Build­ing In­cred­i­ble !ndia

The Min­istry of Home Af­fairs (MHA) has re­cently launched Group Land­ing Per­mit fa­cil­ity which can now also be ex­tended to the crew mem­bers of char­ter planes, or cruise ships. re­ports…

TravTalk - India - - Front Page - VIVEK SETHI

As per Usha Sharma, Ad­di­tional Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, Min­istry of Tourism, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia, work is un­der­way to build a truly ‘in­cred­i­ble’ web­site. The USP of the web­site will be its abil­ity to cater to trav­ellers’ needs start­ing from plan­ning to last mile con­nec-

We have al­ready started giv­ing links to stake­hold­ers in­clud­ing travel agents, tour op­er­a­tors, air­lines, and ho­tels to name a few

tiv­ity. It will be com­pleted in the next 8-10 months. “We have al­ready started giv­ing links to stake­hold­ers in the travel and tourism in­dus­try in­clud­ing travel agents, tour op­er­a­tors, air­lines, and ho­tels to name a few. In fact, the feed­back re­ceived so far sug­gests that some of the tour op­er­a­tors have al­ready started do­ing good busi­ness,” said Sharma on the side­lines of the IATO Con­ven­tion in Kochi. “The web­site will be able to as­sist all needs of trav­ellers start­ing from the plan­ning stage till the time they re­turn to their na­tive places,” she added. Go­ing for­ward, she

said that the in­bound

op­er­a­tors need to look at all pos­si­ble op­por­tu­ni­ties, es­pe­cially when the econ­omy is be­lieved to be slow­ing down. “In the present sce­nario, the fall in value of ru­pee needs to be con­verted into an op­por­tu­nity to at­tract in­cre­men­tal num­ber of for­eign tourists to our shores,” she said. “For­eign tourists will now even find the lux­u­ri­ous pack­ages to In­dia at least 20 per cent more af­ford­able. The trade should cap­i­talise on this op­por­tu­nity to earn as much for­eign ex­change for the coun­try as pos­si­ble, which will do larger good to our econ­omy,” she added.

The Min­istry of Tourism is also putting its best ef­forts to make the visa pro­ce­dures has­sle-free and more invit­ing. “Our min­is­ter had held elab­o­rate dis­cus­sions with the Union Min­is­ter of Home Af­fairs and even briefed the Prime Min­is­ter on the need to ex­tend Visa-on-Ar­rival fa­cil­ity to at least 40 coun­tries iden­ti­fied by MOT. We have al­ready ex­tended this fa­cil­ity to four new air­ports,” said Sharma.

“The Group Land­ing per­mit will also play an im­por­tant role in at­tract­ing more for­eign tourists, es­pe­cially once it’s sim­pli­fied fur­ther. An im­por­tant de­vel­op­ment in this re­gard is the grant of this fa­cil­ity to even the crew mem­bers of the char­ter planes, or the cruise ships, which had been ap­proved by MHA re­cently,” she added.

Usha Sharma Ad­di­tional Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Min­istry of Tourism

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