Govt, private stakeholders must come together for sustainable tourism: CM

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IMPHAL, April 18: “The government and private stakeholders will join hands together to improve  facilities and receptive environment through Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the state. There is a   need to have a sustained interaction and sharing of ideas between Government and private stakeholders in appropriate forums to lead to a more meaningful tourism policy and in making Manipur as a leading sustainable and responsible tourism destination.” This was stated by state Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, at  the inaugural function of a two day seminar on `Strategy for Tourism Development and Capacity Building in Manipur` being held at The Classic Hotel at Imphal today.

“In addition to the receptive environment, there has to be sustainability of the sector which can be ensured if the impact of tourism upon the environment and the local cultures is as low as possible, while helping to generate future employment for local people,” the Chief Minister said.

Pointing out that a successful tourism venture has to be environmentally sustainable,  he went on to say, “Today, tourism is one of the  fastest growing industries in the world and the state government will promote tourism as one sector which can provide immense benefit to various communities and stakeholders.”

Validating that Manipur is the gate-way of South- East Asian countries to the sub-continent, the CM said connectivity is one of the most important aspects of growth.

“Manipur is endowed with rich culture heritage and many exotic locations which has historical importance to National and International tourism with respect to the INA memorial and the Second World War memorial”, the state Chief Minister said before adding that with 30 different communities with its own unique set of history, traditions, culture, festivals, indigenous games, arts and dance forms, there is a huge potential to draw tourists to the state.

He further said the efforts of the Manipur Tourism Forum have come together with like-minded stakeholders in the tourism sector with the objective of continuously taking new initiatives for the greater benefit of the state.

He also expressed his confidence  that the Manipur Tourism Forum would continue to take pro-active initiative in consultation with the Tourism Department to improve the tourism sector in Manipur.

D.S. Poonia, IAS, Chief Secretary, said Manipur enjoys a fascinating range of flora and fauna, which facilitates the land to be an ideal destination for tourists. 

Manipur has an enchanting cultural heritage and its vista of art and culture is implicitly exhibited by her illustrative dance and music along with its legends and folklore.

He pointed out that the international car rally which passed through the state a couple of months back will boost the attraction of the state and said he had faith in Manipur becoming successful in its tourism initiative.

M Prithiviraj, Parliamentary Secretary, YAS and Tourism meanwhile pointed out that sustainable designs and models are required to promote tourism in the state and said that local participation  will aid in boosting tourism in the state.

The parliamentary Secretary further highlighted that under the Ministry of Tourism Department, Government of India various flagship program are available like the `Hoonar Se Roojgar` for skill development program especially for school drop-out students to get training in the tourism sector.

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