Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu in the presence of deputy chief minister Chowna Mein and tourism minister Nakap Nalo on Monday flagged off the ‘Dekho Apna Pradesh’ campaign from the Dorjee Khandu Convention Centre at Itanagar.
An initiative of the state’s tourism department, the ‘Dekho Apna Pradesh’ campaign aims at creating awareness among the stakeholders and citizens about the state’s tourism potential and assets. It also aims at encouraging the people to visit their own state and explore its vast tourism potential.
The initiative in the state has been launched in tune with the Tourism Ministry’s ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ campaign.
Addressing the participants, Khandu said “no other state in the country possesses more tourism potential like that of Arunachal Pradesh and the people, especially local entrepreneurs, should take advantage of it.”
“Once we give more thrust to tourism and start investing more in it, our state will definitely reach newer heights in the field. This will also help the local entrepreneurs grow and help curtail unemployment among the younger generation,” the chief minister said.
Khandu said it is important for the stakeholders such as tour operators, hoteliers, homestay owners, bloggers, etc to come together to make the campaign successful.
“The more you travel and visit more places of the state, the more it will help you in developing business models. When you meet and interact with the local stakeholders, there will be bondage which will eventually lead to business deals,” he said.
Khandu also suggested the state’s department of tourism to make sure that the district tourism and information officers and local guides are well-versed in the local history, culture and tourist attractions of the particular district or area they represent.
Tourism minister Nalo said, Arunachal being the largest state of the northeast region also has a diverse landscape like no other. He called upon the stakeholders to take advantage of the same.
“The tourism industry has been hit the most by the Covid-19 pandemic and ‘Dekho Apna Pradesh’ campaign is an opportunity for us to bounce back. However, before we open ourselves to tourists from outside the state and country, we have to know about our own potentials first. This campaign will help us learn the same,” Nalo said.
Batting for accessible tourism, deputy chief minister Mein called upon the people to change their mindset and be open to responsible and sustainable tourism.
He also called for the promotion of “folk culture” in the state.
Under the first phase of the ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ campaign, 60 participants divided in 3 groups (A, B & C) would embark on a 10-day journey of various tourism circuits of western, eastern and central Arunachal where they would learn more about the area’s culture, heritage, food habits and most importantly its tourism aspects.
Group A which began its journey from Itanagar would travel through Roing, Mayodia, Tezu, Wakro, Namsai and Miao during the next 10 days.
During this period they would visit tourist hotspots such as Kapang Village, Mayodia Pass, RIWACH Musem, Rukmani Fort, Parshuram Kund and Golden Pagoda, among many other places.
Group B, which also began its journey from the state’s capital, would visit prominent tourist places of western Arunachal such as Bomdila, Dirang and Tawang. The participants, would during their 10-day tour, visit the 14th century Chaksam Bridge, Mukto Village, Mandala Top, Bumla Pass etc.
The participants of Group C would traverse through Pasighat, Aalo and Mechuka during which they would halt at important tourist attractions such as Sirki Waterfall, Kabu Village, Donyi Polo temple, Penru etc. Adventure tourism activities such as trekking, angling are also a part of their itinerary.
The groups are being led by members of the Arunachal Pradesh Tour Operators Association (APTOA).
The overall travel expense of the participants is being funded by the state’s tourism department.
The participants would have to submit their feedback to the tourism department upon completion of their journey.