Tourism Sector

Aug, 08, 2018

Access to Andaman eased


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Restricted Area Permit

Mains level: Boosting tourism in India


Foreigners can visit inhabited islands without Restricted Areas Permit

  1. The Union Home Ministry decided to lift restrictions as the government intends to boost tourism.
  2. Foreigners no longer need a Restricted Areas Permit to visit 29 inhabited islands in the Andaman and Nicobar chain.
  3. 11 other uninhabited islands will also be thrown open to foreigners.

Restricted Areas Permit and other provisions

  1. The 29 inhabited islands have been excluded from the restricted area permit (RAP) notified under the Foreigners (Restricted Areas) Order, 1963, till December 31, 2022, subject to certain conditions.
  2. However, citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals having their origin in these countries would continue to require RAP to visit the Union Territory.
  3. For visiting Mayabunder and Diglipur, citizens of Myanmar will continue to require RAP, which shall be issued only with the prior approval of the ministry.
  4. Separate approvals of the competent authority would be required for visiting reserved forests, wildlife sanctuaries and tribal reserves.
Aug, 04, 2018

[pib] ‘Paryatan Parv’ to be organized nationwide from 16th to 27th September, 2018


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Paryatan Parv, 2018

Mains level: Not Much


Paryatan Parv, 2018

  1. Nodal Ministry: Union Ministry of Tourism
  2. Aim: drawing focus on the benefits of tourism, showcasing the cultural diversity of the country and reinforcing the principle of “Tourism for All”.
  3. The Paryatan Parv will have three main components as like last year, viz.
  • Dekho Apna Desh: Encouraging Indians to visit their own country. It will focus on domestic tourists especially to sensitize youth.
  • Tourism for All: Organizing tourism events (Paryatan Mahotsav) across all destinations in the country.
  • Tourism & Governance: It will have interactive sessions and workshops with stakeholders on varied themes like Skill Development in Tourism Sector, Innovation in Tourism etc.
  1. The Paryatan Parv will start with the India Tourism Mart 2018 which will further ensure wide participation from outside the country.
  2. It shall conclude with the World Tourism Day celebrations on 27th September 2018.
Jul, 31, 2018

[pib] 26 religious cities/sites in 19 States have been identified under PRASHAD Scheme


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: PRASHAD Scheme

Mains level: Not Much


Under the PRASHAD Scheme, 26 religious cities/sites in 19 States have been identified for development which inter-alia include:

Amaravati and Srisailam (Andhra Pradesh), Kamakhya (Assam), Patna and Gaya (Bihar), Dwarka and Somnath (Gujarat), Gurudwara Nada Saheb (Haryana), Hazratbal and Katra (Jammu & Kashmir), Deogarh (Jharkhand), Chamundeshwari Devi (Karnataka), Guruvayoor (Kerala), Una (Himachal Pradesh), Omkareshwar (Madhya Pradesh), Trimbakeshwar (Maharashtra), Puri (Odisha), Amritsar (Punjab), Ajmer (Rajasthan), Kanchipuram and Vellankani (Tamil Nadu), Varanasi and Mathura (Uttar Pradesh), Badrinath and Kedarnath (Uttarakhand) and Belur (West Bengal).


  1. PRASHAD means Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive
  2. A 100% Centrally Sponsored Scheme under Tourism Ministry
  3. Provisions under the scheme include
    • Tourism Promotion and Tourist Ecosystem
    • Vocational Training for Tourists and Hospitality Business
    • Hunar se Rozgar tak (HSRT) and earn while you learn programs
    • Improving Tourist Infrastructure
  1. Provisions regarding Tourist Infrastructure in PRASAD
  • ATM, foreign currency exchange counters
  • Rail, road water transport
  • Green energy streetlights
  • Water adventure sports
  • First-aid centres, Wi-Fi hotspots, Parking facilities
  • Green landscaping, water fountains, walkways, furniture etc.
  • Removing encroachments
Jul, 10, 2018

[pib] First ever ‘India Tourism Mart’ to be hosted in New Delhi from 16th to 18th September by the Ministry of Tourism


Mains Paper 3: Economy | Effects of liberalization on the economy

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: India tourism mart, Federation of Associations in Indian  Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH)

Mains level: Various initiatives to promote


Promoting tourism sector

  1. The Tourism Ministry in partnership with the  Federation of Associations in  Indian  Tourism and  Hospitality  (FAITH)  and with the support of State /UT Governments  will organize  the  ‘first ever’ India  Tourism  Mart (ITM)  from  16th  to  18th September 2018  at  Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi
  2. India Convention Promotion Board (ICPB) shall coordinate the whole event
  3. The Mart will provide  a  platform  for  all stakeholders  in the  tourism  and   hospitality industries  to  interact  and   transact  business  opportunities

Objective of the event

  1. India with its great potential in tourism and hospitality sector needs to dramatically increase the foreign tourist footfall and reap the benefits
  2. The objective  of  the event  is  to  create  an annual Global  Tourism  Mart  for  India  in line with  major  international  travel  marts  being  held  in  countries   across  the world
  3. Through ITM 2018, India can showcase its hidden destinations  to the world, especially to emerging tourism markets like China, Latin America, and Japan etc.
  4. ITM will be the best platform for the States to showcase their products to international buyers, opinion makers and bloggers and attract more tourists to their respective states
  5. The  event   will   also  provide  an  opportunity  to  the  buyers  to  see  the world-class  tourism facilities  available  in our  country  such  as  Airports, Hotels,  Tourist  destinations,    upcoming  facilities,  MICE  facilities,  possibility in the field  of  adventure  tourism and other  niche  products
May, 12, 2018

Govt set to expand Buddhist tourism circuit to 21 more states

Image source


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Places associated with Buddha

Mains level: Expanding spiritual tourism in India


Expansion of Buddhist Circuit

  1. Earlier envisaged by the government as mainly comprising seven major Buddhist pilgrimage sites, in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the ‘Buddhist Circuit’ will now be expanded to 21 other states.
  2. The Ministry of Tourism has identified stupas and viharas in these states, around which small intra-state Buddhist zones will be developed
  3. These include states of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, Kerala, West Bengal, Goa, Gujarat and Jammu & Kashmir
  4. Under the Ministry’s Swadesh Darshan scheme, the development of Sanchi, Satna, Rewa, Mandsaur, and Dhar. will be carried out

India’s first trans-national tourist circuit

  1. The Buddhist circuit is being imagined as India’s first trans-national tourist circuit, with efforts to promote tourism starting from Lumbini in Nepal, where Buddha was born, to the sites in India he traversed, including Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, Kushinagar, Rajgir, Vaishali, Sravasti and Sankasia (in UP and Bihar)
  2. The Tourism ministry is also in talks with the World Bank and the Japanese government for funding of infrastructure projects connected with these sites
  3. The ministry also plans to involve the private sector in building tourism infrastructure pertaining to the circuit
  4. Under the plan, Sarnath would be made the hub of Buddhist tourism in India and connected to other sites through air, rail and road transport
Apr, 14, 2018

Govt launches e-FRRO scheme to provide hassle-free travel for foreigners


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: e-FRRO scheme

Mains level: Various initiatives to revive tourism sector


e-FRRO scheme

  1. The Union home ministry has flagged off the e-FRRO (e-Foreigners Regional Registration Office) scheme to expedite visa services for foreigners visiting India
  2. The e-FRRO scheme is aimed at building a centralized, transparent online platform for foreigners to avail visa related services and to provide faceless, cashless and paperless services to the foreigners with a user-friendly experience

Services provided

  1. In the new system, foreigners would be able to get as many as 27 visa and immigration-related services in India from the comfort of their place of stay
  2. Using the e-FRRO application, foreigners can apply online and obtain the services through email or post without appearing in person at the FRRO office
Apr, 13, 2018

[pib] Launch of e-FRRO scheme


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: e-FRRO scheme

Mains level: Improving India’s position in global tourism


e-FRRO: e-Foreigners Regional Registration Office – to provide fast and efficient services to foreigners visiting India so that they have a pleasant experience of their stay here.

  • Aimed at building a centralized, transparent online platform for the foreigners to avail visa related services and to provide Faceless, Cashless and Paperless services to the foreigners with user-friendly experience
  • The e-FRRO scheme would be a quantum jump in improving the ease of service delivery with respect to foreigners visiting and staying in India.
  • In the new system, foreigners would be able to get as many as 27 Visa and Immigration related services in India from the comfort of their place of stay.
  • Using the e-FRRO application, foreigners can apply online on the portal and obtain the service(s) through email/post without appearing in person at the FRO/FRRO office.
Nov, 25, 2016

[pib] Learn more about Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India

  1. We recently launched the implementation of the Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India (STCI) in association with Ecotourism Society of India (ESOI)
  2. The STCI follow the guidelines set by the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC)
  3. These guidelines have been evolved under the guidance of the United Nations’ agencies viz. UNEP and UNWTO
  4. STCI had been developed for the accommodation, tour operators and beaches, backwaters and lakes sectors of the tourism industry
Nov, 22, 2016

[pib] Quick pointers on Swadesh Darshan and PRASAD Schemes

  1. Ministry of Tourism’s schemes
  2. Swadesh Darshan: Integrated Development of Theme Based Tourist Circuits
  3. Investment in tourism infrastructure for development of Buddhist Circuit in India under its Swadesh Darshan Scheme
  4. PRASAD: National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive.
  5. Under PRASAD 12 cities have been identified for development initially, namely: Amritsar, Ajmer, Dwaraka, Mathura, Varanasi, Gaya, Puri, Amaravati, Kanchipuram, Vellankanni, Kedarnath and Guwahati.
Sep, 27, 2016

Incredible India Investors’ Summit

  1. The summit was recently organised by the Ministry of Tourism in partnership with industry body CII and the Tourism Finance Corporation of India
  2. Aim: Inviting investments from foreign and domestic players to fund 700 tourism-related projects from 29 states requiring over Rs.50,000 crore
  3. Five states- Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Uttarakhand and Chattisgarh – signed 86 MoUs worth close to Rs.15,000 crore
Apr, 15, 2016

More than 1 lakh tourists availed of e-visa in March

  1. News: The govt is planning to extend the e-visa facility to more categories of tourists
  2. In March 2016, a total of 1.16 lakh visitors used the facility, an increase of a whopping 347% over the same period a year ago
  3. Reason: In Nov – 2015 and Feb – 2016, the e-visa facility for citizens was extended to many countries
  4. Measures: Tourism ministry has requested the MHA to allow MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events) e-visas as well
  5. Centre is working with State govts to develop Khajuraho, Sanchi, Bodhgaya, Varanasi and Tirupati as MICE tourism destinations in India
Mar, 17, 2016

Promotion of Silk Route Tourism


  1. Context: United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Silk Road Programme for promotion of Silk Route tourism
  2. This is a collaborative platform of 33 member states dedicated to enhance sustainable tourism development along the historic Silk Road route
  3. Membership: India at present is not member of this programme
  4. Relevance: Ministry of Tourism has received a communication in Feb 2015 from UNWTO requesting for official partnership between India and the Silk Road Programme
  5. Way ahead: Matter has been referred to Ministry of External Affairs
Mar, 15, 2016

Delhi tops in crimes against foreign tourists

  1. News: Delhi topped the list for crimes against foreign tourists, despite its efforts to curb crime in the city
  2. The popular tourist state of Goa came second, followed by UP and Rajasthan
  3. Background: National Crime Records Bureau began compiling data relating to crimes against foreigners only in 2014
  4. Initiatives: The tourism ministry has taken various measures to ensure safety of both domestic and foreign tourists, such as 24*7 helpline which provides advice on action to be taken during times of distress
  5. Statistics: The foreign tourist arrivals have increased in the period 2011 – 2015
Mar, 01, 2016

Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat Programme to be Launched

  1. Aim: To link States and Districts in an annual programme
  2. That connects people through exchanges in areas of language, trade, culture, travel and tourism.
  3. Context: Announced in General Budget 2016-17
  4. It is proposed to create a closer engagement between States and Districts in a structured manner
Feb, 25, 2016

Extension of e-Tourist Visa scheme

  1. Context: e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) facility will be extended to 37 more countries from tomorrow.
  2. Relevance: Total count of countries under the scheme will become 150
  3. About Scheme: Government of India had launched the e-TV facility on November 27, 2014
  4. Till now the scheme has been extended to 113 countries at 16 Indian airports designated for providing e-Tourist visa service
  5. At present on an average 3,500 e-Tourist Visas are being granted daily to foreign nationals
Feb, 23, 2016

‘Swachh Paryatan Mobile App’ Launched

  1. Context: App facilitate the general public to communicate their complaints about any unclean area/garbage piles in and around tourist destinations
  2. Suggestions from public and tourists are solicited on this Mobile App
  3. Relevance: Initially, 25 Adarsh Smarak Monuments Protected by ASI identified for inclusion in the App
  4. Ministry: by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India through DeGS and NIC.
  5. Monitored by: The Project Monitoring Unit of Swachh Bharat Mission in Ministry of Tourism
  6. Function: This enables a citizen to take photograph of garbage at the monument and upload the same along with his/her remarks
Jan, 20, 2016

Along with e-visas, tourists to get SIM cards too

  1. The NDA govt has set up a committee to finalise the plan to help tourists arriving on e-visas gain immediate access to mobile connectivity.
  2. Currently, it takes a foreign tourist a minimum of 4-6 hours to get a SIM card activated.
  3. A five-member panel headed by Tourism Secretary Vinod Zutshi, is working on modalities.
  4. The e-Tourist Visa is available for citizens of 113 countries arriving at 16 airports.
  5. The government is also mulling over extending e-visa to seaports.
Jan, 14, 2016

Govt. to set up three committees to address issues in medical tourism

  1. The govt. has set up 3 sub-committees in an attempt to promote the medical tourism sector.
  2. They will look into the issues of regulation, accreditation and marketing of medical and wellness tourism in the country.
  3. Govt. is going to propose hassle-free visa facility to medical tourists.
  4. Govt. will engage with tour and travel operators and ensure that a transparent system of medical facilities is provided.
  5. The govt. had last year announced the setting up of the National Medical and Wellness Tourism Promotion Board.
Dec, 22, 2015

Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India

Ministry of Tourism has launched a Comprehensive Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India (STCI) for 3 major segments of tourism industry.

  1. They are Tour Operators, Accommodation and Beaches, Backwaters, Lakes & Rivers sectors.
  2. Hotels at the project stage itself are required to incorporate various eco-friendly measures.
  3. It includes Sewage Treatment Plant (STP), Rainwater Harvesting System, pollution control, measures for energy and water conservation etc.
Oct, 31, 2015

Buddhist Tourism Circuit Special Train Commences first Journey

  1. Indian Railways is operating Buddhist Tourism Circuit Special Train through IRCTC.
  2. Launched in 2007, with objective of offering a safe, comfortable & reliable tour package for international as well as domestic travelers on the Buddhist Circuit.
  3. Train has been awarded the coveted National Tourism Award of Excellence by the Ministry of Tourism, in Feb 2009.
  4. This train has become very popular among the pilgrims and tourist across the world.
  5. Buddhist Circuit Train, popularly known as Mahaparinirvan Express is a tourist train, to attract Buddhist pilgrims as Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Varanasi and Kushinagar.
Oct, 23, 2015

Tourism sector a gold mine to be explored: PM

  1. PM stressed the need for improving the tourism sector across the country.
  2. The Central govt. is focusing on strengthening the facilities at every tourist destination and transit points.
  3. Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in the country and it had the potential to offer employment opportunities even to the poorest of the poor.
  4. The PM emphasised the need for building world-class infrastructure to attract tourists as well as making the tourism sector sustainable.
Apr, 28, 2015

Gujarat launches industrial tourism

  1. Gujarat tourism Corporation along with Akshar Travels begins “Industrial tour package”.
  2. Wherein, person can see Nano plant in Sanand, Pipavav port near Amreli, Alang ship breaking yard in Bhavnagar and Amul Dairy in Anand.
  3. Locations of places important for match the following type MCQs in Indian Economic Geography.
Apr, 14, 2015

Gujarat government launches industrial tourism to showcase development

  1. The tour package is called as Industrial Tour of Gujarat and will cover some of the major industrial attractions of the state.
  2. It includes Tata Nano plant in Sanand, Amul Dairy in Anand, Alang ship breaking yard in Bhavnagar and Pipavav port near Amreli.
  3. The package will also take tourists to salt pans near Okha and Kadi in Mehsana, which has the highest number of cotton gins in Asia.
  4. It is a first of its kind initiative in India.
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