Tourism and Arunachal

Controversial Bollywood superstar Salman Khan’s two-hour visit to Mechukha perhaps has done more for Arunachal Tourism than all earlier efforts put together to lure tourists since the state opened up in the early 90s.
Social media platforms are filled with clips of Khan cycling with Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijuju in pristine Mechukha.
Possibly, Mechukha will have to brace itself for a jump in the number of tourists after the impromptu endorsement by the superstar.
Mechukha already receives a steady flow of tourists because it has so much to offer, from nature to culture. But it has not been able to attract many because of lacking infrastructure. The road leading to Mechukha is in a bad shape and is a major deterrent for tourists. Air connectivity is next to nil.
Because of lacking infrastructure, tourism in the state is yet to take off on a scale the state is capable of.
Arunachal is blessed with natural beauty and unparalleled culture. Right from cultural to religious and ecotourism, the state has everything to offer. However, with the exception of Tawang, Tezu and Ziro tourist circuits, most of the places in the state have not been able to tap their tourism potential as they do not have the requisite facility to cater to the needs of the tourists.
Road connectivity and other infrastructure related to hospitality need to be drastically improved if the state is serious about bringing in tourists. The local economy could boom across the state if the infrastructure is improved. Local communities in the state should be encouraged and empowered to become partners in tourism. One way is to encourage home stays, which would help the local economy.
However, one concern is plastic litter. Tawang, which receives the highest number of tourists in the state, is afflicted with serious garbage issue. Tourism should not be at the cost of environment; therefore the policymakers need to do more to address these concerns.
Responsible tourism, which includes litter-free travel and respect for local culture, should be the mantra.