GUWAHATI, Dec 5 - The Union Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge) KJ Alphons today said that issue of direct air connectivity of the North-East with the neighbouring countries would be taken up with the Ministry of Civil Aviation for improving the inflow of international tourists to the region.
Speaking at the inauguration of the 6th International Tourism Mart (ITM) in Guwahati today, the Union Minister said that all the concerns of the NE region, including its promotion as a safe tourist destination, would be addressed on a priority basis.
The three-day ITM organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, in association with the North Eastern states was inaugurated by Governor of Assam Jagdish Mukhi in the presence of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
The event focusing on Act East Policy in giving special thrust on promoting the tourism potential of NE in ASEAN. The mart being participated by around 66 foreign delegates comprising stakeholders and media persons from over 29 countries and 50 domestic stakeholders in tourism sector is being hosted by Guwahati as a precursor to the Global Investors� Summit scheduled in February this year.
Governor Mukhi said that it was a wonderful platform in developing inter-regional tourism between the ASEAN and North East region as well as with BIMSTEC countries. �We must take full opportunity to promote the State by interacting with the delegates in a fruitful manner.�
�Assam is a land of undiluted beauty. India takes pride in venerating our guests and Assam is famous for its hospitality. This mart will go a long way in reflecting the true tourism potential of Assam and the North-East,� he added.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, while addressing the international and national delegates said that the beauty and pollution free environment of Assam and the North-East would give a whole new experience to the tourist, who want a break in the lap of the nature.
Asking the Union Government to help Assam and the North-East to fight and win the battle of perception related to law and order situation in the region, Assam Tourism Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that State and the region have not witnessed any major law and order issues in past couple of years, and it should be conveyed to the global community in a very positive way.
Pema Khandu, Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, who also attended the event today stated that the issue of connectivity in Arunachal Pradesh was gradually being sorted out. Surveys are on both for improving the rail and air connectivity of Arunachal with rest of the India and the neighbouring countries. �We are also contemplating to introduce rail connectivity up to Twang, a major tourist attraction of the State,� he added.
�To boost tourism in the region, the Central Government has sanctioned 14 major projects worth Rs 1,200 crore of which Assam has two major projects worth Rs 194 crore,� said Rashmi Verma, Union Tourism Secretary. She further informed about the Union Government�s plan to develop North-East as a preferred destination for adventure tourism.