The north-eastern Indian state of Assam, which welcomed a record 10 million domestic tourists in the financial year 2022-2023, is now training its guns on international markets including the UK, Europe and South-east Asia.
The state welcomed about 20,000 international visitors in fiscal 2022-2023 – a slight improvement compared to the 18,000 international tourists it received in fiscal 2019-2020.
Speaking to TTG Asia, Kumar Padmapani Bora, secretary, tourism department & managing director, Assam Tourism Development Corporation, government of Assam, said: “We are looking to participate in key trade shows, like WTM London, to create awareness about our tourism products and experiences in international markets.”
He shared that the north-east of India has “geographical proximity as well as cultural similarities with South-east Asia”, and that previous participation in a travel event in Bangkok helped stakeholders understand how to attract tourists to Assam.
“One significant outcome of these meetings was that we need to promote our Buddhist sites – we are now (putting emphasis on) such destinations on our tourism map,” added Bora.
As part of India’s present G20 Presidency, Assam has hosted five meetings this year. Foreign delegates arriving in the state as part of the engagements participated in experiences like a cruise on the Brahmaputra River and a trip to Kaziranga National Park.
“The G2O meetings have helped us to showcase our diverse tourism experiences, hospitality and cuisine to foreign delegates, which we expect will help our promotional activities,” said Bora.
Apart from the destination’s natural beauty, rich flora and fauna, the tourism department of the state is looking to promote its tea gardens in both domestic and international markets. The government of Assam is supporting a scheme to provide capital infrastructure subsidies to the tea estates which are located in the existing tourism circuits.
Bora shared: “We have already selected 50 tea gardens across Assam that will receive a capital subsidy of 50 per cent of the total project with an upper ceiling of 20 million rupees (US$244,073).
He added that there will also be support for the renovation of iconic tea bungalows, aside from adding facilities like a pool, spa, restaurants or creating more rooms.