Dr Jitendra Singh discusses Northeast tourism, trade promotion with top Industry leaders
The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh held a meeting yesterday at Mumbai with some of the top Industry leaders to discuss ways and means of promoting tourism and trade in Northeast. The meeting was attended by members of Indian Merchants’ Chamber (IMC), the country’s Chamber of Commerce & Industry with a history over 150 years, and the Maharashtra State Tourism Minister Shri Jaykumar Rawal.
On the occasion, in the presence of IMC President Shri Deepak Premanarayan, former President Shri Pradeep Chenoy, Maharashtra Tourism Minister Shri Jaykumar Rawal and leading Mumbai industrialists and several others, a decision was also taken to set up a Northeast desk in Mumbai to promote tourist and trade investment from Maharashtra and other Western parts of country in Northeast.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Jitendra Singh thanked IMC and the industry leaders for having responded to his initiatives to involve them in the promotion of Northeast. Dr Jitendra Singh said that Northeast has lot much to offer, but the attributes remain unexplored because people outside are either not aware of it or do not find it convenient to venture. He said, it is a strange contradiction that large number of tourists from Mumbai, Maharashtra and Gujarat are inclined to travel to foreign destinations in the immediate neighborhood like Bangkok and Kathmandu, but they are not motivated to travel to Shillong or Gangtok which have much more to offer at a much lesser budget. The irony is, he said, that a highly scenic destination like Shillong attracts more number of European and foreign tourists compared to domestic or Indian tourists because of lack of awareness in other parts of the country.
While dwelling on a vast potential to develop exclusive circuits for industrial, tourism and religious tourism between Western parts of India and Northeast, Dr Jitendra Singh also proposed the idea of Medical Tourism for which a place like Mumbai is certainly far more equipped to attract healthcare seekers and patients, most of whom from Northeast are presently travelling to distant destinations like Vellore in Tamil Nadu because of lack of projection of other options. He also suggested that the country’s leading corporate hospitals could set up referral clinics in different States of the region.
Dr Jitendra Singh also flagged the idea of combining tourism with “Start up India” programme which could simultaneously help in engaging youth and generating employability. Similarly, he said, the youth today is inclined to explore the unexplored destinations for which the Government Department of Tourism and the IMC can work together to promote adventure tourism, trekking tourism, etc., by carrying youth from other parts of country to the North Eastern region.