No tourism beneficial if locals are not helped: Sharma

NAMSAI, 6 Feb: “No tourism is beneficial if the local communities are not helped,” union Tourism Ministry Director General Meenakshi Sharma said on Saturday.

Addressing a workshop on ‘Responsible tourism – Future forum’, organized here by the state’s tourism department in collaboration with the Outlook Group, Sharma said that there is immense potential for tourism in Arunachal, owing to its natural beauty, cultures, rivers, and hospitality of the people.

She suggested developing “a new tourist destination in a traditional way, with less concretization but a sustainable one” and creating “commodity that would contribute to the development of local economy on long-term basis.”

Informing that a ‘Buddhist circuit’ is coming up soon in the country, she said it would also include Arunachal.

Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, who also attended the programme, said, “Our future lies in tourism, and let us work together to develop Arunachal Tourism into a responsible and sustainable one.”

He urged the tourism department and the Outlook Group to put Arunachal on the tourism map of India.

Thanking the union tourism ministry for sanctioning fund for infrastructure development at Parshuram Kund, he asked the tourism department to “simplify the process of obtaining inner line permits and protected area permits for travellers.”

He also emphasized the need to develop more infrastructures for the tourism industry to grow in the state.

“There will be no shortage of power supply in the state for those who want to establish industry in the region as drawing of 132 kv line from Chapakhowa to Roing through the power grid has been completed and another 220 kv line from Kothalguri to Namsai will begin soon,” the DCM said.

He informed that a hydropower project of 1,750 mw is also coming up in the state.

Tourism Minister Nakap Nalo said that the state government is “striving best to be the facilitator acting as a catalyst for the development and promotion of tourism in Arunachal Pradesh.”

He said the state strives to ensure sustainable tourism and is putting significance on waste management.

Tourism Secretary Sadhana Deori informed that the tourism department is organizing a series of workshops with the Outlook Group to develop responsible and sustainable tourism in Arunachal.

Outlook Group CEO Indranil Roy, Grassroutes managing director Inir Pinheiro, CGH Earth Hotels managing director Michael Dominic, Invest India vice president Varun Sood, Snow Leopard Conservancy India Trust director Tsewang Namgail, Sangaru Design Studio’s owner Sandeep Sangaru and others spoke on various aspects of responsible tourism.

Among others, advisors Laisam Simai, Kaling Moyong, Gum Tayeng, Jummum Ete Deori, Namsai MLA Chau Zingnu Namchoom, the deputy commissioners of Dibang Valley, Lower Dibang Valley, Lohit, Anjaw and Namsai, and Tourism Director Abu Tayeng were present on the occasion. (DCM’s PR Cell)