GUWAHATI, Feb 3 - Dubbed as the first-ever initiative to promote trade, tourism and cultural exchange between India's North East and South East Asian nations, the North East India Festival to be held at the Central World, Bangkok, during February 9-10 will showcase the North East in its vibrant best.
This will be preceded by an inaugural dinner on February 8 to be hosted by the Indian Embassy in Thailand. Top industrialists, ASEAN ambassadors and other dignitaries will interact with top functionaries of the governments of the north-eastern states in the programme.
A B2B meet on tourism will be a meeting point of around 35 tour operators travelling from the North East, besides tourism department officials of the region interacting with top tour operators of South East Asia based in Bangkok.
The initiative - among the biggest ever Indian programme outside the country - is being presented by the North Eastern Council and organised by Trend MMS with support from the Indian Embassy in Thailand.
Briefing media persons today, Shyamkanu Mahanta, chief organiser of the event, said a large team around 400 people would be participating in the festival.
“This includes teams from the north-eastern states, prominent tour operators, entrepreneurs, etc. The North East in its varied and vibrant aspects comprising its cultures, heritage, cuisine, etc., will be showcased,” he said.
Mahanta said opening up of direct air connectivity between the North East and Bangkok from March onwards could be the game-changer, especially for tourism.
The event will feature a meet on trade and investment to be attended by around 80 entrepreneurs and government agencies from both sides. An interactive programme under the aegis of Gauhati University and the Assam Government will be attended by scholars of different ethnic communities of Assam, Manipur, Arunachal, etc. “They will interact with historians and academicians of Thailand,” he said.
The main festival at Central World will present exhibitions from all the north-eastern states, showcasing their tourism and trade potential. Spicejet will be showcasing the organic fruits and vegetables from the North East.
The cultural shows will comprise various folk dances of the region, performances by Zubeen Garg, GATC, Naga girls’ band Minutes of Decay, Featherheads from Manipur, etc.