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Wednesday, 06 December, 2017, 11 : 26 AM [IST]

Need to harness the tourism potential of NE region to put India on the forefront of Tourism: KJ Alphons

Sixth International Tourism Mart (ITM) begins in Guwahati
Speaking at the inaugural of the sixth International Tourism Mart (ITM) in Guwahati, KJ Alphons, Minister of State for Tourism, Government of India said that Indian tourism has to harness the large potential of North Eastern region of India to drive India’s tourism forward and put India in the forefront of international tourism. 

The Minister said that India is blessed with so many varied tourism potentials whether it is geographical position or its cuisines or its textiles or its varied cultures or its ancient cultural heritages and monuments. North Eastern India is the most beautiful place under the Sun, he said.

Around 75 international delegates mainly drawn from the ASEAN and BIMSTEC countries are attending the three-day conference aimed at promoting India’s North East as a Tourist destination. Inaugurating the Mart, Jagdish Mukhi, extended his greetings to all participants and said that this International Tourism Mart will go a long way in harnessing tourism potential in the North Eastern States. He said that this Mart is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the unique tourism treasures of North Eastern States. 

Explaining the various steps taken by the Assam government to promote tourism, Sarbananda Sonowal, Chief Minister of Assam said that the New Tourism Policy of the government released recently is intended at facilitating tourism investments in the state. Assam want to grow without destroying the eco-system and tourism is the most potential sector in Assam, Chief Minister informed.  

Mentioning his long association with the event, Pema Khandu, Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh said that connectivity and infrastructure are two problems which North Eastern States are facing. He hoped that due to initiatives like International Tourism Mart, very soon tourist visits to North Eastern States will be increased substantially.

The 6th ITM has put the spotlight on India’s ‘Act East Policy’, blossoming ties with ASEAN and the larger East Asia region, home to the world’s rapidly growing economies and India’s emerging tourism markets. 

Besides deliberations on promotion of tourism in the North East Region in general, keeping the objectives of the ‘'Act East Policy’ in view, the panel discussions are focussing on promoting cultural ties, people-to-people contact with countries in the ASEAN region providing enhanced connectivity to the States of North Eastern Region with other countries in our neighbourhood, thereby developing inter-regional tourism between the ASEAN and North East Region of India. 

 The international delegates attending the ITM are from Australia, Bhutan, Brunei, Canada, China, Combodia, Cyprus, Fiji, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, Tanzania, Thailand, USA, UK, Vietnam, Turkey and South Korea. 

 Besides the foreign delegates, 50 domestic stakeholders in Tourism sector from other parts of the country and 103 sellers from the North Eastern States are participating in the Mart.
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