Port Blair, March 16: The Tourism Road Show organized by the Ministry of Tourism GoI in association with Andaman Association of Tour Operators got underway today. The Chief Secretary, A&N Administration, Shri Keshav Chandra, IAS inaugurated the Road Show as the chief guest at a function held in the conference hall of the Hotel TSG Emerald here this evening.

Addressing the gathering, the Chief Secretary at the outset welcomed the delegates from different parts of the country to A&N Islands to participate in the Road Show. He said, this step will go a long way in promoting tourism in the country as well as in A&N Islands. He further stated that the USP of A&N Islands is its pristine nature which cannot be seen anywhere else. He remarked that majority of tourists coming to the Islands would like to see the natural beauty of the Islands.  This congregation and the Road Show would be really beneficial in promotion of Tourism in this archipelago, he said.

The Chief Secretary stated that tourism is going to be the basic mainstay of economy of A&N Islands. “We are virtually on the baseline and there is huge space to be covered”, the Chief Secretary said adding that tourism has the highest potential of generating employment and can boost the economy. He mentioned that the Administration is looking forward towards hoping flights and once this materializes, it will not only help in the tourism sector but other sectors as well.

The Chief Secretary further informed that the Administration is working towards Yacht Tourism and has come up with a policy for Yacht Marina. “Very soon we will have a Yacht Marina in Andamans, which will help us in attracting high value tourists to the Islands”, he said adding that efforts are on to promote cruise tourism.

The Chief Secretary also interacted with the local tourism stakeholders who have displayed their products by putting up stalls.

The Deputy Commissioner, SA, Smt. Veditha Reddy, the Secretary Tourism, Smt. Ranjana Deswal, the Director Tourism, Shri Anand Vardhan Mishra, the Assistant Director, India Tourism, Port Blair, Shri S. Ramakrishnan, Members from the ACCI, hoteliers, delegates from mainland and other tourism stakeholders were present during the inaugural function.

In his address, the Chapter Co- Chairman, IATO, Shri Mohd.Jadwet complimented AATO for initiating such a Tourism Road Show and inviting delegates from different parts of the Country to explore the Islands. He further stated that tourism remains one of the biggest potential Industries in these Islands and this road show will help in showcasing the tourism potentials of the Islands.

In his welcome address, the President, AATO, Shri M. Vinod welcomed all the delegates to A&N Islands and stated that the main objective of the Road Show is to bring together the agents and influencers to promote Andaman as a potential tourist destination in India. While thanking the A&N Administration, India Tourism and all the Tourism stakeholders for supporting this event, Shri Vinod said this is the first Road Show being organized in Andaman to promote ‘Brand Andaman’.

Later, an interaction session of delegates with Island’s tourism stakeholders was also held.