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‘We are looking forward to unlocking mental barriers’

The 10th annual convention of the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) in Guwahati from January 20-22, 2013 aims to showcase the North-East region as the ideal adventure tourism destination. The theme of the convention is ‘India’s Unexplored Paradise’, chosen owing to the fact that, despite its strong cultural heritage and immense tourism opportunities, North East India is still not really explored, revealed Anand. “The North East is, in fact, a one-stop destination for all major adventure activities. The varied opportunities extended by the region are not yet well known to the domestic tourists, and even lesser to the foreign tourists arriving in India,” he said.

ATOAI has selected the convention venue as Guwahati by the invitation of Chandan Brahma, Minister for Tourism, Assam. The local travel trade is also pitching in and providing full support to ATOAI to ensure the success of the Convention.

The convention’s primary focus is to create a platform for new networking opportunities for the adventure fraternity, and to provide an environment for educational workshops. The convention will also provide knowledge exchange and brain storming sessions for the delegates to enhance efficiency levels and provide enhanced infrastructure for the adventure tourism industry. Anand further added that by organising this event in the state of Assam one of the association’s objectives is to inform the international community that it’s very safe to visit North East India. FAM tours across the North Eastern states are expected to follow the Convention in an attempt to educate the attending trade about the destination’s offerings.

“We are looking forward to exhibiting the North East and unlocking mental barriers. We anticipate an exceptional participation at the event in terms of Indian and overseas buyers in addition to our members, as well as the local travel community and media. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the 2013 ATOAI convention will be a different world altogether from its previous conventions,” opined Anand.

Alongside the ATOAI convention, the Government has organised its North East Bazaar, aimed at encouraging participation at the event and showcase the entire range of products of the North East. Speaking about the exhibition, Anand said, “The North East Bazaar is being designed with shops for handicrafts for delegates and buyers to take as souvenirs. The two events will compliment each other. The impetus gained at one will strengthen the attendance at the other.”

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