Andaman plans Intl Convention Centre at Port Blair
Port Blair, Oct 28: An International Convention Centre is proposed to be set up in Port Blair, the capital town of Andamans, to help promote tourism in a big way.
"I have asked the International Leasing and Financing Service (ILFS) to make a survey and prepare a perspective plan for this purpose," Union Minister of State for Commerce Mr Jairam Ramesh told reporters in Port Blair.
The Minister was of the opinion that the International Convention Centre, when it comes into being, will help build infrastructure for hosting conventions, conferences, meetings etc of international level and with it island tourism is bound to get a fillip apart from carving out a name for itself as one of the best tourist destinations in the world.
"Andaman is one of the best tourism destinations and different kinds of tourism like health, business and adventure tourism should be promoted in these islands," Ramesh added.
The Minister, who left for New Delhi today after his three day visit to these remote Indian islands, also expressed shock over the delay in developing Andaman and Nicobar islands into a tourism hotspot.
"I asked the officers here why after 50-60 years we are planning to develop tourism in these islands. Why had it not been done yet? he said.
Andaman tourism had suffered severe blow after December 2004 tsunami paralyzing the local tourism industry. In recent months the tourism industry has picked up well due to the entrance of more and more private airlines in Port Blair sector, bringing more than thousand of tourists a day.
Ramesh told reporters that presently Andaman tourism is surviving on LTC, which should not be the ultimate aim of Andaman and Nicobar Administration.
"If LTC is not given to government servants from next year, what will local tourism industry do? Plans should be made accordingly," the Minister said.
Till January this year Andaman and Nicobar islands have received more than 64,000 tourists but most of them are LTC tourists from different corners of India.
The Minister said to promote tourism we should eye the International markets.