Heralding a tourism revolution
The Ministry attempts to re-launch itself on Good Governance Day. It has launched an e-portal of the Culture Ministry—Swacch Bharat - Swacch Smarak; Welcome Cards for foreign tourists; Incredible India Infoline Service; E-ticketing for Taj Mahal and Humay
In a path-breaking initiative, Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State with Independent Charge for Tourism & Culture and Minister for Civil Aviation, Government of India has recently launched the 24-hour Tourist Infoline service. The bi-lingual helpline number 1800-111-363 will be available in English and Hindi currently. Giving more information about the develop- ment, he said, “There was a need for the all-India helpline number and the ministry was keen to provide the same in the backdrop of harassment and fleecing of tourists at the hands of touts and other unscrupulous elements. The helpline service is being operational in two languages Hindi and English to begin with. Going forward, the service will be available in 12 other foreign languages, including Russian, German, French and Spanish.” Dr Sharma was speaking after announcing a slew of initiatives related to the Union Ministries of Tourism and Culture in Delhi as part of the
Good Governance Day celebrations of the government. A tourist (domestic/inbound) can call the number from anywhere now if he or she wants to lodge any complaint or know about any particular tourism site, he added.
In a major step at tourist facilitation, the Ministry has also launched a Welcome Card, a first of its kind, for overseas tourists. “As part of upgrading security for foreign tourists to India, they will be provided with Welcome Cards with contact addresses of India Tourism offices and the contact persons. A set of eight Welcome Cards have been launched. These Cards will be offered through nine airports in the country,” he remarked.
The Minister also launched an e-portal of the Culture Ministry – Swacch Bharat Swacch Smarak (Clean India-Clean Monuments) and eticketing for Taj Mahal and Humayun’s Tomb. The facility will be extended to all ticketed monuments in a phased manner. Dr. Sharma also inaugurated the Incredible India Calendar 2015. The other major initiatives which were launched by the Minister included booklet on Badhte Kadam-Hunar Se Rozgar Tak, Swachh Bharat Swachh Pakwan (Hunar Zayka), Mega Project Destination Development of Gwalior, Braille Book on Delhi monuments and Adarsh Smarak programme in which 25 monuments will be developed as model monuments.
According to Dr. Sharma, with these new initiatives, an attempt has been initiated by the Ministry to relaunch tourism and take India’s rich cultural heritage to all corners of the world. The Minister said that during the period January- November, 2014, India received a total of 6.8 lakh visitors. This is the highest number of visitors received till November in any year during the last decade, also showing a commendable increase of 7.1 per cent over the previous year.
L to R– Usha Sharma, Additional Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Dr Lalit K Panwar, Secretary - Tourism, Government of India; Dr Mahesh Sharma; Ravindra Singh, Secretary - Culture, Government of India; and Dr Rakesh Tewari, Director General, ASI...