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[dropcap]N[/dropcap]ew Delhi: Ministry as part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has taken initiatives to sensitize all sections of society on the importance of cleanliness and hygiene in public places particularly monuments and tourist destinations. The initiative is a blend of persuasion, education, training, demonstration and sensitization of all sections of our society. The objective is to ensure an acceptable level of cleanliness and hygiene practices at tourist destinations. This cleanliness drive is to be sustained through adoption and involvement of private and public sector stakeholders as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Ministry’s Social Awareness campaign titled ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ promoting concepts of ‘Cleanliness’, ‘Hospitality’, Civic Responsibilities’, and ‘Good Behaviour Towards Tourists’ has been released on Doordarshan and private television channels across the country.
Some of the factors responsible for Tourist Arrivals in any city, including Indian cities, are economic conditions of the source and destination countries and air connectivity.
In order to augment supply of hotel accommodation for budget tourist, both domestic and foreign, the Ministry has a voluntary scheme for approval of Guest Houses and approval of Incredible India Bed & Breakfast/ Homestay Establishments, wherein the basic idea is to provide a clean and affordable place for foreign and domestic tourists alike.
The voluntary scheme of the Ministry of Tourism for approval at project stage hotels stipulate the hotels of 1, 2, 3 and 4 star categories and Heritage (Basic) category availing subsidy/tax benefits /other benefits from the Central/State Government would be subject to a lock – in period of 8 years during which they would not seek up-gradation to a higher category. These hotels continue to serve as budget category hotels.
The Ministry of Tourism has launched 24×7 Toll Free Multi-Lingual Tourist Helpline 1800111363 in 12 International Languages to provide the tourist valuable information and to guide them during emergencies. It is intended to provide a sense of security to the tourists. Further, the Ministry of Tourism has posted an advisory on the website www.incredibleindia.org indicating that India remains a safe destination for international visitors including female tourists.
Ministry has launched two flagship schemes viz. Swadesh Darshan – Integrated Development of Theme-Based Tourist Circuits and PRASHAD- Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive for creation and development of tourism infrastructure across the country.
This information was given by Shri K. J. Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.