CM hints at reopening state to tourists after Oct

ITANAGAR, Sep 28: Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Monday said Arunachal might reopen its doors to tourists after October while following the laid down Covid-19 guidelines issued by the Centre from time to time.

Attending the virtual ‘Destination Northrast-2020’ programme organized by the DoNER ministry, Khandu said the tourism sector has suffered a lot in the last six months due to the pandemic, affecting the livelihood of thousands while also denting the state’s revenue collection.

“Tourism is one major source of revenue and employment. Keeping all considerations in mind, we will be reopening the sector. If everything goes well, after October we will be open to visitors,” he said.

Khandu lauded the DoNER ministry and the North Eastern Council for organizing the virtual festival and said it would boost tourism in the Northeast several notches up post Covid-19 pandemic.

Stressing that connectivity is the backbone of tourism, Khandu said that in the last six years, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, the Northeast has witnessed a paradigm shift in infrastructure development.

“Thanks to Modiji’s love and concern towards the region, today we have railways, roads and airports. Several projects are under implementation while several are in the pipeline. And now, with a visionary and determined DoNER minister in Dr Jitendra Singh, we are sure to develop at par with the rest of the country,” he said.

Khandu complimented the Centre’s ‘Act East’ policy, which he claimed “is ushering peace and infrastructural growth in the region – the much-needed ingredients for a flourishing tourism sector.”

Endorsing the DoNER minister’s prediction that the NE would be the next tourism hub post Covid-19 India, Khandu said that Arunachal, with its diversity both in terms of geography and demography, could become a centre of rural, cultural and adventure tourism.

“We are committed to preserve our culture while walking the path of development. Our focus therefore is on pushing for tourism while keeping our culture and environment well-preserved,” he said.

The chief minister said the pandemic would end one day and a new era of tourism would begin in Arunachal and the other states of the Northeast. (CM’s PR Cell)