IMPHAL, January 21: A two day Seminar on ‘Tourism in North-East India: Problems, Potentials & Prospects’ began today at Manipur Press Club, Majorkhul.
The seminar organized by the Eriema Gender Empowerment Centre (EGEC), Imphal under the sponsorship of Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi.
According to EGEC, the program was held to a facilitate a space for knowledge sharing among the different stakeholders including civil societies, community leaders, academia, women leaders, faith based organizations and hospitality sector towards a creative and integral understanding of the issues and prospects of tourism in the northeast India.
Speaking at the inaugural function, Dr Th Dhabali President of the Manipur Tourism Forum said that the law and order of the state hampers tourism. He continued saying that now Manipur has a work force of trained and professional tourist guides.
“Tourism is the fastest and largest industry in the world and has huge potentials for the state but it is unfortunate that law and order situation of the state hampers our prospects.
“He further stated that there is still a lack of proper transportation services, connectivity, proper accommodation and a huge gap in terms of professionally promoted tourist spots. Giving an example of the lack of infrastructural support despite the abundance of scenic spots and other locations with touristic potential, he related how tourists going to the Sendra Guest tourist spot came back appalled at the lack of washroom facilities.
Further drawing attention to how the Government had lifted off the Protected Area Permit, PAP from the stateto increase tourist inflow, he also said that the calls for implementation of an Inner Line Permit System can curtail tourist prospects.
Minister I Hemochandra who spoke on the occasion lauded the seminar said that Manipur is the tourism station. He stated that tourism is like a commodity and marketing of tourism is a big challenge at present.
Saying that Manipur has potential for health tourism where one can come and facilitate world class health service at a reasonable price, he lamented the nature of current infrastructure of the state like road connectivity.
Prof. Lal Dena of Manipur University highlighted how tourism as a major industry emerged in the northeast India.
He shared that the growth of tourism industry in the region needs to have a broader perspective of taking into consideration of tapping the tourism potentials with the neighbouring countries.
The first day of the seminar also saw saw paper presentations from various academics and subject experts.