Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio, Union MoS for tourism Ajay Bhatt and jointly inaugurated the 3-day-long 9th International Tourism Mart for the Northeast region at Kohima on Saturday.
MLA & advisor to Nagaland’s tourism department, H Khehovi Yeputhomi was also present at the programme.
Union secretary to tourism, Arvind Singh, ADG Tourism, Rupinder Brar and other dignitaries of the central government and Northeast states were also present on the occasion.
The objective of the event is to highlight the tourism potential of the region in the domestic and international markets.
A coffee table book on Nagaland was also launched on this occasion.
The tourism department of Nagaland & Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) signed an MoU for the operations of SIHM.
Speaking on the occasion, Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio expressed the hope that the International Tourism Mart at Kohima will give a boost to the tourism and business sector not only in Nagaland but the entire Northeast.
He also hoped that Northeast will become a favourite destination in the country for tourism and business.
While pointing out that tourism sector has been greatly affected by the pandemic, he thanked the ministry of tourism for organising the event in Kohima.
During his address, Ajay Bhatt said Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed from the Red Fort that everyone should visit Northeast, it has immense tourism potential.
“The simple nature and hospitality of the people here is incomparable, which I am experiencing myself, he said. Tourism and culture complement each other. If our culture is rich, then tourism is the best way to know and understand this richness,” Bhatt said.
Bhatt added that in this Tourism Mart “we are emphasizing on domestic tourism.”
About 75 sellers from the Northeast and about 50 buyers from the country are participating in the Mart.
“Many parts of this region are still untouched from the point of view of tourists. There is a huge potential of Border tourism and wildlife tourism”, he added.
Bhatt further said this year 50 students from different parts of the country have got an opportunity to know and understand Northeast India through the programme.
“I would also like to ask the ambassadors of different countries to motivate the tourists of their country to visit this region of India. The Government of India is doing many things for the development of tourism in the Northeast,” Bhatt said.
To prepare the infrastructure, the Government of India has sanctioned funds in the northeastern states under the ‘Swadesh Darshan’ and ‘Prashad’ schemes.
Under the ‘Swadesh Darshan’ scheme, 16 projects have been approved in the North-East these have been completed or are nearing completion. He appealed to State Governments to celebrate Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsava with great enthusiasm.
Speaking on the occasion Arvind Singh said, “International Tourism Marts is biggest travel and tour networking event in the Northeastern region of the country. The rich natural beauty, serenity and exotic flora and fauna of Northeast India are invaluable resources for the development of tourism especially eco-tourism.”
“The facilities for tourists to stay, for food, shopping and entertainment are improving tremendously,” he said.
Shri Singh added that travel & tourism is one of the world’s largest economic sectors, creating exports andprosperity around the world.
The Indian tourism sector has emerged as one of the key drivers of growth for the Indian economy.
Arvind Singh further said as Prime Minister has stressed on the need of introducing the students to the rich culture and heritage of North Eastern Region, today in this event we have students participating from all over the country.