Port Blair, Dec. 6: It was a long pending demand of the media persons attached with various local publications to have a media room, which could be used for meetings, press conferences etc. The issue was raised at various levels and finally the Andaman & Nicobar Administration heeded to the demand of A&N Small Newspapers Association, thus allotting a exclusive room for media inside the premises of Directorate of Information, Publicity & Tourism.

The media room though was allotted some time ago but was formally inaugurated by the Secretary IP&T Shri Satish Mathur today at 5.00 pm. Mathur was later presented shawl by the Association followed by presenting a shawl to the Director of IP&T Shri Amit Satija.

Addressing the media soon after the inaugural function, the Director, IP&T briefed about the various activities taken up by the directorate, which includes facilities to the media persons. He said that the demand of a media room has been fulfilled and the media can now have regular press conferences with the concerned heads of the departments, which would be arranged by the directorate.

Satija further said that other pending demands like priority in allotment of ship tickets, accreditation of media persons, concession in govt. guest houses etc. will be met at the earliest.  

The Director also explained that the forthcoming event i.e. Island Tourism Festival will be a major attraction this year with Bollywood artists, national level classical singers and others performing during the 10-day festival. He said that the directorate has selected 10 venues across the islands where artists will be performing.

In order to facilitate tourists, the Directorate will be launching an exclusive website during the ITF 2013, which will contain detailed information and photographs of tourist spots, travel organisations, hotels etc. Satija specified that the website is meant only for providing information and no bookings will be taken online as the website will be to facilitate tourists and stakeholders.

The director further announced that the Directorate has prepared four documentary movies on Andaman Tourism, which has been written in a single DVD. Though the cost of the DVD came to Rs. 100/- but the directorate in order to promote tourism has fixed a rate of Rs. 25/- for the same. The DVDs can be bought by the Travel Organisations but the Director warned that it should not be re-sold above the printed rate.

Amit Satija also explained that the Directorate is planning to let out 5 guest houses under PPP mode. In this regard, he specified that tenders will be called and if and only if found beneficial would be awarded to the concerned private parties. He also said that the department is organising training programme on hospitality which will be open to stakeholders. It would be a 10 week training programme to suit the convenience of the stakeholders including auto and taxi drivers, tourist cab drivers etc.