Governor’s call to boost tourism in State
GUWAHATI, Aug 18 – Of every thousand foreign tourists visiting India, only eight come to the North East region and there is urgent need for marketing the region as a potential tourist destination to attract tourists, said Governor, JB Patnaik.
Addressing a seminar on North East tourism organized by the Guwahati Management Association at the Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra today, the Governor said that about five million foreign tourists visit India every year, which is much less compared to other Asian countries like China, Malaysia, Thailand etc. He said that around 54 million tourists visit China every year, while, Malaysia attracts around 21 million and Thailand around 14.5 million tourists every year.
Patnaik admitted that despite having abundance of potential to attract tourists, the region is yet to become a favoured tourist destination. He said that tourism potential in Assam is essentially nature based and if marketed properly, it can become the biggest industry in the state. He expressed the view that the tourism potential of the state can be divided into four categories- nature tourism, historical, religious and others. He pointed out that the Assam Government has already formulated a tourism policy with the view to attracting both domestic and foreign tourists and the Government of India has also offered attractive incentives under the NE Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy for potential investors in the hospitality sector.
The Governor stressed the need for aggressive marketing for attracting tourists and said that international festivals in the lines of the international fair in Udaypur, Desert Festival of Jaisalmir, Darjeeling tea festival etc should be held in the state for attracting tourists. He suggested that steps should be taken to organize musical entertainments for tourists staying in the National Parks and sanctuaries and the communication network should be improved. The website of the Tourism Department should be updated regularly with all relevant information and documentaries and colourful brochures on the tourism potential should be produced to make the people aware of the vast tourism potential.
Patnaik said that the tourists always want full security and safety. Though the problem of insurgency, which stood as a stumbling block for years, has subsided to a great extent, a lot remains to be done to make Assam an absolutely safe place for tourists, he added.
Source: The Assam Tribune