The second edition of the North East Festival began here Friday with discussions taking the centre stage as top Thai tour operators interacted with tourism stakeholders from the northeastern region.
The meet, organised at the Centara Grand Hotel here, began with a presentation by the festival’s chief organiser Shyamkanu Mahanta. Moderated by Meghalaya’s Tourism Director Cyril Diengdoh, it also saw presentations on Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Mizoram and Nagaland.
In her welcome address, Ambassador of India to Thailand Suchitra Durai termed this as a pathbreaking initiative to promote Indo-Thai relationship.
Union Minister R K Ranjan, Assam minister Urkhao Gwra Brahma, Nagaland minister Robert Romawia Royte and top officials of tourism agencies of Thailand spoke about shared efforts to promote tourism between both the regions.
The speakers focused on historical relationship between India’s Northeast and Thailand. More than 50 tour operators and officials from the Northeast interacted with Thai tour operators.
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio termed the festival as a “historic initiative which will change the entire dynamics of India’s Act East Policy”.
Abu Metha, adviser to Rio, interacted at a special session with Thai tour operators and informed that Nagaland will organise a fam tour of prominent Thai tour operators for 10 days to give a feel of the state.
Durai hosted a special lunch session which was attended by chief ministers, Cabinet ministers, top officials from the Northeast besides Bangkok-based industrialists and policymakers.
The main festival will begin Saturday and is likely to be attended among others by Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand Jurin Laksanawisit.
Song, dance and fashion events, exhibition of MSME products, state specific exhibitions, Northeastern cuisines, collaborative art show, and business-to-business meets are on the agenda.