Tuesday, June 25, 2024

‘State ready with mission document to boost tourism’


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By Our Reporter


Union Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai (C) lights the ceremonial lamp to inaugurate the regional conference of Tourism ministers, in the city on Friday. (ST)

SHILLONG: Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma has informed that the State has drafted a mission document for the development of tourism in the State.

“The proposed mission document would be finalized very shortly in consultation with all the stakeholders,” Dr Sangma, who is also in charge of Tourism, said during the inaugural function of the Second Inter-State Regional Conference of the Tourism Ministers of Eastern and North Eastern states here on Friday.

He further informed that the State would facilitate the process of building up infrastructure in terms of accommodation so as to bridge the existing gap in order to meet the needs of various types of tourist visiting the State.

“Our core inspiration is the fact that the State has the potential to attract tourists of different interests and our stakeholders have the capacity to provide hospitality service comparable to the best in the region,” the Chief Minister said.

He, however, said that the major challenge the State is facing is to build their capabilities especially that of the community to generate meaningful livelihoods and treat tourism as a means of employment generation.

Dr Sangma also said that the State is creating a brand image on the same lines as ‘Incredible India’ which would be developed through an appropriate tagline, catchy slogans, signature tunes and innovative and market-focused advertisement campaign.

“Proactive promotional measures would be undertaken for  creating the image of the State as a safe and enjoyable destination duly supported by good infrastructure and facilities at the destinations,” the Chief Minister said.

He also said that the State is embarking on a policy of developing tourism in such a manner as to ensure sustainability and conservation of the environment and natural resources.

“We are encouraging tourism projects which are based on community participation. We are designing these projects in such a manner that the structure blends with the surrounding environment,” Dr Sangma said.

While highlighting the unique festivals of the State which are the highlights, he requested the Union Tourism Ministry not to limit the fund allocation for festivals to Rs 50 lakh each year.

“We are endeavouring to promote golf tourism in the State on a massive scale. The Shillong Golf Course has the potential of attracting ardent golfers from within the country and from outside,” he said.

The Chief Minister, however, pointed out that development of tourism is linked to connectivity.

“Our efforts to attract tourists in certain areas have been hampered by problems of connectivity. This is true perhaps for all the North Eastern states. Because of the problems in connectivity, the time taken to reach these far flung places is rather long,” he stated.

The Chief Minister also stressed on the need to promote the North Eastern region as one single tourist destination. “As of now, very few foreign tourists come to this part of the world. With this exercise, we are hoping to have more foreign tourist visiting the region,” he said.

Dr Sangma also informed that the State Government is looking for tie-up with neighbouring countries like Bhutan, Bangladesh and Thailand to promote the tourism sector.


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