To tap the huge potential of tourism, the Railways has announced the ‘Bharat Gaurav’ Scheme.
About Bharat Gaurav Scheme:
- Government has earmarked about 3,033 coaches or about 150 trains.
- these will not be regular trains that will run as per a timetable but will be more on the lines of the Ramayana Express being run by the IRCTC.
- Service providers, who can be an individual, company, society, trust, joint venture or consortium will be free to decide themes/circuits like Guru Kripa trains for covering important places of Sikh culture.
- They will offer an all-inclusive package to tourists including rail travel, hotel accommodation and sightseeing arrangement, visit to historical/heritage sites, tour guides etc. and have full flexibility to decide the package cost.
- The service providers will also be able to design/furnish the interior of the coaches based on the theme and put branding or advertising inside and outside of the train.
- Railway will charge a small fee.
Benefits of such Scheme:
- These trains will help realise India’s rich cultural heritage and magnificent historical places to the people of India and the world. They will also help in tapping the vast tourism potential of India.
- The interested operators can apply online by registering with a one time fee of Rs 1 lakh and the operators have to give a security deposit of Rs 1 corer per rake
- Eligibility: Individual, Partnership Firm, Company, Society, Trust, JV/Consortium (Unincorporated/Incorporated) are eligible.
- Under this scheme, the railway will take the haulage charges and a right to use fee
- Right to use period: Minimum of 2 years and maximum of 10 years.
- Units: To facilitate and handhold the operators, the railways will set up special units in zones
IRCTC Theme based circuits:
Ramayana Express – tours several locations connected to lord Rama
Guru Kripa train – covers the important sites of Sikh culture.
Other Related Scheme:
Tourism in India
- Tourism in India is important for the country’s economy and is growing rapidly.
- According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the travel & tourism industry’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was USD 121.9 billion in 2020 and this is expected to reach USD 512 billion by 2028.
- In India, the industry’s direct contribution to the GDP is expected to record an annual growth rate of 10.35% between 2019 and 2028.
- Also, the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2019 ranked India 34th out of 140 countries overall, showing India’s efforts to improve in the field.