Union Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Jitendra Singh, said on Tuesday that there is an immediate need to avail the post-Covid opportunities in the tourism sector, particularly in the northeastern region, which can offer itself as an alternative to some of the European destinations that many regular holiday-goers may find less preferable in the immediate aftermath of the high Corona prevalence in those places.
At a meeting with the representatives of various tourism and transport bodies, Singh said, “The opportunity is knocking at our door and it is now up to us as to how best we are prepared to avail of this opportunity. If in this season we are able to ensure a boost in tourist inflow, it will set a trend for the coming years.”
Singh said that the northeast region, despite some of its choicest destinations in Meghalaya, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, could not adequately avail the opportunities because of lack of support from the Centre in the past and low prioritisation from successive governments.
“However, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, there has been revolutionary and fast-track improvement in connectivity and transportation, which should facilitate the ease of tourism,” Singh said.
“Tourists landing at the Guwahati airport today prefer to go to Shillong and other destinations in Meghalaya by road rather by helicopter or by other means, simply to relish the joy of a picturesque journey,” he said.
Laying particular emphasis on three components of tourism, namely holidaymakers, medical tourists and filmmakers, Singh referred to the decision to set up a film studio in Sikkim and the upcoming Film and Television Institute in Arunachal Pradesh.
“In the last six years, Guwahati has been developed as one of the best super specialty healthcare destinations and this aspect needs to be propagated not only in the neighbouring states, but also in the countries across the eastern border like Myanmar, Bhutan and Nepal which would realise the option of easier treatment with cost-effective medical care,” he said.