The 2nd edition of “India tourism mart” was successfully organised by FAITH along with Ministry of Tourism from 23rd – 25th September at the Ashok hotel in New Delhi. It was a business to business meeting and exhibition to boost foreign tourist influx into India. Around 240 international delegates from 51 countries like France, Italy, New Zealand, China, South Korea, United kingdom and United States were invited to the event by the officials from the tourism board of India. More than 170 stalls were also installed for the Exhibition cum one-to-one meetings with the hosted buyers by the exhibitors. From India, tour operators and hoteliers, and states and Union territories representing various segments of tourism industry were also invited to participate in this tourism mart.
Mr. Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble union minister of highways and road transport, Govt. of India was invited as a chief guest to attend the event along with Mr. Prahlad Singh Patel, Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India. To make the business atmosphere more interesting, number of events like cultural representations, dinners, cultural shows and post show FAM tours were also planned by the ministry to give a real glimpse of Incredible India to the foreign tour operators.
Mr. Subhash goyal, Chairman, India travel mart 2019 welcomed all the delegates along with Mr. Nakul Anand, Mr. Chander Mansharamani, Mr. Suman billa, Mr. Sunil Kumar, Mr. Garish oberoi and other dignitaries. He delievered a speech on India’s culture and diversity indicating the scope of religious and leisure tourism in the country. Mr. Nakul Anand, after introducing the FAITH members, also quoted, ” India ranks 34th in the world travel and tourism competitive index and accounts for only 1.2 percent share of the world tourism. All the stakeholders of our tourism industry should work in unison to uphold India’s position in the global tourism”.
Mr. Suman billa, joint secretary, ministry of tourism also spoke on “India an incredible destination” followed by a book launch on Indian Tourist destinations. Several tourism boards and their stakeholders from the states and UT’s like Sikkim, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir presented their tourism heritage by enlightening the delegates about the facilities and services offered by them in regards to tourism.
The Joint secretary also highlighted that India has 36 world heritage sites, more than 73% of Himalayas are in India, Declaration of Ahmedabad as India’s first heritage city. He indicated towards the untapped potential of cruise tourism in India. “With a coastline as vast as 7,517 km and dotted with some of the most sought-after destinations on East and West coast, India’s potential to tap the cruise tourism segment is enormous. However, the country is still scratching at the surface with not even 150 cruise lines docking in a whole year” quoted Mr. Suman Billa. He furthermore added that the government has also launched a one-month e-visa for tourists at a fee of $25. It would be reduced to $10 during the off-season (April-June), initially for tourists from Japan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Russia, Ukraine, the UK and the US. Later on, Tourism minister Prahlad Singh Patel also backed joint secretary’s statement by quoting, “Five-year electronic tourist visa may be introduced at a fee of $80, while there may be various relaxations in e-visa norms and a reduction in charges. everyone has to make a concerted effort to realise the Prime Minister’s vision of doubling the number of tourists — both domestic and foreign — in five years. We need to change the perception of foreign tourists coming to India and work together for that.”
Mr. Prahlad singh Patel, Hon’ble Minister of state, Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India then inaugurated the cultural event along with all the FAITH members. Various groups, representing the culture and heritage of India, exhibited their talent in front of the delegates. Mr. Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Hon’ble union minister of highways and road transport, Govt. of India also joined the event to address the delegates and the tourism bodies.” India has language, culture, food which attracts new tourists. We are focusing on cleanliness and infrastructure which will also boost the tourism sector” quoted Mr. Nitin Jairam Gadkari. Concluding the event, a dinner was organised for all the guests by the culinary experts of the ashoka hotel.