SHILLONG: The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, is organizing the 11th edition of the International Tourism Mart in Shillong, Meghalaya, from November 21 to 23. The International Tourism Mart is an annual event held by the Ministry in one of the North Eastern States on a rotational basis, with the objective of providing a bigger platform for the North Eastern stakeholders to interact with their counterparts from both within the country and overseas markets, as well as to create awareness about the tourism potential of the North East Region (NER) and highlight its unique tourism products, rich biodiversity, and unique intangible heritage, including local traditions, dance forms, arts, handicrafts, and handlooms, to a domestic and international audience.
The International Mart is also going to be a unique event, as it has been planned as a green event by adopting low-carbon options on the lines of the action points formulated by the Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Climate Change (GOI for the implementation of Mission LIFE, sensitising 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, and a tree plantation drive will be undertaken.
The event is scheduled to be inaugurated by Union Minister of Tourism, Culture, and DoNER, G. Kishan Reddy, and will be attended by North-Eastern Tourism Ministers, Senior Officials of North-Eastern States, State Governments, and Heads of the Tourism and Hospitality Associations. The earlier editions of this Mart have been held in Guwahati, Tawang, Shillong, Gangtok, Agartala, Imphal, Kohima, and Aizwal. Shillong will be hosting this event for the second time since its inception. An approximate number of 100 delegates, including domestic and international, would be participating in the event.
The event will include an exclusive session dedicated to business meetings between local North Eastern stakeholders and domestic and international buyers. The three Vistadome trains operating in the North East region have greatly contributed to not only connectivity but also to enhancing its tourism appeal.
The development of tourism infrastructure and tourism promotion activities in the North East Region has been one of the priorities of the Ministry of Tourism. Sixteen projects have been sanctioned in the North East States under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme for a total of Rs. 1309 crore.
A total of 15 tourist destinations are being taken up in the North East for development under the revamped Swadesh Darshan Scheme 2.0, with the objective of developing sustainable and responsible destinations with a tourist- and destination-centric approach. Further, the Ministry of Tourism, under the PRASHAD Scheme, has sanctioned a total of 8 projects for an amount of Rs. 256.45 crore for the integrated development of identified pilgrimage destinations in the North East States. The Ministry of Tourism has also sanctioned the development of 22 viewpoints at a cost of Rs 44.44 crore to provide world-class infrastructure and related services for the highway network, viz., commercial spaces, logistic parks, and traveller facilities such as wayside amenities (WSA) in the North East Region. Many of the projects sanctioned under SD 1.0 and PRASHAD schemes have already been completed and dedicated to the nation. (PIB)