 1961; The foreign exchange earned by hotels and inbound tour operators may be considered as ‘deemed’ exports and full Service Tax exemption be provided to them at par with other exporters; Hotels may be considered to be included in the infrastructure lending list

Setting up of an Inter-Ministerial Coordination Committee under the Chairmanship of Principal Secretary to Prime Minister with members from concerned Ministries such as Civil Aviation, Road Transport & Highways, Urban Development, etc; In each State/UTs under the Chairmanship of Chief Ministers/Administrator with members from concerned Ministries of the State Governments/UT Administrations; Planning Commission should help MoT in sorting out inter-ministerial and state level issues; Planning Commission should increase the budget outlays of Tourism Department in the Annual Plan of State/ Uts.