Union Minister of Tourism G Kishan Reddy on Friday said that the Modi government is fully committed to boost the development of the North East region and establish a world-class tourism hub in this region.

He was speaking at the inaugural session of the International Tourism Mart, which is organised in Aizawl.

The minister said that India will be soon presiding over the G20 from December 2022 to November 2023. The G-20 offers the best opportunity for India to showcase its culture, history and tourism potential and to position itself as a major tourist destination in the world.

He said, “we will host over 200 meetings across 55 cities during this period. These meetings are also proposed to be held in several states of the northeast including Aizawl.”

Reddy added that among the G20 member countries, China, Mexico, India, South Africa and Indonesia are projected to expand their tourism industry post-COVID. With our presidency, we definitely can stride ahead of these 4-5 countries to build the rightful place of India’s tourism industry in the global arena. We must plan to showcase our North Eastern Cultural Richness while welcoming the world to our country. This International Tourism Mart 2022 will highlight the diverse tourist attractions and products offered in the 8 states.

Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy and Chief Minister of Mizoram Zoramthanga jointly laid the foundation stone of the Aizawl Convention Center at Chite, PRASHAD Project in Mizoram and two Bamboo Link Roads during the inauguration of the ITM 2022 at Aizawl today. The Union Minister also launched the Mizoram Tourism Coffee Table Book on this occasion. MoS Tourism Govt of Mizoram Robert Romawia Royte, Secretary Tourism Arvind Singh and other senior officials of GoI and Government of Mizoram also attended the event.

Reddy also informed that the Government of India has been providing financial assistance to the Northeast region for overall tourism infrastructure development, promotion of fairs/festivals, tourism-related events in the region, publicity campaigns etc. The Ministry of Tourism has also formed a committee of active stakeholders in NER. “Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of DoNER and Ministry of Road Transport & Highways are developing 100 view-points in North East region. 22 view-points have been taken up for development at a cost of Rs 49 crores. In Mizoram 9 viewpoints have been taken up for development at the cost of Rs 12.78 crores. In addition to that Ministry of Road Transport & Highways is also developing viewpoints on their own”, Union Minister added.

Reddy also informed that the Ministry of Defence through its Border Roads Organisation is playing a crucial role in improving road infrastructure in the border areas. BRO has taken the initiative of providing basic amenities to tourists visiting scenic locations by building Border Road organisation cafes. Border roads organisation cafes are being built in 75 locations in the first phase. In the NE states, BRO cafes are being built at 25 locations in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Manipur, Nagaland and Assam.

Reddy added that the Ministry of Tourism is emphasising the development and promotion of tourism for the North-eastern States. Under Swadesh Darshan Scheme, the Ministry has sanctioned 16 projects in the Northeast region of India for a total amount of Rs 1,337.63 crore. “Approximately 25 per cent of SWADESH Darshan Projects have been sanctioned to North East states. Under PRASHAD Scheme, the Ministry has sanctioned approximately Rs 200 crores for various projects in the region”, Union Minister added.

CM Zoramthanga said that from evergreen hills, dense bamboo jungles, lush green paddy fields and the Blue mountains, Mizoram has an unpolluted environment and unpolluted atmosphere making the Mizo state one of the most beautiful places to visit in the northeastern region. Mizoram has great tourism potential, he said. The CM also thanked the Central Government for approving several projects for the development of Mizoram including bamboo link roads and the Aizawl bypass.

The International Tourism Marts are organized in the North-Eastern States on a rotation basis. Mizoram is hosting this Mart for the first time. The earlier editions of this mart have been held in Guwahati, Tawang, Shillong, Gangtok, Agartala, Imphal and Kohima. (ANI)