Tourism or Trade Fair? Get the fact right
Imphal, November 23: Charging entry fee from the visitors has defeated the very purpose of organizing the Manipur Tourist Festival-2011, which is currently underway at Hafta Kangjeibung here, with the stated objective of promoting Manipur as ‘world class tourism destination’, according to visitors at the fair.
Billed as the biggest tourism festival ever in Manipur, the event is being organized by the Department of Tourism, Government of Manipur in co-ordination with other government departments and agencies.
Talking to Hueiyen Lanpao, some of the visitors have questioned the idea behind levying entry fee to the festival pavilion. “The organizer should have a very clear about the concept of a festival and a trade fair. Charging entry fee of Rs 10 per head may be understandable if it is a trade fair or the event is being organized by some NGOs. But for a festival organized by the government, and that too, for the promotion of tourism, the whole purpose is defeated”, observed Programme Executive of AIR, Imphal, Bijaya Yulembam, who was among the teeming number of visitors coming to the festival.
“Are they going to charge fee from the visiting tourists (foreigners) as well? And how this is going to help in promotion of tourism?”, she wondered.
In the same vein, a government employee who came to the festival along with his family members pointed out that it is not the amount of the entry fee they charged but the whole notion of organizing a tourism festival that is questionable.
Requesting anonymity for obvious reason, the employee contended, “If the Tourism Department is short of fund, why it is organizing the festival in the first place?”
“In fact, amid all these prolonged bandhs and blockades, the tourism festival should come as relief to the wearied people and not as another burden”, wife of the employee opined.
Meanwhile, reiterating that the ongoing Manipur Sangai Festival, 2011 is being organized to introduce Manipur to tourism map of the world, Commissioner of Tourism KK Chhetry has appealed to all the civil bodies in the state to refrain from imposition of bandh or blockade during the course of the festival which would go on till November 30.
Talking to mediapersons, Chhetry explained that imposition of bandh and blockade may cause problem to many people who are willing to come and participate in the festival.
Source: Hueiyen News Service