India’s 1st SAARC Tourism Summit in Aurangabad

The Ministry of External Affairs will organise the country’s first SAARC Tourism Summit in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, in the second week of October. The announcement of the two-day summit, also being aimed at tapping FDI under Make in India and Make in Maharashtra schemes, was made by Valsa Nair Singh, IAS, Principal Secretary Tourism and Culture, Government of Maharashtra at the Sensitisation Session on Aurangabad Tourism Development Program organised by the State Government, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) and the Confederation of Indian Industry in Aurangabad on July 4, 2016. Highlighting the reasons behind the decision to host the summit in Aurangabad, Singh said, “The Ajanta-Ellora caves have always remained the biggest tourism attraction in the state among foreigners and Indians. The historical silk route and connect of the place with the Buddhist circuit across world, including China, is significant. Ajanta also has one of the world’s best visitors centre with several life size replicas of Padmapani (sculptures of Buddha). All these are reason enough for Aurangabad to be the preferred choice. The conference aims at promoting Aurangabad and other destinations of Maharashtra.”
“The Department of Tourism (DoT) is trying to seek appointment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate the event. On the first day, officials from SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries, which include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, would attend the conference. On the second day, the ministers of tourism from these countries and from Indian states would participate.” Singh said.