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Wednesday, 04 July, 2018, 19 : 06 PM [IST]

MoCA mulls separate RCS bidding to connect key tourist sites with support of Tourism Ministry

International UDAN scheme with Guwahati as the hub is under consideration
Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) will conduct a separate RCS (Regional Connectivity Scheme) bidding to connect key tourism sites in the country under the UDAN-RCS soon. This will be done in collaboration with Ministry of Tourism, Government of India which will identify and shortlist destinations from the ‘Iconic destinations’ list and key destinations in the Buddhist circuit. This was informed by Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, MoCA, Government of India while speaking at the 4th Annual Tourism Investors Meet organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) in New Delhi today. Padhee said that the template for the same is ready and the process will begin once gap funding component by Ministry of Tourism is finalised.

While interacting with the industry participants, Padhee said that an International UDAN scheme is also under consideration with Guwahati as the hub to connect ASEAN cities with North East. Assam government has already committed INR 100 cr for the scheme, she added.

When asked about some specific cases like Khajuraho where operators continue to ignore despite having a full-fledged operational airport, Padhee said that “reasons need to be created” in terms of regular demand for airlines to look at any destination and the government has no intent to interfere in their commercial decisions. She also said that the rates are also determined based on the supply and demand on a route and the government would not interfere until there are some emergency situations like natural disasters, etc. 

Padhee said that the government is ready to facilitate stakeholder meetings at its aegis if some sort of ‘business model’ can be worked out among tourism industry, state governments, and scheduled and non-scheduled operators to connect tourist destinations.

At the Tourism Investors Meet 2018, State Tourism Boards of West Bengal, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Manipur made the presentations in which they showcased investment opportunities present in the tourism sector to be harvested in their respective regions. 

Amitava Ghosh, Dy. General Manager, West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. stated, “We have set a target of opening 10,000 branded hotel rooms by 2020, up from 2,213 hotel rooms in 2016. River cruising is also one area which, on receiving adequate investments, can deliver attractive returns.”

Rajasthan Tourism announced that for the year 2017-18 investments worth INR 1,092 crore for 137 projects within the State for the tourism industry have been proposed. Dr. Gunjeet Kaur, Additional Director, Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan said that Rajasthan Tourism is looking to develop State as a holistic destination thus it is seeking investments for various tourism products such as heritage hotels across the State, river cruising in Chambal and Udaipur, MICE activities in Udaipur and Jaipur, ropeways and other adventure activities like desert safari, etc.

Alongside, at the Investors Meet, Knowledge Paper on Tourism Infrastructure prepared by the Yes Bank was also released.

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