ITANAGAR, Sep 25: Tourism Secretary Sadhana Deori said it was necessary for the locals to dictate terms and conditions to the tourists to avoid exploitation of natural resources.
Speaking at the function to launch the promotional video and the website of the first Papum-Poma River Festival here on Tuesday, Deori said, “You are proud owners of these lands and forests. Instead of marketing aggressively for tourist inflow, find sustainable ways to continue your river project festivals.”
Since angling is a seasonal sport, Deori suggested collaborating with angling festivals such as the Siang Simang Angling Festival, which was held recently at Boleng, and offering weekend packages to visitors.
“Begin with Papum-Poma, and move towards Siang-Simang, then Tuting, and end at Parshuram Kund,” she suggested, adding that Parshuram Kund should be seen as being more than a pilgrimage site as places close to it offer good angling opportunities, too.
Tourism Director Kento Dangging said tourists visiting Arunachal Pradesh look for forest cover and come to witness the traditional tribal culture.
“We need to save the forests and our culture. If these things are not preserved then the tourist flow will also be few and far between,” he said.
He said the tourism department would provide assistance as facilitators, “but it is upto the people to sustain these festivals.”
The festival’s director, John Panye, informed that the Papum-Poma River Festival-2018 is scheduled to be held from 7 to 10 November this year in Papum Pare district, at the confluence of these two rivers.
“The festival will offer ecotourism activities, such as angling, white water rafting, rock climbing, traditional sports, etc. Local artists will also perform during the evening hours, and food courts will be installed where local women will sell organic and wholesome food,” he said.