Shillong set for International Tourism Mart, to be in sync with Mission LiFE

Shillong set for International Tourism Mart, to be in sync with Mission LiFE

Shillong, Nov 21 (PTI) Meghalaya's scenic capital Shillong is all set for a three-day mega event starting Tuesday that will highlight the tourism potential of India's northeast region and its rich biodiversity while laying emphasis on the government's Mission LiFE.

Nearly 100 delegates, including domestic and international ones, would be participating in the 11th edition of the International Tourism Mart (ITM) which is slated to be inaugurated here by Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy in the evening, officials said.

This ITM is 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, Forest and Climate Change for the implementation of Mission LiFE, officials said.

Mission LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) is an India-led global mass movement to nudge individual and community action to protect and preserve the environment.

The ITM 2023 will be held in Shillong from November 21 to 23, the tourism ministry said on Monday.

The ministry, in a statement, said it has sanctioned the development of 22 viewpoints in the northeast region at the cost of Rs 44.44 crore to provide world-class infrastructure and related services for the highway network through commercial spaces, logistic parks, and traveller facilities such as wayside amenities.

The ITM is an 'annual event held by the Ministry of Tourism in one of the Northeastern states on a rotation basis, with an objective to provide a bigger platform to the stakeholders in the Northeast to interact with their counterparts from both within the country and overseas markets as well as to create awareness about the tourism potential of Northeast region,' the ministry said.

The earlier editions of this ITM 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, the officials said.

The ITM aims to highlight the northeast region's unique tourism products, rich biodiversity, its intangible heritage, including local traditions, dance forms, arts, handicrafts and handlooms, to a domestic and international audience.

The event will be attended by tourism ministers, senior officials of various northeastern states, other state governments and heads of many tourism and hospitality associations, they said.

Sharing details about the event, the tourism ministry said, '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.' The event will include an exclusive session dedicated to business meetings between tourism stakeholders in the northeast and domestic and international buyers.

Knowledge sessions and panel discussions would deliberate on the advances and development of connectivity in the region, it said.

The air connectivity in the northeast has increased tremendously in the last few years. At present, there are more than 16 airports providing accessibility to tourist destinations in the northeast region, the ministry said.

The Ministry of Tourism has collaborated with the Ministry of Civil Aviation under their RCS-UDAN Scheme. As part of this collaboration, 53 tourism routes have become operational of which 10 routes are exclusively for the Northeast region.

'The three vistadome trains operating in the northeast region have greatly contributed to not only connectivity, but also in enhancing its tourism appeal,' it said.

To take forward the 'Travel for LiFE', a sectoral programme initiated by the Ministry of Tourism under the aegis of Mission LiFE, the ministry is working with all stakeholders in the tourism ecosystem including the state governments, industry, destinations and tourists, officials said.

The 'Travel for LiFE' programme aims to position India as a leader in promoting sustainable and responsible tourism and using tourism as a vehicle for achieving Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Sixteen projects have been sanctioned in the Northeast states under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme for a total amount of Rs 1,309 crore, the tourism ministry said. PTI KND RHL

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