The 5th International Tourism Mart (ITM) was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Manipur Shri Okram Ibobi Singh in presence of Union Tourism Secretary Shri Vinod Zutshi in Imphal Manipur, today. The ITM is organized by the Union Ministry of Tourism in association with the North Eastern States and the state of West Bengal.
Inaugurating the Mart, the Chief Minister of Manipur Shri Okram Ibobi Singh expressed the International Tourism Mart would provide a good platform to promote tourism in the State of Manipur besides the other neighbouring states in the region. He further added that timing the ITM during the 10 day long Sangai Festival Organised by the State Government of Manipur brings out an opportunity to showcase the varied cultural and natural heritage of the State. He also stated that this is the first ever time that the State had seen presence of such a large presence of tourism stakeholders from abroad which will lay the foundation for promotion of tourism in the State. He also stressed on the need for developing air connectivity to the state especially bringing in International flights to Imphal.
Delivering the special address, the Union Tourism Secretary Shri Vinod Zutshi affirmed the commitment of the Ministry of Tourism in developing and promoting the tourism in the north east region. He touched upon the various initiatives of the Ministry of Tourism in developing and promoting the tourism infrastructure in the North East Region. He said that for North Eastern States, the Ministry has sanctioned 12 projects worth Rs. 1070.07 Crores covering all the 8 states under its flagship scheme of Swadesh Darshan.
Acknowledging the support extended by Government of Manipur, the host State of this year’s ITM 2016 and the roles of other participating State Governments, Shri Vinod Zutsh urged all the states in the North East region of the country to synergise their efforts for integrated and holistic development and promotion in the region
This 5th International Tourism Mart 2016, spread over three days is seeing participation of 48 international delegates comprising of tour operators and media persons from delegates from Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, U A E, UK and USA. This mart also has participation of 80 tour operators from eight north eastern States and West Bengal besides domestic buyers (tour operators) from different regions of the country.
The State Tourism Departments of eight north eastern states and West Bengal have put up colourful exhibitions at the mart venue which was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Manipur and the Union Tourism Secretary. These States are also highlighting their rich and varied culture and distinct cuisines.