Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Railways and Coal inaugurated the ‘first ever’ India Tourism Mart (ITM 2018) in the presence of Union Tourism Minister, K J Alphons and the Tourism Minister of Morocco, Mohamed Sajid, in New Delhi today.
Inaugurating the event, Goyal wished the best to the Tourism Ministry to reach the ambitious goal of US$100 billion FTA receipts/year within 5 years. He said that unless the infrastructure/fundamentals are set up, India can’t come up as a well sought after destination and the present government has been developing these like ensuring 24 hour power supply, promoting renewable energy forms, and improving connectivity by effectively connecting the remotest destinations. Goyal also added that the most important element that will help promote tourism in a complete way is the Government’s cleanliness drive, the Swachhta Abhiyan, which will ensure India becoming a preferred destination for all international tourists.
Mentioning the income multiplier effect in the tourism sector, the Minister said that tourism generates a number of employment opportunities in formal and informal sectors and can change the destiny of the country. The Railway Minister added that the youth of the country can be entrepreneurs, service providers, interpreters etc in the sector and ascertained that India with its varied features has tremendous potential and we just need to leverage from it.
Speaking at the event, Alphons announced that ITM will be an annual event hereafter in line with other International Tourism Marts and it will be held in the month of September. The Minister said that India is so vast that there will be something new for everyone to see and experience in this country with its varied geography, culture, traditions, architectural marvels, religions. Alphons also added that visiting the country has become easier with the new e-visa regime which is now open to 166 countries.
The Mart has a participation of around 225 hosted international buyers and media personnel across the world such as North America, West Europe, East Asia, Latin America, CIS countries etc. The international delegates from overseas markets will interact with Indian seller delegates and the buyers will include current buyers who are already marketing India as a tourist destination as well as potential buyers who are not marketing India as a tourist destination at present but have shown interest in the country.
Around 225 stalls have been provided to the sellers to enable them to interact with the buyers. These include pavilion for States & Union Territories to showcase their unique tourism destinations and products. The B2B meetings between buyer and seller delegates are being held during these 3 days.
The Mart is being organized by the Ministry of Tourism from 16th to 18th September 2018, in partnership with the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) and with support of State /UT Governments.