|The 6th International Tourism Mart kicked off on December 5 in Guwahati, a major city in India’s northeast in the state of Assam. Photo Thu Hằng|
GUWAHATI, India — The 6th International Tourism Mart kicked off on December 5 in Guwahati, a major city in India’s northeast in the state of Assam.
The three-day event is being organised by the Indian Ministry of Tourism in association with the north-eastern states.
The mart serves as a platform to further discuss the new tourism products of the north-eastern region and provides an opportunity for stakeholders from the region to interact with their international counterparts and also with tour operators from other regions of the country, Rashmi Verma, Secretary in the Indian Ministry of Tourism, said.
Besides deliberations on promotion of tourism in the north-east in general, keeping the objectives of the “Act East Policy” in view, discussions will focus on promoting cultural ties, people-to-people contacts with ASEAN member countries, and enhancing connectivity between the north-eastern states and countries in the neighbourhood, thus developing inter-regional tourism between ASEAN and India’s north-east.
The north-east is endowed with a lot of natural resources and efforts need to be made to develop adventure tourism, eco-tourism, rural tourism including home stays, birdwatching and caving tours, she said.
All the north-eastern states organise several tourism festivals but these are not marketed effectively, she said.
Due to the immense diversity in geographical and natural conditions, there are huge opportunities for tourists, both domestic and foreign, to try various adventure activities in the region, she said.
The spirit of adventure tourism is essentially rooted in sustainability and responsibility, and, therefore, if practised as they should be, these activities should only have a minimum effect on the environment, she added.
The mart is an annual event held in the north-east on a rotational basis in the various states there to highlight the region’s tourism potential in the domestic and international markets.
An exhibition by the tourism departments of each of the states will showcase their magnificent handicrafts, handlooms and other tourism products.
The region, comprised of the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim, is endowed with diverse tourist attractions and products.
The varied topography of the region, its flora and fauna, the ethnic communities with their rich heritage of ancient traditions and lifestyles, its festivals, arts and crafts, make it a holiday destination that is little known outside -- and even in India -- but waiting to be explored.
Buyers and media delegates from around the world and from different parts of India are participating in the event and engaging in one-to-one meetings with sellers from the region.
Around 66 foreign delegates, comprising stakeholders and media persons from more than 29 countries, including almost all the ASEAN member countries, Australia, Bhutan, China, Fiji, Germany, Japan, Nepal, Spain, Tanzania, the US, the UK, and South Korea are taking part. — VNS