The inauguration took place on 23rd March, 2012 in a colourful ceremony in the Vivada Cruises on Ganges, Kolkata. The Chief Guest of the event was Mr. Raghavendra Singh, IAS, Principal Secretary, Tourism Deptt. The guest of honour was and Mrs. Pritha Sarkar (Ray) WBCS Director of Tourism and also MD of WBTDC. North East was represented by Ms. Chewang Puljer, Assistant Director, Tourism & Civil Aviation Department Govt. of Sikkim.
ADTOI team comprising of President Mr. Subhash Verma, Vice President Mr. P P Khanna, General Secretary Mr. Rajat Sawhney and Executive Council Members, had come from Delhi for the inaugural Ceremony.
Rajat Sawhney General Secretary, ADTOI welcomed and thanked the dignitaries, invitees and Press/Media. He assured ADTOI’s unflinching support to promote the tourism in West Bengal and North East States in the days to come. He requested the respective governments support in developing the new tourism circuts in West Bengal and taking various initiatives to showcase the products in the state by regularly having Road shows and Familiarisation tours in the States to boost Tourism.
The Chapter was inaugurated by Mr. Raghavendra Singh, Chief Guest by lighting of the inaugural lamp followed by Mrs. Pritha Sarkar and ADTOI officials.
Mr. Subhash Verma, President, in his address emphasized the importance of domestic tourism which is presently estimated to 740 million that generates employment and strengthen national integration. In the 12th Five Year Plan, Ministry will have a budget of Rs. 25,000 crore. This has been recommended by Hon'ble PM and the Planning Commission for Tourism Ministry for poverty alleviation through employment generation.
Mr. P P Khanna Vice President, ADTOI and In-Charge of Chapters that with the opening of West Bengal and North East Chapter ADTOI will have now four Chapters - others being Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, Gujarat on all sides of the Country - North, South, East and West.
Mrs. Sarkar stated that tourism has picked up in West Bengal. WBTDC would lay more emphasis in marketing for the promotion of the state. She thanked ADTOI for taking initiative in establishing a Chapter in West Bengal to boost tourism in the State.
Mr. Raghavendra Singh, Principal Secretary stated that the new CM is very proactive for the growth of tourism in the State. She has been coordinating with various Departments like Forests/PWD/Roads/Tourism to give boost to the tourism sector. He stated that there will be aggressive marketing campaign to promote all destinations. He wants ADTOI to work in association with the West Bengal Tourism to promote the destinations among the domestic tourists.
Mr.Rajat Sawhney , General Secretary made an impressive audio-visual presentation of ADTOI highlighting its major role in the promotion of domestic tourism and its activities alongwith the membership benefits
Mr. Rakesh Lamba, Immediate Past President in his Vote of Thanks thanked Mr. Raghavendra Singh, Principal Secretary and Mrs. Pritha Sarkar, Director for sparing their valuable moments and gracing the occasion and to all others who were present and have been associated with the opening of West Bengal and North East Chapter.