Cabinet approves MoU on aviation with BRICS

Cabinet approves MoU on aviation with BRICS
The Union Cabinet approved the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) amongst BRICS nations on Regional Aviation Partnership. The government aims for the BRICS nations to benefit from the establishment of an institutional framework to corporate in the field of civil aviation. The MoU has the potential to spur greater trade, investment, tourism amongst the BRICS Nations.

First Pondicherry International Film Festival

The festival organized by Pickurflick and Puducherry Tourism Department, which will begin on September 26, will be hosted at Puducherry. The inaugural edition of the festival will focus on the cinema, art, and culture of France, which is the partner country for the five-day long event. The mega festival will also promote Puducherry as a tourist destination.

2nd National Tourism Conclave in Rajasthan

The 2nd National Tourism Conclave was organised in Jaipur on 13th July 2018. The conclave was headed by Managing Director of Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation Haulianlal Guite. Steps such as improving intra-air connectivity to increase domestic and international tourist footfall in the state were discussed. Also, more projects such as “Night Tourism” were also encouraged.

India to hold first ever India Tourism Mart

To increase tourist footfalls, India will organise its first-ever India Tourism Mart for 3 days from September 16 in New Delhi. It is expected to provide a platform for all stakeholders in the tourism & hospitality industry to interact & create business opportunities. It will be organised by the Tourism Ministry, in partnership with Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality.

Nepal, India to jointly promote tourism

The 2nd meeting of the joint working group on tourism cooperation between India and Nepal concluded in Kathmandu, Nepal. Both sides agreed to jointly promote Buddhist and Ramayana circuits and Adventure tourism. The meeting also decided to set up an industry-led India Nepal Tourism Forum. The Indian delegation was led by the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism Suman Billa.

India’s first ‘Tribal Queen’ : Pallavi Darua

Pallavi Durua, who belongs to Odisha’s Koraput district, was crowned as the first Tribal Queen at the Adi Rani Kalinga Tribal Queen competition held at Utkal Mandap. The contest was organised by SC & ST department, Govt of Odisha and the State Tourism Department. Tribal population constitutes nearly 22.5% of the Odisha’s population.

Sikkim appoints AR Rahman as Brand Ambassador

Music composer AR Rahman has been appointed as the Brand Ambassador of the Sikkim government, an official notification issued by Chief Secretary AK Srivastava stated. Rahman will promote and project Sikkim’s achievements nationally and globally. Earlier this year, he was made the state’s Brand Ambassador of tourism and business.

Goa and Hawaii to sign sister agreement

The government of Goa and US state of Hawaii will sign a sister agreement as the draft was cleared by State Cabinet. This would enhance the cooperation between Goa and Hawaii and would include areas such as trade, tourism, sports, technology, yoga, skill development, agriculture and Ayurveda. This would also boost the infrastructure project such as Mandovi river project & Zuari river bridge

New Incredible India website launched

Minister of State for Tourism Shri K.J. Alphons launched the new Incredible India website. The website showcases India as a holistic destination, revolving around major experiences, such as, spirituality, heritage, adventure, culture, yoga, wellness and more. The website follows the trends and technologies of international standards with an aim to project India as a “must-visit” destination.

Sikkim got its longest tunnel

Minister of State for Defence, Dr, Subhash Bhamre has dedicated a highway tunnel at Theng near Chungthang in north Sikkim to the nation. The tunnel will benefit the tourism and rapidly propel the growth of the state. The double-lane tunnel stretching about 600 meters has been constructed by the Border Roads Organisation at cost of over 42 crore rupees.

India, Indonesia to set up task force

India and Indonesia have agreed to set up a special task force to enhance connectivity between the strategic Andaman and Nicobar Islands and provinces in Sumatra Island. This will promote trade, tourism and people-to-people contacts. The Joint Task Force will undertake projects for port related infrastructure in and around Sabang which is an Indonesian island.

Guidelines for Adventure Tourism launched

The Government is for the first time issuing guidelines for Adventure Tourism in India. The guidelines on Safety and Quality Norms for Adventure Tourism in India have been formulated along with the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India. The aim of this initiative is to help adventure tour operators understand and execute safety guidelines in a better manner.

Manipur gets first solar toilet

Manipur has become the 1st state in Northeast & the 3rd state in India to have solar toilets. It was inaugurated at Ibudhou Marjing hill Heingang by Tourism Director, Waikhom Ibohal. The solar panel, connected to the toilets, absorb heat to generate power & are efficient to transform waste material. Besides Manipur, these toilets have been installed in Tamil Nadu & Andhra-Pradesh.

World’s Largest Bird Sculpture ‘Jatayu’

Kerala tourism will soon inaugurate the world’s largest bird sculpture, Jatayu Earth’s Centre, in Thiruvananthapuram. The replica of bird ‘Jatayu’, a character in the Ramayana is 65 feet tall & is positioned right at the top of a rock situated 1,000 feet above sea level. The rock, ‘Jatayupara’, where the structure is based, is the place where Jatayu fell after its wings were slain by Ravana.

New scheme introduced by IRCTC

Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation has introduced VIKALP scheme for passengers in wait-listing to provide berth in another train. Under the scheme, passengers from all classes & trains can select 5 trains, however, the scheme does not guarantee a confirmed berth. Passengers should be prepared as they can be shifted to another train leaving even 12 hours prior to the booked one.

Modi, Oli launch Janakpur-Ayodhya bus service

PM Modi & his Nepalese counterpart K P Sharma Oli has jointly inaugurated a direct bus service b/w Janakpur & Ayodhya – the two sacred cities for Hindus. Janakpur the birthplace of Sita will now be connected with Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Ram through the bus service. The places are significant in the Ramayana tourism circuit that falls under the Indian Govt’s Swadesh Darshan Scheme.

Govt set to expand Buddhist tourism circuit

The government will expand the ‘Buddhist Circuit’ will now be expanded to 21 other states. The Ministry of Tourism has identified stupas and viharas in these states, around which small intra-state Buddhist zones will be developed.Earlier envisaged by the government as mainly comprising seven major Buddhist pilgrimage sites, in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar only.

First SCO tourism ministerial meeting

1st tourism ministerial meeting between the members of Shanghai Cooperation Organization was held in Wuhan, China. The meeting approved an action plan that will serve as a guideline for tourism cooperation between SCO member states from 2019 to 2020. The plan specifies measures taken to improve tourist experience &safety, develop tourist products & promote smart tourism.

Dalmia group adopts Gandikota fort in Andhra

Dalmia Bharat Limited has also ‘adopted’ Gandikota Fort in Andhra Pradesh under “Adopt a Heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan”. “Adopt a Heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan” is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Tourism, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), states and union territories. Under the contract, the company will focus on providing basic amenities at the fort.

Indian Culinary Institute inaugurated

The Indian Culinary Institute (ICI) was inaugurated by Union Tourism Minister KJ Alphons in Noida on April 27, 2018.The institute will further government’s commitment to creating skilled manpower in the field of hospitality.It will also help in promoting the research and development in Culinary Arts. Another ICI campus is being set up in Andhra Pradesh’s Tirupati.

Manipur’s Shirui Lily festival began

Manipur’s five-day Shirui Lily State Festival commenced on 24th April in the Ukhrul district headquarters.The festival, organized by the State Tourism Department, aimed to spread awareness and conserve the endangered state flower ‘Shirui Lily’, while also promote the hill district as a potential tourist destination.The campaign is organized by The Giving Tree and Hill Wild.

Govt to relax Restricted Area Permit regime

The Restricted Area Permit regime in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep will be relaxed for tourism promotion.This was decided during the third meeting of Island Development Agency chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi. The Island Development Agency reviewed the progress made towards preparation of Development Plans for identified Islands.

Dalmia Bharat Adopts Red Fort, Delhi

Dalmia Bharat Limited has signed a MoU with Ministry of Tourism for adoption of Red Fort monument under the “Adopt a Heritage” project.The adoption will enable to construct, landscape, illuminate and maintain activities related to provision and development of tourist amenities. The Adopt a Heritage Scheme was launched by President Ram Nath Kovind on World Tourism Day on 27th September 2017

New draft coast regulation rules

Environment Ministry has framed new rules governing country’s coastline in which it has proposed expanding land area for development activities & tourism infrastructure.Draft proposes a No Development Zone of 20m to be stipulated for all islands close to main land coast. It also proposes temporary tourism facilities such as shacks, toilet blocks, change rooms, and others at beaches.

Lionel Messi named UN ambassador

The UN World Tourism Organization has appointed FC Barcelona’s Argentine star Lionel Messi as an ambassador to promote responsible tourism.The UN body defines “responsible tourism” as tourism that “helps maximise the sector’s benefits”. Responsible tourism minimises the negative impact of tourism on the environment, cultural heritage and societies across the globe.

Trekking trail for differently-abled, elderly

Nepal has launched its first “accessible” trekking trail in Pokhara city for the differently-abled and the elderly.The trail was inaugurated as a part of 3 day international conference on Accessible Tourism’ held for the first time in the Himalayan nation. ’Accessible tourism’ is an emerging concept to ensure that tourist destinations, products and services are accessible to all people.

International Yachting Festival begins in AP

International Yachting Festival was inaugurated in Andhra Pradesh on 29th March. The festival is being conducted by Andhra Pradesh Government and is being held from March 29 to April 1. The Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) is facilitating necessary support for conducting the festival. International Yachting Festival is the first step in developing sea tourism in Visakhapatnam.

India to be 3rd largest tourism economy

India is expected to establish itself as the third largest travel and tourism economy by 2028, a 2018 economic impact report by World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). WTTC also called India the seventh largest travel and tourism economy in the world. The WTTC report, released globally also said India will add nearly 10 million jobs in the tourism sector by 2028.

IRCTC introduces billing through PoS in train

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has introduced billing through Point of Sale (POS) hand-held machines in trains to check overcharging by vendors. IRCTC has already introduced POS machines in New Delhi-Karnataka Express on a pilot basis. The POS billing machines will be introduced in trains in a phased manner.

Airbnb inks MoUs with North Eastern Council

Airbnb has inked MoUs with the North Eastern Council, the North East Tourism Development Council, North East Rural Livelihood Project and North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Society. The aim is to create micro-entrepreneurs across key destinations in the North East of India. The partnership will boost tourism in Northeast India.

Palace on Wheels got tourist train award

The luxury train ‘Palace on Wheels’ of Rajasthan, popular among foreign tourists, has bagged the ‘Tourist Train of the Year’ award of the Pacific Area Travel Writers‘ Association. It was launched by the Indian Railways in association with Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation to promote tourism in Rajasthan. The Palace on Wheels was started on 26 January 1982.

India Won “Best Exhibitor Award”

India has won the ‘Best Exhibitor Award‘ at ITB – Berlin. ‘ITB-Berlin World Tourist Meet’ was convened at Berlin, Germany from 7th March to 10th March 2018. More than 100 countries participated in the ITB- Berlin meet with their respective Tourism Ministers. India‘s Incredible India (Ministry of Tourism) presented a short film named ‘Yogi of the Racetrack’ in the meet.

` 5600 Cr sanctioned Under Darshan Scheme

` 5638.87 cr was sanctioned since 2014-15 till date under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Min of Tourism. Under the scheme, 13 thematic circuits have been identified for development. Under PRASHAD scheme, 23 projects have been sanctioned to 15 States for a total amount of ` 687.92 cr. The objective of the PRASHAD is of holistic development of identified pilgrimage and heritage destination.

Academy of Adventure Sports at Gandikota soon

Andhra Pradesh government is establishing an Academy of Adventure Sports at Gandikota village on the banks of river Pennar in Kadapa district. The Academy is being established to empower unemployed youth in taking up adventure sports /adventure tourism centres as career building. The government also aims attracting tourists apart from employment generation and promoting adventure sports.

PM Flags Off Palace Queen Hamsafar Express

PM Modi flagged off the Palace Queen Humsafar Express between Mysuru and Udaipur in the Mysuru Railway Station.The train between Mysuru and Udaipur will act as a backbone of tourism, an employment generating industry. Both the Mysuru Palace and Udaipur palace are iconic tourist attractions and this special train will create a new tourist circuit connecting North India and the South.

Goa to launch bike ambulances in the state

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is planning to launch 20 bike ambulances to deal with casualties in the state’s tourism belt.The ambulances will be equipped with basic life-saving equipment and two oxygen cylinders to serve as rapid service at places where four-wheeler ambulances cannot reach.A total of 100 bike ambulances will be introduced in the next six months.

Israel to give Air India ` 6 crore

Air India will get a one-time grant of approximately ` 6 cr from Israel for launching direct flights between New Delhi and Tel Aviv.The flight is expected to operate on the shortest route and significantly reduce the cost of travel between the two countries.In its efforts to attract Indian tourists, Israel has increased its promotional budgetary allocation to USD 2.5 m in the last 2 years.

Kovind Inaugurates Mahamasta-kabhisheka Utsav

President Ram Nath Kovind will inaugurate the 88th Mahamastakabhisheka Utsav of Lord Gommateshwara in Sharavanabela-gola in Hassan district of Karnataka. Mahamastakabhiseka of Gommateshwara, who is also known as Bahubali takes place once in 12 years.It is an important Jain piligramage centre and lakhs of tourists visit Shravanbelagola to see 57 feet tall monolithic stone statue.

Modi’s birth place to be a major tourist hub

With a ?100 crore budget, Gujarat and the Centre are jointly developing the historical and ancient town of Vadnagar, PM Narendra Modi’s birth place, as a major tourist hub.The town full of sites related to Hinduism and Buddhism is being showcased as a heritage destination.The projects cover Vadnagar’s famous Kirti Toran, Sharmishtha lake, Hatkeshwar Temple and archaeological sites.

Buddhist Fest ‘Global Shanti’ kicks off

The ‘Global Shanti: Amaravati Buddhist Heritage Festival’ has kicked off in Andhra Pradesh.The three-day festival, organised by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Authority, aims to set a world record for ‘largest online chanting session’.More than 1000 monks from various countries including like China, Myanmar, Japan, Thailand will participate in the festival.

Paleontologists discovered ancient fish

Palaeontologists have discovered a new species of fish after a 10-year-old tourist noticed the shape of a fish in flagstones during a monastery tour in Colombia.The fossil, about 90 million years old, has no modern relatives and is the first “fish lizard” from the Cretaceous period.Canada-based researcher Oksana Vernygora told the details about the fish.

4 Rivers in J&K declared ‘Nat Waterways’

Four major rivers, including Jhelum and Chenab, in Jammu and Kashmir have been declared “national waterways”.It paved the way for inland navigation on them to boost water transport and tourism.The Union government has declared four rivers namely Chenab, Indus, Jhelum and Ravi as national waterways, which would be developed in a phased manner.

WW II Memorial Museum in Changlang

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu inaugurated the World War II Memorial Museum here in the state’s Changlang district bordering Myanmar.It is expected to boost international and domestic tourist inflow especially from Southeast Asian countries. It also showcases traditional items from indigenous Tangsa community.

India and Israel signed the following MoUs.

Israel will invest $68.6m to boost cooperation with India in areas like technology, tourism, agriculture and innovation in 4 years.India and Israel inked 9 pacts in cyber security medicine and oil & gas sectors. Both announced joint research and development projects under the India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F).

Mangalajodi Eco Trust won UNWTO Award

Mangalajodi Ecotourism Trust of Odisha was awarded the “Innovation in Tourism Enterprise” award, at the 14th UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organisation) Awards ceremony in Madrid, Spain.Mangalajodi Ecotourism Trust is promoted by RBS Foundation India and Indian Grameen Services. It is a community owned and run entity. It is located on the banks of Chilika Lake in Odisha.

Lifeline for Jewish cemetery likely

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to promise help to develop a 143-year-old Jewish cemetery in Vadodara into a memorial and tourist attraction.They will also be visiting the Centre of Excellence for Vegetables in Vadrad in Sabarkantha district in the State since Israel specialises in farming in dry areas. In 1875, the 50,000-sq.ft plot was given by Maharaja Sayaji Rao Gaekwad to Jews.

International Camel festival

The two-day long, 25th International Camel festival has kick-started in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district.Organised by Department of Tourism, Art & Culture, Bikaner Camel Festival is a yearly event in Jan that the city celebrates in honour of ship of the desert, Camel. Scores of beautifully decorated camels from various regions were witnessed on the first day of the festival.

Cruise tourists exempted from biometric

Government has announced that cruise tourists with e-visas will be exempted from the biometric enrolment till Dec 31, 2020.This is one of the key factors which cruise lines evaluate before deciding whether or not to include a destination in their itinerary. This move holds significance, as during 2017-18 and 2019-20, many mega cruise ships with 2000-4000 passengers are expected to arrive.

UP theme state for Surajkund crafts mela

The Haryana tourism department disclosed that Uttar Pradesh would be the theme state for the 32nd Surajkund International Crafts Mela.It would be organized at Surajkund, Faridabad from February 2 to 15.Apart from all other states, about 24 countries would also participate in it.The fair provides a world-class platform for handicrafts from around the world to showcase their skills.

Ban on entry in Bhitarkanika NP

The Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha’s Kendrapara district will be closed for tourists for a week so that the annual census of estuarine crocodiles can be done.The forest department has imposed a seven-day ban, starting January 3, to prevent noise pollution during the headcount operation of the reptiles.It was designated as national park in 1998 and as a Ramsar site on 19 August 2002.

New Chief Secretary of Rajasthan

IAS officer N C Goel has been appointed as the new Chief Secretary of Rajasthan. Goel, a 1982-batch IAS officer, earlier held the charge of Additional Chief Secretary of Forest & Environment, Tourism, Art & Culture Department, Mines & Petroleum departments. Goel has held top posts, including the CMD of Jaipur Metro Rail Corporation. He replaced Ashok Jain who completed 6 months on the post.

Loan with WB for UP Tourism Project

An agreement for IBRD Credit of USD 40 Million from World Bank for “U.P. Pro-Poor Tourism Development Project” was signed between India and WB. The programme size is approx. USD 57.14 million, of which 40 million will be financed by the Bank & remaining by State.The Objective of the project is to increase tourism-related benefits for local communities in targeted destinations.

Odisha splits tourism & culture department

The Odisha government decided to split the tourism and culture department and initiated setting up of Odia Language Commission.The cultural wing was also renamed as Odia Language, Literature and Culture Department.It was also decided to set up a ‘Heritage Cabinet’ to protect the monuments and ancient temples.

Festival to revive tourism in the hills

Darjeeling will host the 5-day Teesta Rangit Tourism Festival 2017.The 4-month strike has severely affected tourism, one of the biggest sources of income in the Darjeeling hills.The festival will be held in phases in different hill towns. It will be held from Dec 27 to 29 in Darjeeling; Dec 28 and 29 in Kurseong; Dec 29 and 30 in Kalimpong; and Dec 30 and 31 in Mirik.

UP government signs MoU with South Korea

Uttar Pradesh govt has signed a MoU with South Korea to enhance cooperation in the field of tourism, skill development, culture and farming.The move is aimed at boosting job opportunities besides helping in development in tourism, agriculture and culture sectors.A delegation from Gimhae city of South Korea met Yogi Adityanath & discussed ways to improve cooperation b/w the 2 countries.

Bengaluru to get its own logo

The Karnataka government has launched the Bengaluru city logo, the first Indian city to do so, in a bid to resurrect its image as a tourism destination.With this, it joins cities like Amsterdam in The Netherlands and New York in the US to have its own logo.The logo was designed by Nammur, a design start-up.

WB approves loan for UP tourism project

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has granted a loan of worth $ 40 million for UP Tourism.It will have a 5-year grace period and maturity term of 19 years.The Uttar Pradesh Tourism Development Project will support the state government’s priority of re-structuring tourism.The project will help enhance their linkages with the tourism value chain.

Introduction of NESIDS till March 2020

Cabinet has approved the introduction of new Central Sector Scheme of “North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme” (NESIDS) from 2017-18.It will fill up the gaps in creation of infrastructure in specified sectors till March, 2020.NESIDS will broadly cover Physical infrastructure relating to water supply, power, connectivity and specially the projects promoting tourism.

World Conference on Tourism and Culture

The Second UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism & Culture: Fostering Sustainable Development was held in Muscat.The Conference explored ways to build & strengthen partnerships between the Tourism & Culture sectors & enhancing their role in the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable DevelopmentUN has declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

Festival of Bharat

Festival of Bharat, a 4 day festival to be held in Rajasthan from March 1-4 next year will celebrate essence of the country. Backed by Ministry of Tourism’s Incredible India campaign & supported by Art of Living, the 1st edition of the gala will take place at Tijara Fort-Palace. It will consist of a live music festival, literary fest talks, yoga retreat, organic Holi party & organic food fest.

International Tourism Mart 2017 begins

The 6th International Tourism Mart has begun in Guwahati, Assam.The 3 day program has been organized by Ministry of Tourism in association with all North Eastern states. It is being organised with an objective of highlighting the tourism potential of the region in the domestic & International marketsIt will bring together the tourism business fraternity & entrepreneurs from the 8 NE States

Media interaction programme in Manipur

Manipur Chief Minister, N. Biren Singh inaugurated a two-day India-Myanmar media interaction programme in Imphal. Eleven journalists from Myanmar are taking part in this interaction programme. This event was sponsored by the Manipur tourism department in collaboration with Information and Public Relations department and the state level committee of the Act East Policy.

2 day Korea Tourism Festival in Haryana

A two-day ‘Korea Culture and Tourism Festival’ showcasing Korea’s rich art, culture and heritage were inaugurated in Gurugram, Haryana. Representatives from the regional tourism boards and tourism-related organisations of South Korea were present at the inauguration event. The festival showcased famous tourist destinations, delicacies, art, culture, and heritage of South Korea.

Volcano erupts in Bali

Mount Agung is erupting for the second time in less than a week in Bali. Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency said 40,000 people had been evacuated from near Bali’s erupting Mount Agung volcano. The volcano alert for Bali’s Mount Agung has been raised to its the highest level, prompting the closure of the tourist island’s main airport amid fears of an imminent major eruption.

Beyonce: Highest-Paid Woman in Music

American singer Beyonce has been named the highest-paid woman in music in 2017 by the Forbes. Her earnings, mainly from album ‘Lemonade’ and Formation World Tour, have been estimated to be $105 million (Rs682 crore). Adele, with earnings of $69 million came second while Taylor Swift, with earnings of $44 million, was ranked third on the list.

First ever hot-air balloon festival

Araku Valley of Andhra Pradesh is hosting the first edition of its Hot Air Balloon Festival from 14-16 November 2017. Organised by SkyWaltz the festival will feature unique balloons from 13 countries. This festival is being organised to promote tourism. Araku is known for its coffee plantations, rich cultural heritage, and stunning waterfalls.

International Lavi Fair begins

Traditional International ‘Lavi fair’ was held from 11th -14th November 2017 in Rampur, Himachal Pradesh. Lavi Fair has been an important point of trade between India and Tibet for centuries. The fair is visited by tourist and traders from distant places. It provides a good opportunity for promotion and sale of woollens, dry fruits and other traditional crafts and products.

ATP World Tour Awards 2017

Roger Federer’s 2017 season has been recognized with three ATP World Tour Awards. Federer has been selected by fans as Fans’ Favourite for a 15th straight year, and voted by fellow players as the winner of the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award and Comeback Player of the Year. Neville Godwin has been chosen as the winner of Coach of the Year in the 2017 ATP World Tour Awards.

The top tourist destinations in 2017

Hong Kong remains the world’s most visited city by international travellers in spite of strained relations with neighbouring China. In a report on the top 100 city destinations that highlights the growth in Asian tourism, market research firm Euromonitor International said 25.7 million arrivals are expected in Hong Kong in 2017. Other countries followed by Hong Kong are Bangkok and London.

Charles arrives in India

Prince of Wales, Charles Philip Arthur George arrived in New Delhi on a 2-day visit to India. This visit is a part of their 10 day tour to Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and India. This visit will be the 9th visit of the Prince of Wales to India. The visit is aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between the two nations.

International Civil Helicopter Conclave

The 1st Heli Expo India and International Civil Helicopter Conclave-2017 was inaugurated in New Delhi by the Uttrakhand Tourism Minister Mr. Satpal Maharaja. The Conclave was organised by Pawan Hans Limited, a Mini Ratna company of Ministry of Civil Aviation in association with PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The theme of this conclave was ‘Enhancing Connectivity’.

Indiana, Karnataka signs pact

Indian, a State in the US, and Karnataka have signed an agreement to establish sister-state ties for cooperation in economic, educational and cultural fields. The agreement was signed between Indiana Governor Eric J Holcomb and Priyank Khage, Karnataka Minister for IT, BT and Tourism. Indiana and Karnataka will focus on workforce development and academic co-operation.

India’s first black buck cons. reserve

UP Pradesh State cabinet took a decision to make India’s first conservation reserve for blackbuck in Meja Forest Division of Allahabad. This decision will not only protect black bucks but will also attract tourists. The blackbuck is also known as the Indian antelope. It is found in India, Nepal, and Pakistan. As per Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, hunting blackbucks is prohibited in India.

SBI under Adopt a Heritage Scheme

Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley has presented Letters of Intent to seven shortlisted entities under the ‘Adopt a Heritage Scheme’. LOIs were presented at the closing ceremony of ‘Paryatan Parv’ in Delhi on October 25, 2017. The Scheme was launched on World Tourism Day. Under this scheme, private and PSU have to adopt monuments/sites and have to take responsibility for its maintenance.

GMR Hyderabad Airport sign pact

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad and Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board signed a MoU to promote the growth of tourism traffic. The MoU was signed to promote tourism from the catchment area of Hyderabad to Malaysia and also to explore new locations for connectivity. At present, 10 domestic carriers connect Hyderabad with 39 domestic destinations.

Water carnival at Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh will be developed as a hub of water tourism in the country, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said. Chouhan inaugurated a two-and-a-half-month-long water carnival which will be held until January 2. The carnival will be held at Hanuwantiya Island in the backwaters of Indira Sagar Dam in Khandwa district of the state.

Kerala Tourism launches Tourist Survey

Department of Tourism (Kerala) launched a 3 year long Continuous Tourist Survey (CTS), to increase the growth of tourism in Kerala. The Continuous Tourist Survey (CTS) 2017-2020 sample survey is conducted in collaboration with Datamation Consultants. The purpose of the survey is to study the interest of tourists, their age, demographic details and their reasons for visit.

Purushottam Lal Kaushik Passes Away

Former Union minister and socialist leader Purushottam Lal Kaushik died due to age-related ailments. He was 87. He had served as tourism and civil aviation minister in the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai’s cabinet during 1977- 1979. He headed the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in the then Prime Minister Charan Singh’s cabinet during July 1979-January 1980.

Inauguration of Umiya Dham Ashram

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, inaugurated Umiya Dham Ashram at Haridwar, via video conferencing. The Ashram would benefit the pilgrims coming to Haridwar. PM said the idea of a Yatra existed as an integral part of our culture and will help in increasing tourism.

Paryatan Parv

‘Paryatan Parv’ of the Ministry of Tourism begins on Oct 5 across the country. The Parv is being inaugurated at the Humayun’s Tomb, New Delhi. Parv will showcase the cultural diversity of the country, with cultural performances, crafts bazaar, food court showcasing folk and classical dance & music, handicrafts & handlooms and cuisine from all regions and States of the country.

‘Hall of Fame’ national tourism award

Gujarat Tourism has won “Hall of Fame” award for being the Best State in Comprehensive Development of Tourism category at National Tourism Award function. Gujarat was awarded for its performance in previous years where it won several accolades in this category for consecutively 3 years. Gujarat has been organizing Navaratri & Kite Festival, etc due to which inflow of tourists has increased 18%

‘Adopt a Heritage’ project

President Kovind launched ‘Adopt a Heritage’ initiative, under which heritage sites will be entrusted to public & private enterprises & individuals for maintenance. The initiative is an attempt to boost Indian tourism with “greater focus on digital presence & social media”. Under it, those entrusted with development of tourist amenities at the adopted sites would be known as Monument Mitras.

‘Best Tourism State’ award

Madhya Pradesh has won the ‘Best Tourism State’ national award for the third consecutive year. The state bagged total 10 awards in this programme, organised on the occasion of World Tourism Day. While Chanderi was adjudged as the Best Heritage City, the Best Tourist-Friendly Railway Station award was given to Ujjain Railway Station.

World Tourism Day

World Tourism Day is commemorated each year on 27 Sept to foster awareness among international community of importance of tourism & its social, cultural & economic value. The theme of this year’s World Tourism Day is ‘sustainable tourism – a tool for development’. The day will be dedicated to exploring the contribution of tourism to the Sustainable Development Goals.

North East Festival to return to Delhi

The fifth edition of the North East Festival, which brings together the numerous colours and talents of the region, will begin in Delhi. The three-day festival, to be held at IGNCA, Janpath, will present Naga warrior dance, Thang ta of Manipur, Hojagiri of Tripura and much more. Various northeastern states, developmental councils will present investment and tourism potential of the region.

Mahendra Pratap Mall appointed IRCTC CMD

Mahendra Pratap Mall has been appointed as the chairman & managing director of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation. The appointments committee of the Union cabinet has approved his appointment to the post for a period of five years. He is at present director (finance) in Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation.

North East Calling festival in New Delhi

Minister of State in the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region Jitendra Singh will inaugurate the “North East Calling” festival in New Delhi. The two-day event is being organized by Ministry of DoNER under its Destination North East series for this year. The purpose of the event is to promote the art, culture, heritage, cuisine, handicrafts, business & tourism of North East India.

Sultan Ahmed passes away

Sultan Ahmed, Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha MP from West Bengal’s Uluberia constituency, passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest. Ahmed had been a Union Minister of State for Tourism in the UPA-II. He had been a two-time Congress MLA from Entally before joining the Trinamool Congress. He was also the Mohammedan Sporting football club president since 2009.

Alphons Kannanthanam- Min for Tourism

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new man to handle tourism, an area where the NDA government has launched a number of projects over the last two years, is Alphons Kannanthanam. He replaces Mahesh Sharma, who retains his post as MoS Culture. Known for his strong anti-corruption stance, the 64-year- old also featured in Time magazine’s list of 100 Young Global Leaders in 1994.

India-Myanmar to sign MoU

India & Myanmar will sign a MoU for conservation of earthquake-damaged pagodas at Bagan during PM Modi’s visit to Myanmar. Began is a renowned tourist attraction of Myanmar & India’s role in rebuilding damaged pagodas will be an opportunity to showcase its expertise in restoration & conservation of monuments. It will further strengthen India’s enduring ties with Myanmar, in culture & religion

Biz week in India

Australian minister for trade, tourism, and investment Steven Ciobo will lead a major mission to India focused on deepening collaboration between the two nations. During the week-long event, more than 50 business events will take place across six cities in India. India is Australia’s ninth largest partner with two-way trade and services of A$20.7 billion and its fifth-largest export market.

Sankalp Se Siddhi Program in Coimbatore

To take forward the initiative PM Modi for a New India movement from 2017 – 2022, a Sankalp Se Siddhi programme was held in Coimbatore. Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge), Dr. Mahesh Sharma graced the occasion. The New India Movement 2017-2022 envisages an India free of Poverty, Corruption, Terrorism, Communalism, Casteism and Un-cleanliness.

First Mars simulation base

China plans to build its 1st Mars simulation base on Tibetan plateau in country’s northwest as it aims to send the 1st mission to the red planet by 2020. The project will incorporate education, tourism, scientific research & simulation training. China looks to catch up with India, US, Russia & EU in sending probes to Mars. The base might also include a set for shooting films and TV shows.

Development of beaches as tourist spots

Govt has sanctioned more than Rs. 1,200 crore for development of beaches & rivers as tourists spots. 11 projects have been sanctioned under coastal circuit of Swadesh Darshan Scheme. 4 Projects have been earmarked under PRASAD to harness the potential of beaches as a tourist attraction. Goa is set to receive highest payout of around Rs. 200 crore during 2016-17 & 2017-18 to develop its beaches

Soldiers exempted from toll tax

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced exemption for soldiers from paying toll-tax on highways in the state. Jawans will be provided with the relief in Madhya Pradesh after they present their official identity cards. The decision came after a delegation of BSF officials apprised him about their grievances while he was on a personal tour to Jaisalmer.

Sandhu wins South Australian Open

8 : India’s Harinder Pal Sandhu defeated Rhys Dowling of Australia in the final to lift South Australian Open squash title. He had yesterday upset top-seed Piedro Schweertman of the Netherlands 11-9 14-12 7-11 11-9 in the semifinal of the PSA World Tour event. It was Sandhu’s eighth title at the PSA level and the third this season after winning two in Malaysia in the month of May.

Hike in Visa fee for foreigners

Government of India has increased the visa fee by up to 50% for foreigners across categories. This has been done to rationalise and modify the levy charged from foreign nationals visiting India. Tourist visa up to one year will now cost $153 from the earlier $100. The tourist visa for over a year and up to five years will cost $306 instead of $120.

Gandhi Darshan tourist train flagged off

To commemorate 100 years of Sabarmati Ashram, Indian Railways has decided to run Gandhi Darshan Special Tourist Train. Officially called Astha Special Tourist Train will be operated by IRCTC. Train will not only cover various places important in Gandhi’s life but also spread principles and message of Gandhi. Vijay Rupani, CM of Gujarat flagged off the train from Sabarmati railway station.

Nepal Honours Dharmashaktu

Nepal has felicitated Love Raj Singh Dharmashaktu who became the first Indian to scale Mt. Everest for a record 6 times. He was appointed a Tourism Ambassador of Nepal to north India during the function. He is a Padma Shri recipient who hails from Uttarakhand and works with Border Security Force. He first scaled Everest in 1998 and received Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award in 2003.

Lost temple discovered after 1,000 years

Archaeologists have excavated a temple, Fugan temple in China’s Chengdu city around 1,000 years after it was deemed to have been lost. It lasted from Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420 A.D.) to Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279 A.D.) Archaeologists unearthed 1000+ tablets inscribed with Buddhist scriptures and over 500 pieces of stone sculpture as well as glazed tiles with inscriptions.