In order to develop tourism in India in a systematic manner, position it as a major engine of economic growth and to harness its direct and multiplier effects for employment and poverty eradication in an environmentally sustainable manner, the National Tourism Policy was formulated in the year 2002. Broadly, the “Policy” attempts to:- > Position tourism as a major engine of economic growth; > Harness the direct and multiplier effects of tourism for employment generation, economic development and providing impetus to rural tourism; > Focus on domestic tourism as a major driver of tourism growth. > Position India as a global brand to take advantage of the burgeoning global travel trade and the vast untapped potential of India as a destination; > Acknowledges the critical role of private sector with government working as a pro-active facilitator and catalyst; > Create and develop integrated tourism circuits based on India’s unique civilization, heritage, and culture in partnership with States, private sector and other agencies; and > Ensure that the tourist to India gets physically invigorated, mentally rejuvenated, culturally enriched, spiritually elevated and “feel India from within”. Scheme for Product/Infrastructure and Destination Development The focus under this scheme is on improving the existing products and developing new tourism products to world class standards. For infrastructure and product development, the Ministry of Tourism has been providing Central Financial Assistance to the State Governments during the 9th Five Year Plan which resulted in strengthening of the infrastructure and product development in the country. The scheme has been restructured during the 10th Five Year Plan to meet the present day infrastructure requirements. The past experience had been that a large number of small projects had been funded under the Scheme, spreading the resources very thinly, which at times had not created the desired impact. The focus in the Tenth Plan has been to fund large projects of infrastructure or product development in an integrated manner.Under the revised scheme, the destinations are carefully selected based on the tourism potential. Master planning of these destinations is undertaken so as to develop them in an integrated holistic manner. The master plan is suppose to tie up all backward and forward linkages, including environmental considerations. Realizing the importance of destination development, the total outlay for this sector has been increased substantially. Important tourist destinations in each State, in consultation with the State Governments, are taken up for development. This include activities ranging from preparation of master plans to implementation of the master plans. The destinations are selected in consultation with the State/UT Governments. Scheme for Integrated Development of Tourist Circuits Under this Central Financial Assistance scheme the Ministry of Tourism Government of India has been extending assistance to States for development of tourism infrastructure. Experience has shown that in the past funds under the CFA have been used to fund a large number of small isolated projects, spread throughout the length and breadth of the country resulting in the resources being spread very thinly. Therefore, in order to provide quick and substantial impact, during the 10th Five Year Plan, these new schemes of Integrated Development of Tourist Circuits have been taken up. The objective of the scheme is to identify tourist circuits in the country on an annual basis, and develop them to international standards. The aim is to provide all infrastructure facilities required by the tourists within these circuits. The Ministry of Tourism aim at convergence of resources and expertise through coordinated action with States/UTs and private sector. Scheme of Assistance for Large Revenue Generating Projects It is recognized that the development of tourism infrastructure projects requires very large investment that may not be possible out of the budgetary resources of the Government of India alone. In order to remove these shortcomings and to bring in private sector, corporate and institutional resources as well as techno-managerial efficiencies, it is proposed to promote large revenue generating projects for development of tourism infrastructure in public private partnerships and in partnerships with other Government / Semi-Government agencies.Large revenue generating project, which can be admissible for assistance under this scheme, should be a project, which is also a tourist attraction, or used by tourists and generates revenue through a levy of fee or user charges on the visitors. Projects like Tourist trains, Cruise vessels, Cruise Terminals, Convention Centres and Golf Courses etc. would qualify for assistance. However, this is only an illustrative list. Hotel & Restaurant component will not be eligible for assistance under the scheme either on a stand-alone basis or as an integral part of some other project. Besides hotel & restaurants, procurement of vehicles and sports facilities like stadiums will also not be eligible for assistance under the scheme. Scheme for Support to Public Private Partnerships in Infrastructure Development of infrastructure require large investments that cannot be undertaken out of public financing alone. Thus, in order to attract private capital as well as techno-managerial efficiencies associated with it, the government is committed to promoting Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in infrastructure development. This scheme has been put into effect for providing financial support to bridge the viability gap of infrastructure projects undertaken through Public Private Partnerships. Scheme for Market Development Assistance (MDA)The Marketing Development Assistance Scheme (MDA), administered by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, provides financial support to approved tourism service providers (i.e. hoteliers, travel agents, tour operators, tourist transport operators etc., whose turnover include foreign exchange earnings also) for undertaking the following tourism promotional activities abroad: > Sales-cum-study tour > Participation in fairs/exhibitions > Publicity through printed material Recent Initiatives During 11th Five Year Plan (2007-2012) Ministry of Tourism propose to continue supporting creation of world class infrastructure in the country so that existing tourism products can be further improved and expanded to meet new market requirements and enhance the competitiveness of India as a tourist destination. In consultation with the State Governments and UTs the Ministry of Tourism have identified several tourist circuits and destinations for integrated development. During the current financial year the Ministry has sanctioned so far Rs.323.00 crore for various projects throughout the country. This is an all time record and will facilitate timely execution of projects during the working season. Some of the important infrastructure projects which have been sanctioned in the current financial year are: Heritage Destinations/Circuits > MOT has recently sanctioned Rs.8.00 crore for the project of illumination/lighting of monuments in Rajasthan. > The tourist facilities at Sanchi and adjoining tourist places in Madhya Pradesh are being improved at a cost of Rs.4.64 crore. Tourist Facilitation Centre, Public Amenities, Parking and Landscaping and Beautification of approach roads will be done. > The project of Development of Mahanadi Central Heritage (Rs.3.94 crore) has been sanctioned. In this project Jetties, River Bank, Nature Trail, picnic area, etc. will be developed at various places along the river to enhance the experience of visitors to these destinations. > An Indian Freedom Circuit on Mahatama’s Park in West Bengal is being developed at a cost of Rs.2.27 crore. > The project Bijapur-Bidar-Gulbarg Circuit sanctioned at a cost of Rs.6.40 crore. > Art & Craft village at Goregaon film city has been sanctioned for an amount of Rs.3.86 crore. > Revitalization of Gandhi Thidal and Craft Bazar, Puducherry sanctioned recently for an amount of Rs.2.67 crore. > The project of Development of Srirangam Tamilnadu (Rs.3.72 lakh) has been sanctioned. > Development of Vallore fort area at a cost of Rs.0.89 crore. Sound & Talatal Ghar, Sivasagar in Assam (Rs.1.58 crore.) has been sanctioned. Beach and Sea Tourism > MOT has sanctioned a project of Rs.5.00 crore for development and beautification of Beach Promenade in Puducherry. > Another project for development of walkway along the bank of river Arasalar and Vanjiiar in Karaikal, Puducherry (Rs.4.78 crore) > The project of Development of Marina bach in Tamilnadu has been sanctioned (Rs.4.92 crore). Eco Tourism > A project of Eco tourism for development of Horsely Hill in Chittoor Distt. of Andhra Pradesh has been sanctioned. > The project of development of Satkosi in Orissa (Rs. 4.25 crore) has been sanctioned in which Interpretation Centre, Landscaping, Elephant camps, Trekking park, Watch Towers and parking facilities, etc. are proposed to be developed. > MOT has sanctioned a project for development of Eco tourism in Morni-Pinjore Hills and Sultanpur National Park in Haryana for which Rs. 2.63 crore have been sanctioned. > The project of Integrated Development of Tribal Circuit with special focus on Eco tourism in Spiti in Himachal Pradesh has been approved for Rs. 6.98 crore. > Development of Wayanad in Kerala for an amount of Rs.2.01 crore. > Development of Tourist Circuit (Western Assam Circuit) Dhubari-Mahamaya-Barpeta-Hajo has been sanctioned for an amount of Rs.4.97 crore. > Development of Mechuka Destination (Rs.4.41 crore in Arunachal Pradesh). > Development of Tourist Destination at Khensa at a cost of Rs.4.58 crore in Nagaland. Circuit - Udhyamandalam- Madumalai- Anaimalai, Tamil Nadu Rs.4.39 crore. Projects for NE Region > The INA Memorial Complex at Moirang in Manipur is being renovated and tourist facilities are being developed (Rs.82 lakhs). > Tourism infrastructure is being developed near Pakhai Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh (Rs. 5.00 crore) > Gayaker Sinyi Lake at Itanagar is being developed at a cost of Rs.5.00 crore. > Tourist infrastructure is being developed in Nathula-Memmencho-Kuppu tourist circuit in Sikkim (Rs.4.54 crore) > MOT has sanctioned a project for development of Tizu Kukha as Adventure Destination in Nagaland (Rs.4.99 crore) Projects for Jammu & Kashmir MOT has sanctioned a project for development of tourism infrastructure in Leh (Rs.4.95 crore), Bungus Valley (Rs.2.31 crore), Kargil (Rs.4.84 crore), Poonch (Rs.4.50 crore), various villages around Sonmarg (Rs.1.08 crore), development of Gurez and Telail Valley (Rs.3.66 crore), Patnitop (Rs.2.83 crore), Dandi Pora (3.45 crore), Anantnag (Rs.2.1 crore), Shri Amarnath Yatra Marg (Rs.7.00 crore), Bhaderwah (Rs. 4.12 crore), Kishtwar (Rs. 2.81 crore), Wullar Lake (Rs.2.06 crore) and Rajouri (Rs.4.34 crore). Tourist Information Centre, Public amenities, approach roads, shelters, etc. will be developed in these projects so that tourists who are visiting Jammu & Kashmir should have trouble free experience the beauty and bounty of the region.