Ministry of Tourism is the nodal agency to formulate national policies and programmes for
the development and promotion of tourism. In the process, the Ministry consults and collaborates
with other stakeholders in the sector including various central ministries/agencies, the state
governments/union territory administrations and the representatives of the private sector.
Tourism is a major engine of economic growth and an important source of foreign exchange
earnings in many countries including India. It has great capacity to create large scale
employment of diverse kind – from the most specialized to the unskilled and hence can play a
major role in creation of additional employment opportunities. It can also play an important role
in achieving growth with equity. The Ministry of tourism has the main objective of increasing
and facilitating tourism in India. Augmenting tourism infrastructure, easing of visa regime,
assurance of quality standards in services of tourism service providers, etc., are some of the
responsibilities of the Ministry.
The Ministry is according priority for holistic development of tourism destinations into
world class destinations using a cluster approach including development of infrastructure,
amenities, interpretation centres and skill development by achieving synergy and convergence
with other central ministries, state governments and industry stakeholders. As a step in this
direction, it has recently launched the ‘Adopt A Heritage’ project. Heritage sites are being
offered for adoption by the public sector, private sector and individuals to become ‘Monument
Mitras’ for developing amenities and facilities at these sites under this programme.
Relevant Website: www.tourism.gov.in
Foreign Tourist Arrivals
Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) during 2017 were 10.18 million with a growth of 15.6 per
cent over same period of the previous year. During 2016, FTAs were 8.8 million with a growth
rate of 9.7 per cent over 2015. In 2016, there were 5.77 million arrivals of NRIs, with a growth
rate of 9.7 per cent over 2015. ITAs include both FTAs and Arrivals of Non Resident Indians
‘Special Tourism Zones’
Creation of ‘Special Tourism Zones’ anchored on Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) is in
partnership with the states. Ministry of Tourism has formulated the guidelines for
implementation of the new scheme in consultation with the state governments and private sector
and is in the process of completing other formalities before launching the scheme.
Foreign Exchange Earnings
Foreign Exchange Earnings through Tourism (FEEs) during 2017 was ₹ 1,80,379 crore with
a growth of 17 per cent over same period of previous year. The FEEs from tourism in rupee
terms during 2016 was ₹ 1,54,146 crore with a growth rate of 14.0 per cent.
Facilitative visa regime is a pre requisite for increasing inbound tourism. The Ministry of
Tourism takes the initiative of pursuance with Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of
External Affairs for achieving the same. December, 2016 the ‘e-visa’ facility is available under 3
sub – categories i.e. ‘e-Tourist Visa’, e-Business Visa’ and ‘e-Medical Visa’. ‘E-Visa facility has