Guidelines For Recognition As An Approved Domestic Tour Operator
- The aims & objectives of the scheme for recognition of Domestic Tour Operator are to encourage quality standard and service in this category so as to promote tourism in India. This is a voluntary scheme open to all bonafide tour Operators to bring them in organized sector.
- Definition : A domestic tour operator is one who makes arrangementsfor transport, accommodation, sight seeing, entertainment and other tourism related services for domestic tourists.
- Applications for recognition shall be addressed to the Additional Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Transport Bhawan, 1, Parliament Street, New Delhi- 110 001.
- The recognition as an approved Domestic Tour Operator shall be granted by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, New Delhi initially, for five years, based on the Inspection Report / Recommendations of a Committee comprising of concerned Regional Director and a member of ADTOI.
- Applications for renewal/extension shall be addressed to the Regional Director of the concerned region as per the following addresses.
- The Regional Director (East), India Tourism, “Embassy”, 4, Shakespeare Sarani, Kolkata
- The Regional Director (West), India Tourism, 123, M. Karve Road, Opp. Church Gate,
- The Regional Director (North), India Tourism, 88 – Janpath, New Delhi
- The Regional Director (South), India Tourism, 154, Anna Salai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
- The Regional Director (North – East), India Tourism, Asom Paryatan Bhawan, 3rd Floor, Near Nepali Mandir, A. K. Azad Road, Paltan Bazar, Guwahati
- The renewal / extension thereafter shall be granted for five years after Inspection conducted by a Committee comprising of concerned Regional Director and a member of ADTOI, on an application made by the Domestic Tour Operator along with the requisite fee / documents.
- 7. Documents received from applicants after scrutiny in all respects will be acknowledged by the Regional Director concerned. The inspection for renewal shall be conducted by the Inspection team within a period of two months from the receipt of complete application, failing which it will be deemed as renewed.
- The following conditions must be fulfilled by the Domestic Tour Operator for grant of recognition by Ministry of Tourism.
- The application for grant of recognition shall be in the prescribed form and submitted in duplicate.
- The Domestic Tour operator should have a minimum paid up capital (or capital employed) of Rs.5.00 lakhs duly supported by the latest audited balance sheet/Chartered Accountant’s certificate.
- The turn-over of the firm from tour operation business only should be a minimum of Rs. 20.00 lakhs duly supported by Chartered Accountant’s certificate.
- The Domestic Tour operator has an office under the charge of a full time member of their staff, who is adequately trained/ experienced in matters regarding transport, accommodation, currency, customs regulations and general information about travel and tourism related services. However, greater emphasis may be given to effective communication skills in Hindi and English. There should be a minimum of four qualified staff out of which at least two should have Diploma/ Degree in Travel and Tourism from recognized university, IITTM or an institution approved by AICTE.
The academic qualifications may be relaxed in case of experienced personnel in Airlines, Shipping, Transport, PR Agencies, Hotels and other corporate bodies and those who have 2 years experience with Ministry of Tourism approved tour operators. Similarly, for the agencies located in North-east, religious, remote and rural areas, there should be a minimum of two qualified staff.
- The Domestic Tour Operator should have been in operation for a minimum period of one year before the date of application.
- The minimum office space should be of 250 sq. ft besides the office may be located in neat and clean surroundings and equipped with telephone, fax and computer reservation system etc. There should be sufficient space for reception and easy access to toilets.
- The Domestic Tour operator should be an income tax assesses and should have filed Income Tax Returns for the last or current assessment year.
They should have registered for Service Tax and made full payment of the assessed service tax for the preceding year.
- The Domestic Tour Operators should employ only Regional Guides trained and licensed by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and State level Guides as well as local guides approved by the State Governments.
- The Domestic Tour operator shall contract/use approved specialized agencies in the field of Adventure Options and related services for the tourists.
- The Domestic Tour operator will be required to pay a non-refundable fee of Rs.3, 000/- while applying for the recognition and renewal of Head Office as well as each Branch Office. The fee will be made payable to the Pay & Accounts Officer, Ministry of Tourism in the form of a Bank Draft.
- Recognition will be granted to the Head Office of the Domestic Tour Operator. Branch offices will be approved along with the Head Office provided the particulars of the Branch offices are submitted to Ministry of Tourism and accepted by it.
- Domestic Tour operator, granted recognition, shall be entitled to such incentives and concessions as may be granted by Government from time to time and shall abide by the terms and conditions of recognition as prescribed from time to time by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
- The decision of the Government of India in the matter of recognition shall be final. However, the Govt. of India may in their discretion refuse to recognize any firm or withdraw/withhold at any time recognition already granted with the approval of the Additional Director General of the Ministry of Tourism. Before such a decision is taken, necessary show cause notice would be issued and the reply considered on merit. Circumstances in which withdrawal is affected would also be indicated.