Guwahati: Delegates from different countries were taken on "familiarisation tours" to different tourist destinations in Assam to get a first-hand experience of the places as part of the International Tourism Mart, which concluded here on Thursday.
Delegates from Bhutan, Thailand, China, Sri Lanka, Australia, Italy, Turkey, Kenya, Tanzania and Brunei were split into groups of two and three for travelling to five tourist circuits, including a city tour, an organiser said. The tours were sponsored by the Union tourism ministry.
Vice-president of Tour Operators Association of Assam, Chandan Nath, said, "Foreign tour operators were taken on a 'familiarisation tour' so they gain a first-hand knowledge of tourist destinations. Once they go back, they can plan itineraries for their tourists. Tour operators from Maharashtra, Kerala, Bengal, Jharkhand and other northeastern states also participated in the tourism mart along with members of Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India from Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Hyderabad, Pune, Nasik and Aurangabad. The domestic operators were taken on city tours."
An Australian and Italian tour operator went on a three nights/four days tour to Tezpur, Kaziranga and Dibrugarh. A team of Kenya, Tanzanian and Turkish tour operators are visiting Guwahati, Kaziranga, Majuli and Sivasagar while one each from China and Sri Lanka are on the Guwahati, Pobitora, Chandubi, Hajo and Sualkuchi circuit. "Tourism in the Northeast will receive a fillip after air connectivity to South Asian countries becomes operational. Guwahati is being touted as the gateway to Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. Guwahati airport is being upgraded to an international one with new terminals and night-landing facilities being developed. A regional connectivity scheme has been launched. We hope there will be a plethora of employment opportunities, both direct and indirect, for the youths of the region," Nath said.