20November2019

Andaman Chronicle

The Daily Diary of the Islands

Lt. Governor Formally Inaugurates Island Tourism Festival – 2019

All efforts are being made to expand isles’ tourism in a responsible manner: Admiral Joshi

 

 

Port Blair, Nov. 7: The ten-day Island Tourism Festival – 2019, which commenced from 6th Nov. was formally inaugurated today by the Lt. Governor and Vice Chairman, Islands Development Authority, Admiral D.K. Joshi (Retd.) today evening.

Addressing the gathering, the Chief Guest of the evening, Admiral D.K. Joshi (Retd), Lt. Governor of A&N Islands said that the main reason why the islanders eagerly wait for the Island Tourism Festival is the tourism part of it. Because of the vast green cover in the islands, there are certain restrictions on development. The Lt. Governor assured that efforts are being made to make the Islands’ Tourism Industry so big that there will be no need for other industries to be established in the islands.

There are many initiatives that are being undertaken to develop the tourism industry in the islands, said the Lt.  Governor. He pointed out that during the last year, the islands recorded a tourist footfall of 5 Lakhs and efforts are being made to increase the number. 

As on date, the exposure of tourists visiting the islands is limited due to lack of proper infrastructure and facilities. The Islands Development Authority has been focusing on four major projects in different islands, for which bids have been opened. We are trying to get potential investors in these places with a condition that 60% of employment will be reserved for local youth. While opening up of new destinations, the Lt. Governor said that environmental concerns and sustainability norms will be given utmost priority. All efforts are being made to expand tourism in the islands in a responsible manner, he said.    

Facilities like Visa on Arrival, e-Visa etc. are already functional and few more are in the pipeline. This will ensure a boost for the islands’ tourism industry. Concluding his address, the Lt. Governor called upon the Administration to take suggestions from the stakeholders as they march further. The Lt. Governor also congratulated Dr. Rehan Raza, for utilizing well his tenure in the islands and to have authored the book ‘The Great Nicobar Island: India’s Southern Fortune’, which was released on the occasion. 

Speaking on the occasion, the Member of Parliament, Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma said, Island Tourism Festival (ITF) has been the biggest festival for the islanders. Before the commencement of ITF we used to have “Island on the March”, which was celebrated on a small scale in which artists used to perform”.

Islanders from all walks of life, eagerly await the Island Tourism Festival as it is not just confined to cultural performances but there are many other things associated with it, which has been attracting the crowd.

As a suggestion to the A&N Administration, the Member of Parliament said, “Let us have a tagline on Andaman after the Island Tourism Festival, which can be changed every year”. He also suggested having the stalls named after flora, fauna and other aspects of Andamans.

With the completion of the Airport Terminal, our International Airport will bring us closer to the outside world. This also calls for a reason to plan accordingly, so that we are able to attract the world. We can even have a tie-up with other countries and invite them for the festival in future, the MP suggested.

The peace and harmony and Unity in Diversity that exists in the islands should be depicted and showcased to the world, he said.

The MP pointing out at the Off Season period that lasts for around six months of the year, suggested having something like rain festival during the monsoons. This will enable round the year tourism in the islands, which will also be beneficial for the youths who depend on the tourism sector for their livelihood. 

Earlier Dr. Pooja Joshi, Secretary (Tourism) welcomed the gathering and  the contingents  who have come all the way from different stated to add glamour to the festival.