Banner World Travel Mart - 2016:NEWS FROM MINISTRY OF TOURISM





Dr. Mahesh Sharma,
Minister of State Tourism in India

At a press conference at the World Travel Mart in Londonon Monday, 7 November 2016, the Minister of State for Tourism in India, Dr. Mahesh Sharma, informed about the incredible and broad spectrum of tourism experiences.  He made the following key points:

India – The Land of Eternal Heritage

Ministry of Tourism has joined hands with World Travel Market this year to promote India, with a theme of India the Land of Eternal Heritage, and has showcased UNESCO-recognised World Heritage Monuments to the travel World. India is already a sought after destination for its heritage and culture, but many of the cultural sites have remained unexplored by the outside world.  

24 x 7 Information Line

Ministry has also introduced a 24x7 information line for the benefit of tourists travelling in India. This info line is available in 10 foreign languages besides in Hindi and English. A tourist in need of information is free to contact the Info Line/Help Line while travelling in India.

Luxury India

The excellent customer service in India is known worldwide. Nowhere else on the planet can tourists reside in the palace of a Maharaja, or in exclusive five star accommodations at an extremely affordable rate. The Indian luxury portfolio stretches even further than the royal fortresses too, since destinations such as Goa and Kerala are well placed to offer ‘barefoot’ luxury.

Expansion In The Market

The Ministry of Tourism has identified cruise tourism and MICE as two of the niche products availablein India for 2017 – both products are rapidly growing areas of travel to the country. India isnow increasingly perceived as a major cruise destination,thanks to the development of facilities at major cruise ports, and is seeing a boom in the MICE industry, with industries from all over the world combining business with leisure by holding events in the high-tech, modern venues which sit within easy reach of heavenly beaches or tranquil mountain ranges. Further to this, new flight routes from Manchester and increased airlift from Birmingham will enable more travellers to access India in a way that is most convenient and comfortable for them.

One Year Anniversary of the E-Visa

The hugely successful e-Tourist Visa (eTV), which was introduced to 113 countries globallyin August 2015, will be further promoted by India Tourism as a major incentive for travel in 2017. The scheme allows travellers to visit India up to twice in a calendar year and has simplified the application process, in turn hugely encouraging tourism throughout the country. Costing just £45, figures shared by the India Tourism Office London in September 2016 show that the eTV has accounted for almost a quarter of e-visas issued worldwide (197,788 out of 881,817)* in the last year, with the UK representing the strongest market. In fact, in the last three years, actual growth from the UK market is up by nearly 100,000 visitors. For more information and applications, visit

New Tourism Events

Ministry of Tourism will launch a global tourism mart next year. Set to take place 1-4 February 2017 in PragatiMaidan, New Delhi.  The event will cement India’s commitment to promote and unveil all products of India and establish India as a must-visit destination.

Unveiling Previously Undiscovered Destinations tourism outlook for India is going from strength to strength and foreign tourist arrivals have significantly increased in the last few years (an 11.8% growth when visitor figures in August 2016 and August 2015 are compared). India Tourism UK is now looking to further enhance these numbers by inspiring returning travellers to visit new hidden gems of India. For those who have thoroughly enjoyed the Golden Triangle, for instance, and are now eager to return to the country for their next adventure, the Ministry is hopeful that the lesser-known but stunning regions off the beaten track will be their next port of call. North East India in particular, where culture and wildlife can be found in abundance, will be a special focus for India Tourism UK, which expects to see a number of the 870,000 UK travellers who visited the country last year book a trip to Assam, Meghalaya or Manipur in 2017.

Shared Heritage Celebrations and Celebrity Fans of India

India’s long-standing relations with the UK will be the focus of much festivity in 2017, the year marking the 70th anniversary of Independence. Plans will be announced later in 2016 but are set to include some of the famous faces in Britain who are known for their love of India and are looking to share the messages of India Tourism UK.

Joining the Minister at the press conference on Monday 7 November was Harry Potter movie and TV actor Miriam Margolyes, stand-out star of hit BBC series The Real Marigold Hotel, which featured several UK celebrities visiting India to consider India as a place to retire while exploring the country’s culture and sights. Miriam discussed her passion for India at the press conference.

View a video of the Incredible India flash mob at WTM here.

For more information, visit:

Nov 11, 2016
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