11th International Tourism Mart underway in Shillong for development of sector in North East Region

Shillong: Secretary Tourism urges North Eastern States to proactively participate in endeavour to strengthen safety for undertaking adventure sports activities

BY | Wednesday, 22 November, 2023

The 11th edition of the International Tourism Mart (ITM) got underway on 21st November 2023 in Shillong to discuss the various issues pertaining to the development and growth of tourism in the North East Region. The three-day event was inaugurated by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma and Union Minister of State for Tourism Shripad Yesso Naik at the Lariti International Centre for Performing Arts and Culture.

Addressing the event, Yesso Naik remarked that this edition of ITM is different in many ways because international tour operators and bloggers are participating in the event. The Ministry is making efforts to make this event carbon neutral, he said referring to the event being a ‘Green Event’.

The Ministry of Tourism has for the first time adopted low carbon options for the 11th ITM on the lines of the action points formulated by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for implementation of Mission LiFE and sensitizing the tourism stakeholders and generating greater awareness about its objectives.  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 during the event.

Chief Minister Sangma, in his address, acknowledged that the kind of economic growth that the region is witnessing in the northeast is unprecedented and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the support. “There is a very strong and special focus to ensure that the NE States moves together with the rest of the country and ensure that economic development reached in this region, whether it is in respect of infrastructural development, youth development programme, agricultural sector, or the socio-economic sector like tourism, there has been tremendous support from the government of India,” he said. Sangma also emphasised the huge potential for tourism in the region in creating job opportunities for youth.

On Wednesday, speaking during the Business Session held on the second day of International Tourism Mart, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, V Vidyavathi emphasised that the development of tourism in the North East should take into account the sensitive ecosystem of the region. According to the Ministry, she stated that NER occupies a unique place in terms of natural beauty and tourism resources and offers huge geographical diversity which provides great scope for Adventure Tourism.

Download Nagaland Tribune app on Google Play

She highlighted that the Ministry has formulated National Strategy for Adventure Tourism and constituted a National Board for Adventure Tourism to guide the operationalization and implementation of the strategy to promote and develop adventure tourism in the country. Vidyavathi therefore urged the North Eastern States to proactively participate in the endeavour to strengthen safety for undertaking adventure sports activities in the country including North East. She also informed that the Ministry has drafted the Adventure Tourism Model law which covers the Obligations, Institutional Framework, Penalties, Registration and the Provision of Insurance.

The Secretary informed that keeping in mind the increasing trend for experiential tourism, the Ministry of Tourism has formulated a National Strategy for the Promotion of Rural Homestays as homestays provide tourists with an opportunity for not only to stay at alternative forms of accommodation but also to promote inclusive development by creating entrepreneurial and job opportunities for local communities. She exhorted all the North Eastern States to proactively consider the implementation of the Homestays strategy to achieve the goal of vocal for local and also support the development of rural tourism in the region.

The International Tourism Mart is an annual event held by the Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India in one of the North Eastern States on rotation basis. The mart provides a platform for the local stakeholders to interact with their counterparts from both within the country and overseas markets. The Ministry of Tourism also hosts media and tour operators at the travel mart so as to create awareness about various tourism products and destinations in the North East to increase tourism to the region.

You cannot copy content of this page