With 13 Indian states and 80 exhibitors from eight other countries showcasing tour and travel packages, tourist destinations, unseen locations, a food fest with international chefs and an international dance festival with dancers from across the world, the three-day CII Tourism fest began at the Sector 17 Parade Ground on Thursday.
This is the first International Tourism Fest with Chandigarh as the host. It has been organised jointly by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Tourism department, UT Administration and CITCO with Punjab as the principal partner state.
Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil inaugurated the fest, while Swaran Singh Phillaur, Punjab Tourism Minister was also present. On the occasion, a CII-KPMG report on ‘Travel and Tourism Sector: Potential opportunities and enabling framework for sustainable growth’ was also released.
Swaran Singh said, “Government of Punjab is preparing a comprehensive Punjab Tourism Promotion Policy which will come out soon. All elements related to tourism in the state will be given due focus. North India, comprising 8 states and UT of Chandigarh, has a lot to offer. But to unleash this advantage we need to support the industry with supportive policies.”
Meanwhile Usha Sharma, Additional DG, Ministry of Tourism, spoke about the initiatives taken by the Ministry, which include a 24 x 7 helpline in 12 languages; formation of an empowered committee, setting up of the Indian Culinary Institute at Tirupathi; 777 days on Indian Himalayas to leverage the tourism potential; tie-up with the Swiss institute on Hotel Management to improve curriculum at Hotel Management institutes and the Clean India Campaign under which historic monuments can be adopted by industrial houses.
Apart from Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana, 12 states including Gujarat, Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir and Madhya Pradesh are participating in the fest.
The eight international participants namely, China, Dubai, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey and Ethiopia are here to strengthen business ties with tour and travel operators in India with the International Chef meet to see 35 chefs from Iceland, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
Also, the Chandigarh Administration launched an online facility for film shooting in the city and introduced a new tourism product ‘Happening Weekends of Chandigarh’, which will open new vistas for all stake holders of Hospitality and Tourism. The prominent components of the product will be shopping, entertainment, eateries, theatre and accommodation.