New Delhi: The Ministry of Tourism, under the Swadesh Darshan scheme is developing thematic circuits in the country in planned and prioritized manner. Under the scheme fifteen thematic circuits have been identified for development namely; North-East Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Desert Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit, Heritage Circuit, Sufi Circuit, and Tirthankara Circuit.
Submission of proposals by the State Governments under the scheme is a continuous process. The projects under the scheme are identified for development in consultation with the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations and are sanctioned subject to availability of funds, submission of suitable Detailed Project Reports, adherence to scheme guidelines and utilization of funds released earlier.
Ministry of Tourism has taken several steps for development of tourism in the country which inter-alia includes the following:
i. Launched the Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD Schemes for development of tourism infrastructure in the country.
Identified 17 Iconic Sites in the country for development by seeking convergence with other Central Ministries/Departments/State Governments /Urban Local Bodies
Launched the “Adopt a Heritage-Apni Dharohar Apni Pehchan” Project for development and maintenance of tourist amenities at heritage sites/monuments and other tourist sites.
iv. Development and promotion of ‘Niche Tourism’ products to attract tourist with specific interest and to ensure repeat visits for the unique products in which India has a comparative advantage.
Launched 24×7 toll free Multi-Lingual Tourist Helpline.
Promoting India as a holistic tourism destination including its various tourism sites and products through Incredible India 2.0 Campaign.
vii. Providing facility of e-Visa for 5 sub-categories i.e. e-Tourist visa, e-Business visa, e-Medical visa, e-Medical Attendant visa and e-Conference visa for nationals of 170 countries.
E-Visa has been further liberalized and the visa fee has been substantially reduced.
Revamp of Incredible India Website having information on tourism sites/destinations in different States/Union Territory Administrations.
Launched Incredible India Tourist Facilitator Programme on an online digital platform to provide basic, advanced and refresher courses for tourist facilitators.
xi. New mountain peaks have been opened for Mountaineering/Trekking to give boost to adventure tourism in the country.
xii. Lowering of GST on hotels rooms with tariffs of ₹1,001 to ₹7,500/night to 12% and for ₹7,501 & above to 18% to increase India’s competitiveness as a tourism destination.
This information was given by the Minister of State (I/c) of Culture and Tourism, Shri Prahlad Singh Patel in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.