The 11th International Tourism Mart 2023 in Meghalaya had a vibrant start
The 11th International Tourism Mart, 2023 commenced with grandeur at the LARITI Performing Center, Mawkasiang, Mawdiangdiang in Shillong, Meghalaya. The event witnessed a celebration of the diverse cultures of the eight sister states, fostering a sense of unity and promoting strategic communication through key reforms. The International Tourism Mart serves as a crucial platform for North-Eastern stakeholders to engage with counterparts from domestic and international markets. The event shines a spotlight on the unique tourism products, rich biodiversity, and intangible heritage of the NER, showcasing local traditions, dance forms, arts, handicrafts, and handlooms.
The event marked the gracious presence of dignitaries including Shri Conrad K Sangma and Hon’ble Minister of State, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik. Shri Bah Paul Lyngdoh, Hon’ble Minister for Tourism, Government of Meghalaya, Dr. Vijay Kumar D, Commissioner and Secretary, Department of Tourism, Government of Meghalaya, Smt V. Vidyavathi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Smt Manisha Saxena, Director General, Ministry of Tourism among others graced the occasion with their presence.
Hon’ble Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, addressing the gathering, stated, “There is a very strong and special focus to ensure that the Northeastern states move together with the rest of the country and foster economic development in this region. Ranging from infrastructure development, youth-oriented programs, programs pertaining to the agricultural sector, or socio-economic sector like tourism, there has been tremendous support from the Government of India.”
Honourable Chief Minister added, “You'll be surprised to know that for a small state like ours, which has a population of 3.8 million people, we have roughly about 80,000 youths, that join the workforce every year. Hence, tourism is one sector that can ensure that we're able to create ample job opportunities for our youth and thus, is one of the main pillars of economic policy and program for our state government.” Focusing on Sustainable Development, Hon’ble Chief Minister said, “We need to ensure that we take care of the environment and the ecology by taking a very balanced approach to how we are moving forward and create a sustainable way of earning revenue.”
Joining the event, the Hon'ble Minister of State, Shripad Yesso Naik, expressed, “The visitors are willing to explore new destinations, and promoting lesser-known and unknown places of tourism can provide new growth drivers. Empowering local communities is crucial. The Ministry is constantly working on identifying niche products. To make this region a preferred tourist destination among travellers, the emphasis should be on gathering visitor data and conducting surveys.”
Hon'ble Union Minister of State Shripad Yesso Naik and Honourable Chief Minister Conrad Sangma also, virtually inaugurated the project development of Pilgrim amenities at Nongsawlia Presbyterian Church, Nartiang Shakti Peeth, Aitnar Pool, Charantala Kali Temple in Meghalaya under PRASHAD scheme.
This edition of the International Mart is marked as a green event, aligning with the Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Climate Change's Mission LiFE. Emphasizing sustainability, the event has implemented low-carbon options, eliminated single-use plastics, and adopted a digital and paperless route.