New Delhi: Minister of State (I/C) for Culture & Tourism, Prahlad Singh Patel and Chief Minister of Manipur, N. Biren Singh jointly inaugurated the 8th International Tourism Mart today at Imphal, Manipur. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, in association with the North Eastern States is organising the ‘International Tourism Mart’ (ITM) at Imphal, Manipur from 23 to 25 November, 2019. Tourism Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Nakap Nalo, Secretary, Tourism, Yogendra Tripathi and other dignitaries from Central Ministries and North Eastern states were also present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Patel said that the entire North East region has great heritage of culture and natural beauty to attract tourists from across the globe. He said that to attract more tourists to the North East region, we need to change the perception and added that government is working towards the same. He said that Prime Minister Modi is a true brand ambassador of India to promote the tourism in the country. Patel said that this is the second time Manipur is hosting the International Tourism Mart and because of the friendly environment of Manipur more tourists are visiting the state.
Patel also said that the North East Region has witnessed 47% growth in terms of visits of foreign tourists, which is a very good sign for the entire region. He added that due to reduction in E-Visa fee and reduction in GST rates on hotel rooms, more tourists are coming to India. He also said that the government has opened 137 peaks for foreign tourists and besides this, Siachen glacier has also been opened for public. He informed that India has jumped in World Travel and Tourism Index from 40th to 34th position in 2019.
Speaking on the occasion Chief Minister of Manipur N. Biren Singh thanked to Tourism Ministry for giving opportunity to Manipur to host 8th ITM. He said that because of peace in Manipur, the number of tourists are increasing consistently. He also said that Manipur has good infrastructure and better connectivity with other parts of the country so we are expecting good number of tourists in future.
This is the 8th ITM and an annual event organised in the North Eastern region with the objective of highlighting the tourism potential of the region in the domestic and international markets. It brings together the tourism business fraternity and entrepreneurs from the eight North Eastern States. The event has been planned and scheduled to facilitate interaction between buyers, sellers, media, Government agencies and other stakeholders.
The North East Region of India comprising the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim, is endowed with diverse tourist attractions and products. The varied topography of the region, its flora and fauna, the ethnic communities with their rich heritage of ancient traditions and lifestyles, its festivals, arts and crafts, make it a holiday destination waiting to be explored.
The 8th International Tourism Mart, will put the spotlight on ‘Sustainable Tourism an engine for Economic Growth and Employment’. Besides deliberations on promotion of tourism in the North East Region in general, the Mart will also give a platform for promoting cultural ties, providing enhanced connectivity to the States of North Eastern Region with other countries in our neighbourhood.
Buyer and Media delegates from around the world and from different regions of the country are participating in the Mart and will engage in one-on-one meetings with sellers from the North East Region. This will enable the tourism product suppliers from the region to reach out to international and domestic buyers, with the objective of promoting tourism to the region.
A total of 36 foreign buyer delegates from over 19 countries namely Australia, Canada, Cambodia, Czech, Dubai, Italy, Japan, Oman, Korea, Myanmar, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, USA, UK, and Vietnam are participating in the Mart.
Besides the foreign delegates, 49 domestic stakeholders in the tourism sector from other parts of the country and 109 sellers from the North Eastern States are participating in the Mart. Representatives of State Tourism Departments of these North East States will also be present to showcase their tourist destinations and to interact with the delegates.
International and domestic buyers will be engaging in business-to-business meetings with sellers from the North Eastern Region. In addition to these the three-day event also includes presentations by state governments on their tourism potential, cultural evenings, sightseeing visits to local attractions in and around Imphal.
An exhibition by State Tourism Departments from the North Eastern States including display of beautiful handicrafts and handlooms is also being organised to showcase the tourism products of respective participating States. The state government of Madhya Pradesh has also been invited to participate and give a presentation as it is a paired state with Manipur under the ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat‘ initiative.
Overwhelming response has been received for taking post-mart familiarisation tours to the North Eastern states by foreign buyer delegates. This will create awareness about the rich and varied tourism products of the North Eastern Region and to give them a first-hand experience of the destination.
The International Tourism Marts are organised in the North Eastern States on rotation basis. Manipur is hosting this mart for the second time. The earlier editions of this mart have been held in Guwahati, Tawang, Shillong, Gangtok, Agartala.
Earlier in November, DoNER Minister Jitendra Singh had visited the site of the North East Convention Centre bring set up in Delhi. This Centre will be the information and cultural hub of the NE Region in Delhi.
Jitendra Singh had also said that the North East Region will pilot India’s collaboration with ASEAN at the India-ASEAN Business Summit in November.
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