Important Govt Agencies

India as a country comprises of twenty eight states and seven union territories. These vary in dimensions, languages, cultures, cuisines and geographies. It is a fantastic country with wide variations across the country. The heady combination of adventure, a variety of foods, heritage monuments, colorful festivals, relaxing temples and scenic landscapes make India a hot favorite for tourists from across the world.

The spirituality of the ambience here itself drives a multitude of tourists to rediscover themselves. The wide range of climates, architectural styles, landscapes and colors make it a dream destination for tourists. From the historical temples to the ancient cave paintings, from the icy peaks of mountains to the warm sunny beaches, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Some of the popular tourist destinations are a product of the efforts of these agencies. These include the first ever water sports complex in Goa, the first water park in Mumbai, the famous spa Ananda in the Himalayas, Palace on Wheels, Umaid Bhawan palace conversion into a hotel, and other such projects. Setting up tourism emporia’s to showcase local cultures, attires, cuisines and other unique artifacts of the state could be an area of contribution along with organizing seminars and conferences to promote tourism.

It is also to assist the developmental efforts of other bodies towards this objective. The services of these agencies could include Project based services which are Tourism related in the public and private sector alike. These could include helping set up hotels, amusement parks, entertainment complexes, holiday resorts, wildlife safaris, adventure sports, national parks, ropeways as well as Study programmes. These could also include package tours as well as conducted tours in the budget and deluxe categories.

The multitude of options to discover India include going to a National Park to be with the wildlife. Some of the famous wildlife sanctuaries are Kaziranga, Kanha, Ranthambore, Periyar, Gir and Jim Corbett National Park. There are ample opportunities for mountaineering and allied sports like hang gliding in the Himalayas.

The rivers offer options for white water rafting and kayaking. You can relax in the houseboats of Kerala backwaters. The calming atmosphere here soothes your senses. If you like the mountainsides, you can tour a tea plantation. For those who are religiously inclined, a visit to Haridwar, Varanasi or the Golden temple is recommended. To soak in the history, you can visit the fantastic forts, monuments and ancient temples. Or you can simply sun bathe on a beach in Goa.

The country has been home to one of the most ancient of civilizations worldwide, namely the Indus Valley civilization. Since then, there have been numerous invaders who have left their mark. Being one of the most open cultures across the world, the beliefs, traditions, habits and religious beliefs of various cultures have been incorporated into this melting pot over a period of time. Some of these mores have been passed from generation to generation as values.

A prominent one among them is the concept of treating guests as god. The concept of treating a guest as a god is a Sanskrit phrase ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’, derived from ancient scriptures. This is now used as a tag line by the Ministry of tourism to improve the attention given to tourism. The campaign aims to sensitize the populace and make it more tourist centric than ever before. The various government bodies which are related to tourism are working actively to encourage tourism in the country.

The Hotel Corporation of India Ltd. runs Palace hotels and Heritage hotels, besides providing catering services to airlines.

The India Tourism Development Corporation or ITDC was founded in 1966 as a Public sector undertaking of the Government of India. The company runs 15 hotels under the brand name ‘Ashok’. The main objective of this company is to lead and catalyze the enhancement of the hospitality sector in India. ITDC also acts as a consultant for tourism related projects across the country. It also acts as an official money changer for tourists. It also runs duty free shops.

The Ashok Institute of Hospitality and tourism Management is a reputed hotel management institute of the country. ITDC also runs the sound and light show at the Red Fort in New Delhi which showcases the history of the monument.

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation or IRCTC was formed in 1999 as a subsidiary of Indian Railways to manage catering, tourism, online ticketing and Tatkal booking for the Indian Railways. The catering service is provided to Duronto, Farakka, Maitree, Kandhari and some of the Rajdhani express trains.

The online ticketing includes booking and cancellation of tickets. Tatkal bookings are done only one day before the departure of trains and are meant for emergency bookings only. Tatkal booking faces a heavy rush from tourists especially at 10 a.m, when it opens. The magnitude of the rush varies as per the festival and season. The tourism branch of IRCTC caters to budget tourism as well as luxury tourism.

The budget tourism package is known as the Bharat Darshan and it covers important destinations across the country. An example of the luxury tourism package is the Palace on Wheels. New initiatives of the IRCTC include launching the ticketing facility using mobile phones and own brand of bottled water called Rail Neer besides others.

The Ministry of Tourism is the apex body for the formulation and administration of laws and rules relating to promotion of tourism in India. It formulates national policies and coordinates with various central and state government agency activities.

The Tourism Finance Corporation of India Ltd. or TCFI is a public limited company which has been promoted by nationalized banks, IFCI and other national level financial institutions. The objective is to assist with the financial needs of the tourism industry. TCFI offers financial assistance in developing tourism related activities, surveys to study the flow of tourists, evaluating tourism related projects and planning the construction and maintenance of amusement parks.

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