New Delhi, Nov 20, 2023, Special Correspondent
New Delhi, Nov 20: The Union Ministry of Tourism will hold the 11th edition of International Tourism Mart at Shillong from November 21-23, having already held the previous such editions in all the North Eastern region states, including Tripura.
The International Tourism Mart is an annual event held by the Ministry in one of the North Eastern states on rotation basis to provide a bigger platform to the North Eastern stakeholders to interact with their counterparts from both within the country and overseas markets.
The event also promotes awareness about the tourism potential of NE region (NER) and highlights its unique tourism products, rich bio-diversity, unique intangible heritage including local traditions, dance forms, arts, handicrafts and handlooms to a domestic and international audience.
The earlier editions of this Mart have been held in Agartala, Guwahati, Tawang, Shillong, Gangtok, Imphal, Kohima and Aizwal, according to an official release.
Shillong will be hosting the event for the second time since its inception. An approximate number of 100 delegates, including domestic and international, are likely to participate.
Union Minister of Tourism, Culture and DoNER, G Kishan Reddy will inaugurate the event which will be attended by North-Eastern tourism ministers, seniors ifficials of North-Eastern states, state governments and heads of tourism and hospitality associations.
The International Mart is going to be unique this time as it has been planned as a Green Event by adopting low carbon options on the lines of the action points formulated by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, GoI for implementation of Mission LiFE and sensitising tourism stakeholders and generating greater awareness about its objectives.
Since there will be no use of SUP (single use plastic), a digital and paperless route will be followed as well as a tree plantation drive will be undertaken.
The event will include an exclusive session dedicated to business meetings between local North Eastern stakeholders and domestic and international buyers. The eight North Eastern states would present the updates on their new destinations as well as new opportunities in their states. Knowledge sessions and panel discussions with panelists from both the Government and private sectors would deliberate on the advances and development of connectivity in the region.
The air connectivity in the North East has increased tremendously in the last few years. At present, there are more than 16 airports providing accessibility to tourist destinations in the North East region. The Ministry of Tourism has collaborated with the Ministry of Civil Aviation under their RCS-UDAN Scheme. As part of this collaboration, 53 tourism routes have become operational of which 10 routes are exclusively for NE region.
Development of tourism infrastructure and tourism promotion in NE
Development of tourism infrastructure and tourism promotion activities in the North East region has been one of the priorities of Ministry of Tourism. Sixteen projects have been sanctioned in the North East states under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme for a total amount of Rs.1309.00 crore. A total of 15 tourist destinations are being taken up in the North East for development under the revamped Swadesh Darshan Scheme 2.0 with an objective to develop sustainable and responsible destinations with a tourist and destination-centric approach.
Further, Ministry of Tourism under the PRASHAD Scheme has sanctioned a total of 8 projects for an amount of Rs.256.45 crore for the integrated development of identified pilgrimage destinations in the North East states. The Ministry of Tourism has also sanctioned the development of 22 viewpoints at the cost of Rs.44.44 crore to provide world-class infrastructure and related services for the highway network viz, commercial spaces, logistic parks, traveler facilities such as wayside amenities in the North East region. Many of the projects sanctioned under SD 1.0 and PRASHAD Schemes have already been completed and dedicated to the nation.
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