The Minister of Tourism, Assam, Hemanta Biswa Sarma and Secretary, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Rashmi Verma at a press conference regarding the 6th International Tourism Mart 2017, in Guwahati on December 06, 2017.
The Minister of Tourism, Assam, Hemanta Biswa Sarma and Secretary, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Rashmi Verma at a press conference regarding the 6th International Tourism Mart 2017, in Guwahati on December 06, 2017.

Experts explore India’s North East and Developing Inter- Regional Tourism between BIMSTEC and ASEAN Countries@ 6th International Tourism Mart

Day Two of the International Tourism Mart 2017 at Guwahati started with a presentation on exploring North East by Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism. This presentation highlighted the varied tourism products of North East region and the initiatives taken by Ministry of Tourism for development of tourism infrastructure, promotion and marketing, human resource development in tourism sector for the North East region.

The presentation was followed by a panel discussion on the subject “Exploring India’s North East and Developing Inter- Regional Tourism between BIMSTEC, ASEAN Countries and North-East region of India”  The topics of discussions in this session was centered around steps taken by Ministry of Tourism to develop tourism in the North East, striking a synergy between Central Government Ministries and other government agencies for optimising their resources for promotion and development of Tourism in the North East Region.

Glimpse of Stakeholders flanked by Rajeev Kohli, VP, IATO at ITM 2017 during the business sessions

Glimpse of Stakeholders flanked by Rajeev Kohli, VP, IATO at ITM 2017.

As the majority of North East States share International borders with ASEAN and BIMSTEC Countries, the session also identified geopolitical drivers of tourist flows in the future in view of India’s increased focus on ‘Act East’ policy.  The key speakers of the session included Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Naveen Verma, Secretary, DONER, Ram Muivah, Secretary, NEC, R.C.Jain, Commissioner & Secretary (Tourism), Assam, Rajiv Kohli, Vice President, IATO and  Arjit Purkayasth, Tour operator of Assam.

The second panel discussion dwelled on the Opportunities in Promotion of North- East region of India.  In this session the Secretaries of Tourism of all the eight North Eastern States presented the unique selling products of each States that makes them fascinating.  All the Speakers agreed to the common fact that, the potential of this region lies in its having spectacular biodiversity, wildlife, culture, snow-capped Himalayas, tropical forests, shrines of diverse religions, ancient villages and historically important archaeological sites and variety of ethnic tribes having fascinating culinary heritage. The Northeast provides a wonderful opportunity for ‘Experiential Tourism’ at its very best.

This session explored collaboration among states to promote interstate tourism circuits and Synergy between the key tourism stakeholder from other regions of the country   to actively work with tourism stakeholders/ suppliers from the North East Region for positioning the North East Tourism products among international tour operators and domestic tourist highlighting the lesser known products, new experiences, adventure tourism opportunities in North East Region.The other speakers of the session included M.P.Bezbaruah, Former Secretary (Tourism) and member Eco Tourism Society India, Swadesh Kumar, President, ATOAI, P.P.Khanna, President ADTOI and Gautam Chintey, Advisor, North East Council.

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