ITANAGAR, Sep 20: ‘Siang Rush’ has been listed as one of the 40 bespoke experiences in India by Travel+Leisure, one of the top travel magazines.
The annual adventure event, conducted to promote Arunachal in the niché tourism market, organized by the Abor Country Travels & Expedition and supported by the state’s tourism department, has been ranked 25th in the list.
A ‘by invitation only’ event, Siang Rush was started in 2018, and has been a perfect occasion for the organizer to give the guests “purposeful and relevant experiences, while showcasing the best of Arunachal.”
“The objective of Siang Rush has always been to showcase the many facets of Arunachal, which largely remains unexplored, while advocating sustainable and responsible tourism. The latter is, in fact, key to the success of the entire exercise as the state has been identified globally as a biodiversity hotspot. Hence, it is imperative that while we encourage tourism, we also protect our fragile ecosystem,” says Oken Tayeng of the Abor Country Travels & Expedition.
The last two editions of Siang Rush, in 2018 and 2019, were successful in promoting various regions of the state, including Itanagar, the Ziro valley and Namsai, as well as offbeat places like Chullyu, Pamluk and Daporijo, he says.
“The itinerary ensures inclusion of meaningful experiences and interaction with the locals and the tribal population,” Tayeng says, adding that the tour culminates in “a scenic setting of Abor country river camp near Pasighat,” on the bank of the Siang river, where the participants are treated to river rafting.
A pioneer tour operator in Northeast India, Tayeng says that “the pandemic has presented a perfect opportunity for us to rebrand Arunachal as a destination suitable for niche, luxury tourism and move away from mass tourism that has proved detrimental to the interests of the state in the past.”
He says that the future plan for Siang Rush is to invite about 10 high-end, elite tour operators whose specialize in luxury tourism and study the potential of developing luxury tourism with these industry experts.
The aim, Tayeng says, is to work with industry experts, solicit advice and eventually use it as a base to promote Arunachal as a premier destination.
“The ultimate aim is to make visiting Arunachal a high-value proposition and a much-sought-after destination,” he says.