A three-day mega event to put a spotlight on the tourism potential of the northeast region and facilitate interaction among government agencies, business fraternity, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders is all set to be inaugurated in Mizoram capital Aizawl on Thursday.
The 10th International Tourism Mart (ITM) for the northeast region will also focus on ”priorities of G20 for tourism track”, since India will assume the yearlong Presidency of the influential group for a year from December 1 to November 30 next year.
Union Culture and Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy is slated to address the inaugural session of the event as the chief guest in the evening. The event has been planned to facilitate interaction between buyers, sellers, media, government agencies, and other stakeholders. The ITM will bring together tourism business fraternity and entrepreneurs from the eight Northeastern states, the Tourism Ministry said on Wednesday.
Union minister Reddy, who holds the portfolio of development of the northeast region (DoNER) will attend the inaugural ceremony to be hosted at the R Dengthuama Indoor Stadium here.
Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga will also grace the event, the ministry has said.
The venue has been decked up with vibrant posters promoting the eight states of the northeast region as veritable tourism attractions.
Posters include slogans such as ‘Awesome Assam’ to ‘Land of Jewel – Manipur ‘ and ‘Mesmerising Meghalaya’ to ‘Land of Dawn-lit Mountains – Arunachal Pradesh’.
The event will take place a day after India was handed over the presidency of the influential bloc at the end of the two-day G-20 summit in Bali in Indonesia.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said India’s G-20 presidency will be inclusive, ambitious and action-oriented, noting that it is taking the responsibility at a time the world is grappling with geopolitical tensions, economic slowdown and rising food and energy prices.
India is expected to host over 200 G20 meetings during its yearlong Presidency, which will culminate with an annual summit on September 9 and 10 next year.
From big metros to smaller cities, including those rich in history and scenic beauty such as Hampi and Khajuraho, India has planned to host the G20 meetings at 55 locations across the country during this period.
These locations will also include Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities which have picturesque landscape and are rich in cultural heritage, a top official of the Tourism Ministry had earlier said.
”So, we are doing a meeting at the Runn of Kutch, one in Siliguri, there will be meetings at Hampi and Khajuraho as well,” the official had said.
Union Tourism Secretary Arvind Singh had recently said that India plans to position itself as a ”major tourism destination” during its Presidency of the G20.
He had said this during a national conference of state tourism ministers hosted in Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh from September 18-20.
Tourism-related aspects of the G20 leaders’ summit were also discussed during the conference organised by the Union Ministry of Tourism.
”We plan to ensure due rigour and dedication, and showcase our cultural richness while welcoming the world to our nation. We plan to bring in necessary interventions including visa reforms, ease of travel, traveller-friendly immigration facilities at airports and openness to international travel,” the tourism ministry had said in a statement earlier after the Dharamshala conference.
The Aizawl event is billed to step up the efforts of the ministry in positioning itself as a major tourism destination during India’s Presidency of the G20.
The mart will include presentations by the eight Northeastern states on their tourism potential, cultural evenings, sightseeing visits to local attractions in and around Aizawl, the ministry said.
It will also include business-to-business (B2B) meetings where buyers from different regions of the country will engage in one-on-one meetings with sellers from the northeast region. Also, an exhibition including display of beautiful handicrafts and handlooms will also be organised to showcase the tourism products of respective participating states. The International Tourism Marts are organised in the northeastern states on a rotational basis. Mizoram is hosting this mart for the first time. The earlier editions of the event have been held in Guwahati, Tawang, Shillong, Gangtok, Agartala, Imphal and Kohima, the ministry said.