IMPHAL, Sep 27 : The Tourism Department, Government of Manipur celebrated World Tourism Day at Mapao Zingsho village, Senapati, today. Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam, Parliamentary Secretary (Youth Affairs and Sports/Tourism) Mairembam Prithiviraj, Saikul AC MLA Yamthong Haokip, Chief Secretary Oinam Nabakishore and Government Consultant RK Nimai graced the celebration as chief guest,president and guests of honour respectively.
Chief Minister Okram Ibobi and the special invitees were accorded a warm and colourful welcome with Thang-ta, Pung, Dhol, and Moibung presentations. Stalls opened at the celebration site sold a variety of products made in the village. Traditional Tangkhul dances and music were showcased during the celebration.
Speaking at the occasion the Chief Minister said that tourism can bring rapid economic development in the State. He said that tourism is one of the fastest growing industries without much capital investment which can bring about economic growth and employment generation. Expressing his happiness over the natural beauty and pollution free environment of Mapao Zingsho village, Chief Minister said if conducive environment is provided along with development of some infrastructure Mapao Zingsho village can be developed into a tourist destination.
The world tourists are attracted to places endowed with natural beauties not to modern buildings, the Chief Minister said while appealing to the villagers not to cut down trees and maintain a clean environment and also to have good hospitality. The State can attract more tourists if it can maintain a stable law and order condition. The presence of anti-social elements will only drive away tourists, the Chief Minister said while urging the people not to shelter such people in the village. He further advised the people against deforestation and the practice of jhum cultivation. The Government shall look into the matter of the unavailability of mobile network, open an LPG gas agency and construct a tourist auditorium in the village as requested by the villagers, the Chief Minister said. He further assured that the Government will extend its help in its capacity to turn Mapao Zingsho village into a tourist destination. Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam said the celebration of World Tourism Day contributes to environmental protection and conservation. Celebration of such programmes in the hill areas will promote awareness of environmental values.
The State celebrated World Tourism Day for the first time at Andro last year. The Deputy Chief Minister expressed happiness that the Tourism Department organised the this year’s celebration at Mapao Zingsho village. He said Mapao Zingsho village is a heritage and asset of the State. With the natural beauties and uniqueness of the village it would become an important tourist destination. He appealed to the people to conserve nature and put in all efforts to make the place a beautiful resort. Consultant General of Government of India to Guangzhou, China, Sailes Thangal, Additional CEO and former Secretary Tourism Nidhi Mani Tripathy, Special Secretary Tourism N Ashok Kumar, DC Senapati C Arthur and Director Tourism N Bandana Devi also attended the function.
Presentation of dramatised version of “Otrei khapung” an almost extinct custom of carrying harvested paddy on the back to the village and Tangkhul folk dance and other entertainment programmes were the highlights of the day. The theme of this year’s World Tourism Day celebration is ‘Tourism for allpromoting universal accessibility’. Later, a guest house was inaugurated by the Chief Minister in the village.