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Thu, 21 Nov 2019

Northeast Today

A New Nagaland with tourism possibilities

A New Nagaland with tourism possibilities
November 05
12:59 2019

With militancy at an all time low in the state, the Nagaland government is planning to focus more on tourism in the coming years, and is planning several tourism related projects in the state. Amarjyoti Borah writes.

 

With peace back in the state of Nagaland, and a stable government in the state which is in alliance with the BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in the centre, the state is on the track of becoming a further booming tourism destination in the region.

The state is working towards becoming a major eco-tourism destination in the country, and currently it already attracts a major number of tourists interested in eco-tourism from across the country. Apart from domestic tourists, a huge number of international tourists from across the globe also throng to Nagaland every year, and the number is growing every year.

Recently the Nagaland government and the stakeholders associated with tourism in the state received a major boost in a form of a major tourism award, and this is expected to help boost tourism further in the state.

The Travel and Tourism Fair, one of the leading tourism fairs which is an annual meeting ground for tour operators, travel agents, hoteliers, airlines, state tourism boards and various stakeholders of the travel industry, at its award function, awarded the Nagaland tourism with the award of, “Most Promising New Destination Award 2019”. The award was received on behalf of the state government by Nagaland Tourism deputy director KM Rio and tourist officer Diana Achumi.

Tourism entrepreneur based across the state have said that Nagaland is always among the prominent tourism destination in the North East region, and it attracts a huge number of both domestic and foreign tourists during the Hornbill (Mela) Festival season.

“Nagaland is always a very important destination for tourists in the tourism season in the region, and we often run out of vehicles for transportation of passengers. Even tour operators outside the state of Nagaland benefits hugely from the tourists flow in Nagaland,” said Pankaj Gogoi, a tour operator associated with the Prasanti Tours and Travels based in the North East.

Coming back to power as chief minister in 2018 in alliance with the BJP, chief minister Neiphiu Rio had taken up several innovative steps to boost tourism in the state.

Last year, just before the Hornbill festival, the chief minister had launched Nagaland tourist police at the state police headquarters in Kohima to ensure a safe and friendly environment for tourists.

The special squad — comprising 73 police personnel, including 50 women police from the India Reserve Battalion — was given specialised training for five days by Nagaland police along with the state’s tourism department.

Tourist police had been introduced to protect and serve tourists, build up their confidence, create hassle-free and memorable stay, prevent harassment and help tourists on matters relating to passport, visa, currency exchange, among others, according to the Nagaland government.

In its effort to give a further boost to eco-tourism, the government last year had taken up a major project in the state– “Development of Tribal Circuit: Peren-Kohima-Wokha”, at a cost of Rs. 97.36 crores. This project will have facilities like tribal tourist village, eco log huts, open air theatre, tribal rejuvenation centre, cafeteria, helipad, tourist interpretation centre, wayside amenities, last mile connectivity, public conveniences, multipurpose hall, nature trails, trekking routes.

On being asked whether these steps will attract tourists, Gogoi said that the Nagaland government focuses a lot on the tourism potential which it has, and also said that such steps are important to attract foreign tourists.

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“Foreign tourists wants safety and hassle free environment, and these steps by the Nagaland government aims to provide exactly those,” said Gogoi.

With militancy at an all time low in the state, the Nagaland government is planning to focus more on tourism in the coming years, and is planning several tourism related projects in the state.

According to sources at the Ministry for the Development of North eastern Region (DoNER), the central government, with peace back in the North east region, is keen to transform the North east region into a major tourism destination and is in consultation with all the state governments for projects.

With the central government’s ambitious Act East policy being in the works, the government is planning to convert the region to a major tourism hub for global tourists, as well as wants to brand the region as a major tourism destination in South Asia.

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