New Delhi :-
Secretary, Ministry of Tourism Smt V Vidyavathi has emphasised that the development of tourism in the North East should take into account the sensitive ecosystem of the region. Smt Vidyavathi was speaking at the Business Session held on the second day of ITM in Shillong, Meghalaya to discuss the various issues pertaining to the development and growth of tourism in the North East Region. Representatives of the eight North Eastern States presented the updates on their new destinations as well as new opportunities in their States. Knowledge sessions and panel discussions with panelists from both the Government and private sectors deliberated on the advances and development of connectivity in the region.
Addressing the session, the Secretary stated that NER occupies a unique place in terms of natural beauty and tourism resources. This region offers huge geographical diversity which provides great scope for Adventure Tourism. The Ministry of Tourism has formulated a National Strategy for Adventure Tourism and constituted a National Board for Adventure Tourism to guide the operationalization and implementation of the strategy to promote and develop adventure tourism in the country. Ministry of Tourism has drafted the Adventure Tourism Model law which covers the Obligations, Institutional Framework, Penalties, Registration and the Provision of Insurance. It has been circulated to all States/UTs for feedback. She urged the North Eastern States to proactively participate in the endeavour to strengthen safety for undertaking adventure sports activities in the country including North East.
The Secretary informed that keeping in mind the increasing trend for experiential tourism, Ministry of Tourism has formulated a National Strategy for the Promotion of Rural Homestays as homestays provide tourists with an opportunity for not only to stay at alternative forms of accommodation but also to promote inclusive development by creating entrepreneurial and job opportunities for local communities. She exhorted all the North Eastern States to proactively consider the implementation of the Homestays strategy to achieve the goal of vocal for local and also support the development of rural tourism in the region.
The International Tourism Mart is an annual event held by the Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India in one of the North Eastern States on rotation basis. The mart provides a platform for the local stakeholders to interact with their counterparts from both within the country and overseas markets. The Ministry of Tourism also hosts media and tour operators at the travel mart so as to create awareness about various tourism products and destinations in the North East to increase tourism to the region.