After 15 yrs, state revises policy to recognise tour service providers

kolkata: The state Tourism department has come out with revised rules for Recognition of Tourism Service Providers 2021 in consonance with the current needs of the hospitality and tourism industry.

The policy was framed 15 years back and it needed revision with the emerging trends in the tourism sector.

"The most significant aspect of the revised policy is simplification of the renewal process for tourism service providers. The period of recognition has been extended to 5 years for experienced category of tourism service providers and 3 years for the startups. This will benefit the stakeholders as they will not have to go through frequent renewal process. Previously, the period of recognition was valid for just 2 years," a senior official of the Tourism department said.

The amended policy has provided proper classification of the various tourism stakeholders in terms with national or international standards which includes categorsisation of the tour operators into domestic, inbound, MICE (meetings, incentives, conference & exhibition ) and cruise tour operators,.

"The classification of the tour operators instill confidence among travellers from other states or foreign countries about the expertise of these operators and boost the booking prospects," the official from the department said.

The travel agents have been clearly defined and concept of startups has also been included in the revised rules, added the official.

The official reiterated that the department has taken feedback from the tourism stakeholders before framing the revised policy.

Tour operators in Bengal welcomed the move of the state government.

"The classification is a welcome step but it should be supported by a policy for desired results," Amitava Sarkar, general secretary of Travel Agents Association of Bengal (TAAB) said.

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