1. Foreign Tourist Arrivals and Foreign Exchange Earnings

1.1        There has been a commendable increase in Foreign Tourist Arrivals(FTAs)  during the last one year. During the period June 2014-March 2015, the number of FTAs were 6770076, registering a growth of 8.1% over the period June 2013-March 2014 when the number of FTAs were 6260914.

1.2        Similarly, the growth in Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) in rupee terms from the tourism sector during the above mentioned period was 9.5%.

1.3        The FEEs (in US $ terms) grew by 10.0% during the same period.


Progress in Foreign Tourist Arrivals

June 13 to March 14June 14 to March 15Growth
FTAs (in number)626091467700768.1%
FEEs (in Rs. Crore)95,7061,04,8179.5%
FEEs (in US$ billion)15.51717.07310.0%
  1. Swadesh Darshan

2.1           In the Budget for 2014-15, a new scheme announced for developing 5 tourist circuits around specific themes with an outlay of Rs 500cr. The Revised Budget provision for the Scheme was Rs. 20.00 crore.

2.2           Rs 600 cr allocated in the current year i.e.,  2015-16

2.3           The circuits identified for development under the scheme are North-East Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Himalayan Circuit and Krishna Circuit.

2.4           Mission objectives include development of circuits having tourist potential in a planned and prioritized manner, integrated development of infrastructure in identified circuits, promote cultural heritage of country, developing world-class infrastructure in circuit destination, pro-poor tourism approach, promote local arts, handicrafts, cuisine, generate employment

2.5           This scheme is proposed to be implemented as a Central Sector Scheme during 12th Five Year Plan and beyond.

2.6           One of the major efforts to increase India’s share in Global tourism to 1%. The outcome shall be measured in terms of:-


  1. Increase in tourist traffic in the  identified circuits;
  2. Employment generation in the identified sectors;
  3. Enhancement of awareness and development of skills and capacity to augment tourism with value added services;
  4. Increase in revenue generation
  5. Private sector investment in the identified circuits.

2.7           Scheme Guidelines have been finalized and Mission Directorate set up

2.8           Three projects, one each in North-east, Buddhist and Coastal circuits sanctioned in 2014-15 under the scheme


  1. PRASAD: National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenations and Spiritual Augmentation Drive

3.1              New scheme announced in the Budget for 2014-15 with an outlay of Rs 100cr. The Revised Budget Provision for the Scheme was Rs. 15.60 crore.

3.2              Rs 100cr outlay in current year i.e.  2015-16

3.3              Integrated development of pilgrimage destinations to provide complete religious and spiritual tourism experience

3.4              This Scheme is proposed to be implemented as a Central Sector Scheme during 12th Five Year Plan

3.5              Scheme Guidelines finalized, Mission Directorate set up

3.6              Aim is to promote sustainable pilgrimage tourism in the country, to strengthen measures for safety, security and proving the quality  tourism services in pilgrim cities, to bridge infrastructure gaps in pilgrimage destinations

3.7              12 cities identified for implementation in first phase i.e Varanasi, Amritsar, Ajmer, Mathura, Gaya, Kanchipuram, Velankanni, Dwarka, Puri, Amravati, Kedarnath and Kamakhya

3.8              Four projects, one each for Gaya and Puri and 2 for Mathura sanctioned under PRASAD in 2014-15. This includes sanction of Rs 50 cr for the project for infrastructure development at Puri for the upcoming Nabakalevara Ceremony at Puri


  1. E-Tourist Visa

4.1              Pathbreaking measure by the new Government

4.2              Initially introduced as Electronic Authorization (ETA) enabled Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) on 27th November, 2014

4.3              Now re-named as e-Tourist Visa but with no change in the scheme guidelines of ETA enabled TVoA

4.4              The e-Tourist Visa would enable the prospective visitor to apply for an Indian Visa from his/her home country online without visiting the Indian Mission and also pay the visa fee online. Once approved, the applicant will receive an email authorizing him/her to travel to India and he/she can travel with a print out of this authorization. On arrival, the visitor has to present the authorization to the immigration authorities who would then stamp the entry into the country.

4.5              The e-Tourist Visa is presently available for citizens of 44 countries arriving at 9 airports in India.  The Ministry of Tourism has identified a list of 106 additional countries to be considered for e-Tourist Visa during 2015-16.

4.6              During the period January to March, 2015 a total of 75,859  e-Tourist visas were issued indicating the roaring success of the new online authorization scheme.

4.7              The introduction of E-Tourist Visa would directly have a positive impact on the foreign tourist arrivals into the country as it will simplify the process of seeking the visas to India.


  1. Incredible India Helpline

5.1              The Ministry of Tourism has set up the ‘Incredible India Help Line’ as a pilot project to guide the tourists during any emergencies such as medical, crime natural calamities or on being stranded and tourist information etc.

5.2              Launched in December, 2014

5.3              To address and guide the tourists during any emergency which may include medical, crime natural calamities or on being stranded.

5.4               This service will be available as toll free on telephone 1800111363 or on a short code 1363.

5.5              The help line service will provide a sense of security to the tourists who can contact the Government for guidance/information during emergencies while travelling in India and also seek tourist information etc.


  1. Welcome Cards

6.1                 Special welcome cards to be handed to all the tourists, landing at the 9 International airports where e-Tourist Visa facility is operational.

6.2                 Launched in December, 2014

6.3                 This card will carry the information of the local India Tourism office along with online and offline contact information which the tourists can use in case of any queries.

6.4                 The main idea behind this being to make the experience of exploring the country pleasant.


  1. “BadteKadam”, a Hunar Se Rozgar Tak (HSRT) Phase-II launched

7.1              In December, 2014, the HSRT Initiative was opened to private participation under a distinct vertical titled Hunar Se Rozgar Tak : Badhate Kadam .  The objective is to enhance the programme’s reach and delivery. Now the  Industrial units, associations of industries,  professional/ skill developing agencies with proven credentials; and  Hospitality Institutes approved by the AICTE / National Skill Development Authority / State Governments / Union Territory Administrations can participate and contribute to the skill needs in the hospitality trade.  The trades opened are : food production, food & beverage  service, house-keeping and bakery & patisserie.


  1. Swachh Bharat Swachh Pakwan (Hunar Zaika)

8.1              This program is aimed at upgrading  the  skills and hygiene standards of Street Food Vendors, so that they become a distinctive aspect of the Indian tourism.

8.2              Launched in December, 2014

8.3              The Ministry of Tourism is partnering with the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) for the specific purpose of orientation, skill testing and certification of the vendors will be in terms of the following:-

The NASVI will either directly or through its city co-ordinators nominate vendors in groups for training at one of the Institute of Hotel Management (IHMs)/ Food Craft Institute (FCIs) authorized by the MoT to conduct such programmes.

8.4              Since the vendors will also be sensitized, as part of the orientation, to personal, environmental and waste disposal hygiene, this MoT’s effort in partnership with NASVI will also visibly contribute to the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan.


  1. Indian Culinary Institute (Tirupati & Noida)

9.1                    Foundation stone laid in September, 2014 for ICI, Tirupati.

9.2                    Foundation stone laid in January, 2015 for ICI, NOIDA.

9.3                    The ICI will offer programs in kitchen management, molecular gastronomy, plate presentation, food styling and displays, anthropology, etc.

9.4                    Besides documentation and research of regional and global cuisines, the institute would comprise a patent and legal cell and a museum of traditional foods.

9.5                    Aims to enhance culinary skills of youth looking for employment in hospitality sector, promote and preserve traditional Indian foods


  1. International Buddhist Conclave 2014

With a view to showcase and project the Buddhist heritage of India, the second International Buddhist Conclave (IBC) was organised by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the State Govts. of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in Bodhgaya and Sarnath from September 26 – 28, 2014.  The Conclave included presentations, discussions, an exhibition highlighting the Buddhist attractions in India, visits to important Buddhist sites during the period of the Conclave and interaction between international and domestic tour operators to enhance tourism to the Buddhist circuit in the country. The International Buddhist Conclave was attended by 120 foreign delegates comprising of Buddhist Opinion makers, tour operators, media etc., from 32 countries.


  1. 3rd International Tourism Mart (ITM)
  2. Held in Shillong in Meghalaya in October, 2014.
  3. ITM Was organised in the North East with the objective of highlighting the tourism potential of the region in the domestic and international markets.
  4. Over 50 buyer delegates from ASEAN and SAARC countries, Japan, Korea, Australia, France, Spain, Russia, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, U.K. and USA  participated in the Mart.


E-Initiatives :-

  1. Incredible India Mobile App listing approved hotels, tour operators, travel agents, transport operators and Regional Level Guides.


  1. Online Tracking of Hotel Classification Application, Online approval of Travel Trade service providers,


  1. Under E-management of Tourism and Hospitality Institutes, The Ministry of Tourism has embarked upon the development of an Tourism & Hospitality Institute Management System (IMS) in  collaboration with the NIC to leverage the full potential of I.T. & I.C.T. in its  as well as NCHMCT & IITTM’s decision making process and to also enable all the Ministry of Tourism sponsored Institutes to conduct their day-to-day operations through this system. The IMS has since been renamed as Tourism & Hospitality Tourism & Hospitality Institute Management System (THTHIMS).


  1. Launch of E-Book of Ministry of Tourism.


Other Initiatives:-

  1. Upgradation of 24 Railway Stations of touristic importance undertaken on cost sharing basis (50:50) with Ministry of Railways at a total cost of Rs. 240 crores.


  1. During the visit of the President of the People’s Republic of China to India, “The China-India Joint Statement on Closer Developmental Partner” was issued which has formally designated 2015 as the “Visit India Year” in China and 2016 as the “Visit China Year” in India.