By Ramesh Dhiman:
The 2nd edition of the CII Tourism Fest-14, which went to a robust start at the Sector 17 Parade ground on Dec 5, ended here today on an encouraging note. The Fest was organized under the aegis of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), partnered by the Union Ministry of Tourism, with Chandigarh as the host city and Punjab as the principal partners. Representatives from various states, including Goa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, showed up and participated in the Fest.
Addressing the inaugural session of the Fest, Karnataka Tourism Minister R V Dehpande said “Tourism is an industry as holds the future of a country’s economy, considering the lesser investment amount and high returns phenomenon. The tourism industry has the potential of generating enough foreign exchange and optimum employment opportunities in the country”.
In his address, Major Vijay Singh Mankotia, Vice Chairman, Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Board, said “Tourism industry in India is totally under the control of private sector players. They need to go the extra mile in tandem with the state government to give a fillip to the religious tourism. State government can play a significant role by acting as the catalysts or facilitator for the private sector.” He exhorted stakeholders to invest and partner with the state offering attractive terms.
Mr Ankur Bhatia, Chairman, CII Tourism Fest-2014 and the Executive Director of the Bird Group, shared his views saying “Tourism Industry in the country can touch new heights of success if all the stakeholders come forward to address their concerns.” He emphasized the need for integration of regional considerations, cutting across national boundaries of the states to improve connectivity to make India as a preferred tourism destination.”
“The CII Tourism Fest-2014, is an impassioned endeavour to bring closer the stakeholders, like policy makers, the who’s who of the ministry of tourism, state governments, international tourism boards, hoteliers, tour operators and travel agents under one umbrella”, opined Mr Man Mohan Singh, Co Chairman, CII Tourism Fest-14 & CEO, the Aroma Group.
The Home Secretary-cum-Secretary Tourism, Chandigarh Administration, while congratulating the CII for successfully organizing the event, informed “ We are working hard on getting Chandigarh nominated as the ‘Trans Border UESCO World Heritage Site’, in January next year. All modalities, including the completion of documentation, have been worked out. If the city bags the coveted status, tourism in the city would get a shot in the arm”
All the pavilions attracted great number of holiday lovers who benefitted from a wide range of special itineraries, special offers & attractive packages, unexplored destinations and great holiday deals from various state and country tourism boards. The event witnessed huge footfalls on all days featuring participation from, besides various states, the countries like Abu Dhabi, China, Japan, Mauritius and Thailand are also joining the league.
“The international stalls witnessed a huge rush of tricity residents on all three days, who showed great interest in the overseas tours and travels and package deals. While some evinced keen interest in the heritage and cultural features of Abu Dabhi, others on a shooting spree were seen clicking pictures flanked by artists from Japan and Thailand”, shared Mr Pikendae Pal Singh, Regional Director, CII NR.
The China stall put up at the pavilion painted the entire venue scarlet red. Mr Li Qianguo, Deputy Director, China National Tourist Office said, “We have widely travelled across India but the kind of warmth and hospitality we received here is incomparable. People drawn from different corners showed their abiding interest to exploring the hitherto unexplored destinations of China, the Silk Route, Shanxi, Xi’an, Cuando, et al. The fond memories of Chandigarh, the City Beautiful, and the fragrance of typical Punjabi food will remain embedded in our minds.”