Approval By Mot As An Inbound Tour Operator
Government Of India Ministry Of Tourism Guidelines For Recognition
- Renewal As An Approved Inbound Tour Operator
- The aims and objectives of the scheme for recognition of Inbound Tour Operator are to encourage quality standard and service in this category so as to promote tourism in India and abroad. This is a voluntary scheme open to all bonafide tour operators to bring them in organized sector.
- Definition : An Inbound tour operator is one who makesarrangements for transport, accommodation, sight seeing, entertainment and other tourism related services for foreign tourists.
- 3. The application 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 Inbound 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 IATO.
- The application 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 IATO, on an application made by the Tour Operator along with the requisite fee / documents.
- The documents received from applicants after scrutiny in all respects will be acknowledged by the Travel Trade Division in respect of first approval and by the concerned Regional Director for renewal. The inspection for first approval / renewal shall be conducted by the Inspection Team within a period of sixty working days from the receipt of complete application.
- The following conditions must be fulfilled by the Inbound Tour
Operator for grant of recognition / renewal by Ministry of Tourism.
- The application for grant of
recognition / renewal shall be in the prescribed form and submitted in duplicate
along with the required documents.
- (b) The Inbound Tour operators located in rest of India should have a minimum Paid up Capital (or Capital employed) of Rs.3.00 lakh and Rs. 50,000/
- in the case of North – Eastern region, remote and rural areas, duly supported by the latest Audited Balance Sheet/Chartered Accountant’s certificate.
- The turn-over in terms of foreign exchange earnings by the firm from inbound tour operations only during the preceding financial year or calendar year should be a minimum of Rs. 25.00 lakh for rest of India and Rs. 5.00 lakh for the North – Eastern region, remote and rural areas duly supported by Chartered Accountant’s certificate. However, for the North – Eastern Region, the Chartered Accountant’s Certificate regarding turn – over of the firm in Rupee earnings would be treated as Foreign Exchange earnings, provided there is documentary evidence that such earnings are from inbound tour operations only.
- The Inbound Tour operator should have an office under the charge of the owner or a full time member of their staff, who is adequately trained / experienced in matters regarding transport, accommodation, currency, customs regulations and general information about tourism and travel related services. However, greater emphasis may be given to effective communication skills and knowledge of foreign language other than English. There should be a minimum of four qualified staff out of which at least one should have Diploma / Degree in Tourism & Travel Management from a recognized University, IITTM or an institution approved by AICTE.
The owner of the firm would be included as one of the qualified employees. The academic qualifications may be relaxed in case of the other two staff members who are exceptionally experienced personnel in Airlines, Shipping, Transport, PR Agencies, Hotels and other corporate bodies and those who have two years experience with Ministry of Tourism approved tour operators. For the agencies located in the North – Eastern region, remote and rural areas, there should be a minimum of two staff out of which one should be a qualified employee with a Diploma / Degree in Tourism & Travel Management from a recognized University, IITTM or an institution approved by AICTE. The owner of the firm would be included as one of the qualified employees.
- The Inbound 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 at least 150 sq. ft for rest of India and 100 sq. ft for hilly areas which are above 1000 meters from sea level. 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 Inbound Tour operator should be an income tax assessee and should have filed Income Tax Returns for the last or current assessment year.
(h). Disclaimer : The Inbound Tour Operator should employ onlyRegional Level Guides trained and licensed by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and State Level Guides approved by the State Governments. The implementation of this clause would be subject to the decision of Hon’ble High Court of Rajasthan in Writ Petition No. 5607 / 2004 and other Hon’ble Courts.
(i). The Inbound Tour Operator shall contract / use approved specialized agencies in the field of adventure options and related services for the tourists
- The inbound 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.
- The recognition / renewal will be granted to the Head Office of the Domestic Tour Operator. Branch offices will be approved along with the Head Office or subsequently, provided the particulars of the Branch offices are submitted to Ministry of Tourism for recognition and for renewal to the concerned Regional Director and accepted by it.
- The Inbound Tour Operator so granted recognition / renewal shall be entitled to such incentives and concessions as may be granted by the 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.
- Even though the scheme of granting approval of recognition to service providers of Travel Trade is voluntary, in nature, there is a need to have a pro – active role of Ministry of Tourism and Travel Trade to ensure that more and more service providers seek approval and then service the tourists. There is also a need to educate the stakeholders as well as consumers against the potential risk of availing services through the unapproved service providers.
- It shall be mandatory for an approved service provider of Travel Trade to prominently display the Certificate of approval of recognition given by Ministry of Tourism in the office by pasting it on a board or in a picture frame so that it is visible to a potential tourist.
- The decision of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India in the matter of recognition / renewal shall be final. However, MOT may in their discretion refuse to recognize / renew any firm or withdraw / withhold at any time recognition / renewal already granted with the approval of the Competent Authority. Before such a decision is taken, necessary Show Cause Notice wouldinvariably be issued and the reply considered on merit. This will be done after careful consideration and generally as a last resort. Circumstances in which withdrawal is affected would also be indicated.
- The guidelines including application form may be downloaded from website www.tourism.gov.in.