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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF TOURISM
LOK SABHA
STARRED QUESTION NO: 320
ANSWERED ON:  08.08.2022
Promotion of Tourism in Lakshadweep
Kaushalendra Kumar
Rajiv Ranjan (Lalan) Singh
Will the Minister of



TOURISM be pleased to state:-


(a) the steps being taken by the Government to promote tourism industry in Lakshadweep;
(b) whether the Government proposes to develop Cherium Island of Lakshadweep by giving it the status of tourism industry;
(c) whether the Government proposes to expand the present air and sea services in view of tourism;
(d) if so, the details thereof; and
(e) if not, the reasons therefor?


ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF TOURISM (SHRI G. KISHAN REDDY)

(a) to (e): A Statement is Laid on the Table of the House.


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STATEMENT IN REPLY TO PARTS (a) TO (e) OF LOK SABHA STARRED QUESTION NO.†*320 ANSWERED ON 08.08.2022 REGARDING PROMOTION OF TOURISM IN LAKSHADWEEP

(a): Ministry of Tourism promotes the country from tourism perspective, including Lakshadweep in a holistic manner. As part of its on-going activities, it releases global print, electronic and online media campaigns in important and potential markets overseas for the promotion of various tourist destinations and products of the country, under the ‘Incredible India’ brand-line, through “Overseas Promotion and Publicity including Market Development assistance” (OPMD) and within the country through “Domestic Promotion and Publicity including Hospitality” (DPPH) Schemes. Promotion of the destinations and different themes including leisure , adventure, luxury, cruise tourism etc.
are also regularly undertaken through the website (www.incredibleindia.org) and the Social Media accounts of the Ministry. Further, the domestic India Tourism offices carry out regular activities and events for the promotion of tourism in the country.

The Ministry of Tourism, through its India Tourism Offices Overseas along with Indian Missions abroad endeavours to position India as a preferred tourism destination in the tourism generating markets to promote various tourism products and destinations including Lakshadweep and to increase India’s share in the global tourism market. The objectives are met through an integrated marketing and promotional strategy, global media campaign and a synergized promotional measures in association with the Travel trade, State Governments and Indian Missions overseas.

Apart from this, the Ministry of Tourism under its’ Marketing Development Assistance (MDA) Programme extends financial support to approved Tourism Service Providers and State Governments/UT Administrations for undertaking tourism promotion in the overseas markets. Further, under Market Development Assistance (MDA) for promotion of Domestic Tourism, the stakeholders are provided with financial support for the promotion of Domestic Tourism. Additional promotional activities have been incorporated including online promotions and the extent of financial assistance permissible has been enhanced. Tourism Departments of State Governments/UT Administrations are also now eligible for obtaining financial support under the scheme.

In addition, Lakshdweep Administration has informed that they are engaged in development of sustainable eco-tourism projects at Kadmat, Minicoy and Suheli Islands under the aegis of NITI Aayog. They are also developing High-end Tourist Resort facilities in Kavaratti, Agatti and Bangaram group of Islands on priority basis and are intended to strengthen the water sports activities at various tourist islands to meet the requirements of tourists visiting these islands. To promote Scuba diving and to position Lakshdweep as a prime location for scuba diving in the world map, they are developing Scuba Diving Centers in Kavaratti, Kalpeni, Minicoy, Kadmat and Bangaram Islands. The UT Administration of Lakshdweep has taken steps for development of Islands through Public-Private participation.

(b): According Industry Status to hotels, is within the domain of the State Governments. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has strongly advised all the States to provide “Industry Status” to hospitality projects by issuing suitable policy guidelines to provide capital subsidy on new investments to hospitality projects and power tariff, water tariff & property tax at industrial rates to encourage investment in the sector. States such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand have already taken steps in this direction.

Lakshadweep Administration has informed that they have initiated process to develop eco-tourism project in various islands having tourism potential in which, Cheriyam Island is also included.

(c) to (e): Connectivity is the most important component for development of tourism in the region. To achieve this goal, the Regional Connectivity Scheme – Ude Deshka Aam Nagrik (RCS-UDAN) was launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, to facilitate/stimulate regional air connectivity by making it affordable for the common public of the country, with the purpose of further improving connectivity to the important tourist places including Iconic sites, on the recommendation of Ministry of Tourism, 46 tourism routes have been taken by the bidding airlines in the RCS UDAN 3.0, launched by Ministry of Civil Aviation. Out of these, 31 tourism routes are operational as on 31.07.2022 Annexure-I. A total of Rs. 104.19 crore approx. has been reimbursed to the Airport Authority of India in the form of Viability Gap Funding (VGF) during Financial Year 2020-21 and 2021-22.

Further, Ministry of Tourism has given in-principle approval for 28 new tourism routes (Annexure-II) to be included in the subsequent bidding process of RCS UDAN scheme. However, this is subject to extension of validity of the Champion Service Sector scheme for tourism sector and additional funds to Ministry of Tourism for this purpose.

The coastline of the country, including the region of Lakshdweep Islands has enormous potential to develop cruise tourism, both international and domestic. To harness this, a Task Force has been constituted with Secretary, Ministry of Tourism as the Chairman and Secretary, Ministry of Shipping as the Co-chairman. The Task Force consists of representatives from various port trusts, Ministries of Health, Home Affairs, External Affairs, Customs, CISF, Coastal States, etc. The 13th meeting of the Task Force on Cruise Tourism was held on 27.04.2022.

Further, UT Administration of Lakshdweep has informed that they have initiated the process for expansion of Agatti Airport to facilitate operation of bigger aircrafts. As on today, only ATR-72 aircrafts can operate. They have also informed that in-principle approval for development of a new civil-military dual purpose airport in Minicoy has been given by the Ministry of Defense.

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