The Union Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned Rs 560 cr in the five year plan for infrastructure development in the tourism sector in the north eastern region of India to promote its potential in the global community.
It was declared by Union Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi on Saturday during the inaugural function of first International Tourism Mart in Guwahati.
"The Mart has brought together the tourism business fraternity and entrepreneurs from the eight states of NE region and West Bengal. Buyers and media delegates from 23 countries and from different regions of the country are participating in the three-day long Mart and will be engaging in one-to-one meeting with sellers from the NE region and West Bengal," the Union minister said.
"The Ministry of Tourism, GOI, is committed to the development and promotion of tourism in the NE region," Chiranjeevi said, and highlighted the initiatives being taken by the Ministry for promoting tourism in the region.
Around 83 buyer delegates from 23 countries including 10 countries of ASEAN, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Japan, Korea, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Sweeden, UK and USA participated in the Mart.
Besides the foreign delegates, around 70 domestic buyers from various parts of India and 108 sellers from the eight states of NE region and West Bengal participated in the International Tourism Mart.
"The Tourism Ministry of GOI will sanction funds to the NE states for infrastructure development of destinations and circuits, adventure tourism, rural tourism, construction of convention centers heliports, etc," the Union Minister said.
"The ministry has launched new promotional campaigns on the themes 'Find What You Seek' and 'Go Beyond' and it will highlight the fact that tourists from across the world can find the destination or product of their desire in India, and promote lesser known destinations including NE region," Chiranjeevi said.
"The ministry has planned to develop the infrastructure of 365 destinations in the country and also to increase tourist flow from 0.6% to 1% in next five years," the Union Minister said.
He further said that, the Ministry of Tourism also released domestic television campaigns on the NE to promote the region and provide space on complimentary basis to the NE states in the Indian pavilions set up at major international travel fairs and exhibitions, including the World Travel Market in London and International Tourism Bourse in Berlin to give the states an opportunity to showcase and promote their tourist destinations and products.
Organised by the Ministry of Tourism and Assam government, the international event was formally inaugurated by Assam Governor JB Patnaik at Sarusajai stadium in Guwahati on Saturday.
During the colourful inaugural function, all participating states performed their traditional dances and showcased their respective culture.
59000 foreign tourists arrived in the NE region in 2011 out of 6.6 million in India.
(Reporting by Hemanta Kumar Nath)