Crime Against Tourists at Tourist Centres

Crime Against Tourists at Tourist Centres 
The Ministry of Tourism does not compile the data regarding crime against foreign or domestic tourists. However, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Ministry of Home Affairs has started collecting data on crime against foreign tourists since 2014. The total numbers of cases registered against crime against foreign tourists were 384 during 2014. 

The steps taken by Ministry of Tourism to ensure the safety and security of tourists including foreign tourists are as below:

i) The Ministry of Tourism, on a pilot basis, has set up the ‘Incredible India Help Line’ to guide the tourists.

ii) Adoption of code of conduct for Safe and Hon’ble Tourism, which contains a set of guidelines to encourage tourism activities to be undertaken with respect to basic rights like dignity, safety and freedom from exploitation of both tourists and local residents, in particular women and children.

iii) All the Chief Ministers of the State Governments and Administrators of Union Territory Administrations have been asked to take immediate effective steps for ensuring a conducive and friendly environment for all tourists and also request them to publicize the steps being taken/proposed to be taken to increase the sense of security amongst the present/prospective visitors and also to counter the negative publicity, if any.

iv) The National Tourism Ministers’ Conference was convened on 18th July, 2013 and 21st August 2014 in New Delhi which resolved; that the Departments of Tourism of all States and UTs will work for ensuring the safety and security of tourists, especially women. The State Governments/UT Administrations of Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha have deployed Tourist Police, in one form or the other.

v) Grant of Central Financial Assistance to the State Governments of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh for setting up of Tourist Facilitation and Security Organization (TFSO) on a pilot basis.

vi) Ministry of Tourism is running the Social Awareness Campaign on television to sensitize the masses and the stakeholders on the traditional Indian values and concept ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’. The campaign consists of two commercials; one on sensitizing against misbehavior with tourists and the other against cleanliness of tourist sites and streets.

vi) In the wake of some unfortunate incidents involving foreign tourists, Ministry of Tourism has also posted an advisory on its website

viii) The Ministry of Tourism has issued the Guidelines on Safety and Security of Tourists for State Governments/Union Territories and Tips for Travellers in September 2014. These guidelines are offered to the State Governments/Union Territories and other relevant authorities to stress the importance of safety and risk management, assist in identifying best practices and encourage closer cooperation for ensuring a pleasant experience to the tourists. The Guidelines are indicative references that may be useful to the States in sharing or adopting the best practices and design their domestic measures to better protect tourists. In addition to these guidelines “Tips to Travellers” are also offered to make the visit of tourists to Incredible India, a memorable experience.

This information was given by Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge) and Minister of State for Civil Aviation Dr. Mahesh Sharma yesterday in a written reply in Rajya Sabha. 
Shri Pawan Chamling Meets Dr. Mahesh Sharma Regarding Tourism Projects in Sikkim 
The Chief Minister of Sikkim Shri Pawan Chamling met the Minister for State (I/C) Tourism and Culture Dr. Mahesh Sharma here today regarding a few proposals of new tourism projects in Sikkim. Shri Chamling appraises Dr. Sharma of the on-going tourism projects in the Sikkim and sought his co-operation in establishing a “Reptile Park” in Sikkim as four to five types of Reptiles are frequently found in Sikkim and such a unique Park will attract tourists. Shri Chamling also proposed for a “Yak Golf Course” near Nathula Pass in Sikkim which may be the highest Golf Course in the World.

Dr. Mahesh Sharma assured the visiting Chief Minister of all sorts of cooperation of Ministry of Tourism in the promotion of Tourism in Sikkim and told him that the 10% of the Plan Allocation of the Union Ministry of Tourism is earmarked for North Eastern States. He informed the visiting Chief Minister that under Swadesh Darshan Scheme, ‘North-East India Circuit’ is one of the Twelve Thematic Circuits identified initially. The proposals of Sikkim government will be considered under Swadesh Darshan Scheme. Besides these, the Union Government has also taken many initiates to promote tourism in the North –East region. 
Promotion of Tourism in North Eastern States 
Development and promotion of tourism is primarily the responsibility of the State Governments/UT Administrations. However, Ministry of Tourism provides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to State Governments/Union Territory Administrations for various tourism projects subject to availability of funds, inter-se priority, liquidation of pending utilization certificates against the funds released earlier and adherence to the relevant scheme guidelines.

For development of tourism infrastructure in the country, the Ministry of Tourism has introduced two new schemes in 2014-15 i.e. PRASAD- Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive and Swadesh Darshan - Integrated Development of Theme-Based Tourist Circuits. Kamakhya in Assam is one of the pilgrimage centres which have been identified under PRASAD. Under Swadesh Darshan scheme, North-East India Circuit is one of the twelve thematic circuits identified initially.

10% of the plan allocation of the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India is earmarked for North Eastern States. Of the funds allocated to the Ministry, funds earmarked and spent for North Eastern Region in the last three years are as under:

 (Rs. in Crore)
Plan Allocation
10% earmarked for NE
Amount Released
Percentage %
*: Provisional

Further the following initiatives are taken by the Government to promote tourism in North Eastern Region: 

(i)      Provision of complimentary space to the North Eastern states in India Pavilions set up at major International Travel Fairs and Exhibitions. 
(ii)     100% central financial assistance for organizing fairs & festivals is allowed to the North Eastern States.
(iii)    Ministry of Tourism, as part of its on-going activities, annually releases print, electronic, online and outdoor media campaigns in the international and domestic markets, under the Incredible India brand-line, to promote various tourism destinations and products of the country, including the lesser known destinations which have tourism potential. The Ministry of Tourism undertakes special campaigns on NE Region on TV channels to promote tourism in the regions.
(iv)    International Tourism Mart (ITM) is organized annually with the objective of showcasing the largely untapped tourism potential of North East region in the domestic and international markets. So far, Ministry of Tourism in association with North Eastern States and West Bengal has conducted four ITMs in the North East region. The first ITM was conducted in Guwahati, Assam.                                                

     This information was given by Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge) and Minister of State for Civil Aviation Dr. Mahesh Sharma yesterday in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.
Implementing Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India 
The Ministry of Tourism has launched a Comprehensive Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India (STCI) for three major segments of tourism industry, namely accommodation, tour operators and Beaches, Backwaters, Lakes and Rivers sectors during the sensitization Workshop for Stakeholders on Sustainable Tourism organized in August, 2014. The criterion has been adopted by the stakeholders.

Further, the Ministry has guidelines for approval of Hotel Projects at the implementation stage and also guidelines for classification/re-classification of operational hotels under various categories. As per these guidelines, hotels at the project stage itself are required to incorporate various eco-friendly measures like Sewage Treatment Plant (STP), Rain Water Harvesting System, waste management system, pollution control, introduction of non- Chloro Fluoro Carbon (CFC) equipment for refrigeration and air conditioning, measures for energy and water conservation etc. Under the guidelines for project level & classification/re-classification of operational hotels it has been prescribed that the architecture of the hotel buildings in hilly and ecologically fragile areas should be sustainable and energy efficient and as far as possible be in conformity with the local ethos and make use of local designs and material.

The tour operators approved by Ministry of Tourism have to sign a pledge for commitment towards Safe & Honourable Tourism and Sustainable Tourism to fully implement Sustainable Tourism practices, consistent with the best environment and heritage protection standards, such that the present tourism resource requirements optimize both local community benefit and future sustainable uses.

The Ministry of Tourism holds a constant dialogue with State Governments/U.T. Administrations, various tourism related institutions and stakeholders for drawing up strategies for development and promotion of tourism in the country including Sustainable Tourism. The Ministry of Tourism supports from time to time various seminars and events that deliberate or focus on tourism in the country including Sustainable Tourism in rural areas.

This information was given by Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge) and Minister of State for Civil Aviation Dr. Mahesh Sharma yesterday in a written reply in Rajya Sabha. 

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