Port Blair, June 13: The four day long 2nd Andaman Tourism Road Show being organized by Andaman Association of Tour Operators (AATO), in association with Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India got underway with its inauguration by the Chief Secretary, A&N Administration, Shri Keshav Chandra, IAS, at Hotel Mansha Regency here this evening. The inaugural program was also attended among others by the Director, Tourism, A&N Administration, Shri Azharuddin Zahiruddin Quazi, IAS, Assistant Director, India Tourism, Port Blair, Shri S. Ramakrishnan, Chapter Chairman, IATO, A&N Islands, Shri Mohd. Jadwet, President, ANCCI, Shri Surendra Prahladka and local entrepreneurs.

50 prominent enlisted tour operators of Ministry of Tourism, IATO, TAAI, ATOAI, ADTOI and delegates from Maharashtra, Delhi, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh besides social media influencers, travel bloggers/ travel journalists are participating in the Andaman Tourism Road Show, supported by all tourism stakeholders of A&N Islands.

Addressing the delegates, the Chief Secretary extended a warm welcome to all the delegates who have arrived here to participate in the Andaman Tourism Road Show. He said, Andaman is quite a discovery and the recent development has given the Islands a major thrust in the tourism sector. Highlighting about the scope of tourism in the Islands, the Chief Secretary remarked that A&N Islands has much more in store in terms of diversity and activities in all its pristine glory. The Chief Secretary stated that A&N Islands is one of the prettiest places in the world having a Blue Flag Certification to one of its beaches. Five more beaches will soon be opened for tourists and the process for obtaining Blue Flag Certification for these beaches are in advanced stage and is being monitored on weekly basis, he said. The Chief Secretary stated that Tourism and Fisheries are the two important sectors and efforts are being made to propel these sectors further. The Chief Secretary informed that Cinque Island has been opened for tourists and urged them to visit the Island and enjoy the scenic beauty but keep the natural beauty intact at the same time. 

The Chief Secretary also highlighted the initiatives of the Administration in giving further fillip to the tourism sector. He mentioned about the scope of tourism which is being earnestly pursued by the Administration, so that people get to enjoy the uniqueness of the A&N Islands’ tourism viz. Natural Tourism, Night Kayaking, Luxury Tent, Caravan Tourism, Astro Tourism and Game Fishing. The Administration is also working towards making Heritage Circuit Tourism a reality soon, he added. The Chief Secretary remarked that the Administration with the support of the GoI is committed towards promoting the Islands’ tourism by showcasing its uniqueness to the world.

The Chief Secretary also lauded AATO and all tourism stakeholders and entrepreneurs for their contribution in promoting the tourism sector in various capacities. He called upon tourism stakeholders and tour operators to work in tandem with the Administration and contribute towards propelling the Islands’ tourism further.

In his welcome address, the President, AATO, Shri M. Vinod expressed hope that this Road Show will enable delegates and tour operators from mainland to experience the Islands’ beauty which offers a unique experience altogether and help promote ‘Brand Andaman’. He said, the A&N Islands are a hub of adventure sports, unique flora and fauna, and virgin beaches are its unique selling points and urged the delegates to help promote Andaman Tourism as year round tourism destination. He expressed gratitude to the Administration and all tourism stakeholders for their support in organizing this road show which will further promote the Islands tourism across the country and globe.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Mohd. Jadwet complimented AATO for completing 20 years of contribution in Island tourism sector. He assured the delegates that this four-day road show would enable them to experience and witness the diversity of the Islands tourism. He also stressed on the need for good marketing and infrastructure development and connectivity which are vital for the Islands’ tourism to flourish.

The Chief Secretary also released the 20 years achievement book of AATO and launched the website of AATO on the occasion. He also went round the exhibits and interacted with the stakeholders.

A video showcasing A&N Islands’ natural beauty and scope of tourism was also screened for the delegates. A welcome dance was presented by Ms Shreya Brohma. The program concluded with the vote of thanks proposed by the General Secretary, AATO, Shri K Hamza. This was followed by interaction of the delegates with the Islands’ tourism stakeholders.

During the four days event, tour operators and delegates will visit Swaraj Dweep, Shaheed Dweep and other prominent places of historical and tourism importance to know and understand the potential of tourism in Andaman.