DoNER minister Jitendra Singh has said that there was an immediate need to avail the post-Covid opportunities in the tourism sector in India, particularly the Northeast.
“Northeast can offer an alternative to some of the European destinations that many regular tourists may find less preferable in the immediate aftermath of the high coronavirus prevalence over there,” Singh said.
Interacting with representatives of various tourist and transport bodies, Singh said the opportunity is knocking at our doors 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 our tourist inflow, it will set a trend for the following years,” he added.
Singh said that the northeastern region despite having popular destinations in Meghalaya, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh could not adequately avail of the tourism opportunities because of lack of support from the Centre and low prioritization from successive governments.
Improving connectivity to different parts of the Northeast will provide a definite boost to the tourism sector.
“Tourists landing at Guwahati airport today prefer to go to Shillong and other destinations in Meghalaya by road rather by other means simply to relish the joy of a picturesque journey,” Singh said.
Laying particular emphasis on three components of tourism, namely holiday makers, 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 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 counties across Eastern border like Myanmar, Bhutan and Nepal who would realize the option of easier treatment with cost-effective medical care,” the Minister said.
The issuing of Visa facilities to patients coming from the neighbouring countries like Myanmar, Bhutan and Nepal for treatment to Guwahati and airfare rates were also discussed.