MOT approves new MDA scheme

The Ministry of Tourism has given its approval for the new Marketing Development Assistance (MDA) scheme that allows a maximum grant of ` 2.5 lakh to tourism service providers for promotional activities abroad.

The new Marketing Development Assistance (MDA) scheme, administered by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, came into effect from April 1, 2017, however, the prior intimations received for promotional activities abroad up to March 31, 2017, will be considered settled according to the existing scheme guidelines of July 9, 2015.

According to a letter from the Ministry of Tourism, all claims received during the year 2015-16 and 2016-17 will be considered in accordance with the existing scheme guidelines. All the travel trade associations such as FAITH, IATO, HAI, FHRAI, TAAI, ATOAI, ADTOI and others have been asked to convey these guidelines to all stakeholders. Under the MDA scheme, MOT gives a maximum grant of `2.5 lakh to tourism service providers, i.e. hoteliers, travel agents, tour operators, tourist transport operators for undertaking tourism promotional activities such as sales tours, roadshows, and participation in travel fairs/exhibitions abroad by the way of reimbursement towards air fare, participation fee, hotel accommodation. The Tourism Departments of all States and Union Territories are also eligible for benefits under the scheme. The main objective of MDA is to promote marketing of brand ‘Incredible India’ in the established markets as well as in the emerging markets. To avail the reimbursement, the applicant would’ve to request MOT for approval at least 21 days in advance before going abroad for promotional activity with the required list of documents. Only those tourism service providers approved by the MOT, Govt. of India, and in case of J&K and North East states, tourism service providers approved by the state tourism department, are eligible for benefits under the scheme.

Financial support under the scheme would only be available to companies with foreign exchange earnings up to a maximum of ` 15 crore during the preceding financial year. And in case of J&K and states in North East Region, the service providers not having any foreign exchange earning but with a total turnover of up to ` 20 crore would also be eligible. According to MOT guideline, tourism service providers must show a cumulative increase of 5 per cent in FEE during a three year period, to be eligible for financial support under the new scheme, i.e. at the end of the year 3, there must be a cumulative increase of 5 per cent in FEE over the base year.

This clause will be made effective from the financial year 2015- 16. Also, those service providers including States/UTs who have participated in a minimum of two events (covering sales tours, travel fairs/ exhibitions and roadshows) in one financial year will be provided financial support under this scheme.

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