The Ministry of Tourism Government of India, is set to host the 11th edition of the International Tourism Mart in Shillong, Meghalaya, from November 21st to 23rd, 2023. This annual event aims to provide a significant platform for stakeholders in the North Eastern States to engage with counterparts from across the country and international markets. The focus is on promoting the unique tourism potential, biodiversity and rich cultural heritage of the North East Region (NER).
This year’s International Tourism Mart takes on a special significance as it has been planned as a Green Event by adopting low carbon options on the lines of the action points formulated by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, GOI for implementation of Mission LiFE and sensitizing 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 as well as a tree plantation drive will be undertaken.
Inauguration and Dignitaries
The event will be inaugurated by Union Minister of Tourism, Culture and DoNER, Shri G. Kishan Reddy. The gathering will be attended by North-Eastern Tourism Ministers, Seniors Officials of North-Eastern States, State Governments and Heads of the Tourism & Hospitality Associations. The earlier editions of this Mart have been held in Guwahati, Tawang, Shillong, Gangtok, Agartala, Imphal, Kohima and Aizwal. Shillong, hosting the event for the second time, anticipates the participation of approximately 100 delegates, both domestic and international.
Business Meetings and Updates
An exclusive session dedicated to business meetings between local North Eastern stakeholders and domestic/international buyers is scheduled. The eight North Eastern States will present updates on new destinations and opportunities. Knowledge sessions and panel discussions, involving government and private sector representatives, will focus on advances and developments in regional connectivity, with particular emphasis on the significant increase in air connectivity in recent years.
The North East has witnessed a substantial improvement in air connectivity, with over 16 airports providing access to tourist destinations. The Ministry of Tourism’s collaboration with the Ministry of Civil Aviation under the RCS-UDAN Scheme has resulted in the operation of 53 tourism routes, including 10 exclusive routes for the North East Region. The introduction of three vistadome trains has further enhanced connectivity and tourism appeal.
Travel for LiFE Program
The Ministry of Tourism is actively promoting sustainable and responsible tourism through the Travel for LiFE Program, aligning with the objectives of Mission LiFE. This sectoral program aims to position India as a leader in sustainable tourism and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Tourism Infrastructure Development
The Ministry of Tourism has prioritized the development of tourism infrastructure in the North East. Sixteen projects, amounting to Rs.1309 crores, have been sanctioned under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme. Additionally, 15 tourist destinations are being developed under the revamped Swadesh Darshan Scheme 2.0. The PRASHAD Scheme has sanctioned eight projects worth Rs.256.45 crores for the integrated development of pilgrimage destinations in the North East. Furthermore, 22 viewpoints are under development to enhance highway network infrastructure.