NEW DELHI : Ms Rupinder Brar, Addl. Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India yesterday said, “It is a priority of the Ministry of Tourism to take up development of tourism in the North Eastern States and particularly for Mizoram. There is much that can be done. Tourism is a huge employment generator, and it will also help to conserve and protect the region.”
Addressing the webinar on ‘Unlocking Travel & Tourism of Mizoram; Challenges and Preparedness’ organized by FICCI, jointly with the Department of Tourism, Government of Mizoram, Ms Brar added, “The Tourism Minister has proposed the Ministry of Civil Aviation to add more routes to priority destinations under viability gap funding and Mizoram is going to be a significant part of that strategy. Under the Swadesh Darshan program, many projects are being implemented to improve the tourism infrastructure. Under PRASAD, the Minister has approved many projects that have been identified from the pilgrimage point of view.”
Ms Brar further said that home stays and capacity building are segments that must be worked on as it adds many socio-economic dimensions in terms of retaining skilled manpower to work in their hometowns. “For a tourist, the kind of experiential learning that one gets by staying with a local family is immense. Outreach and promotion are significant part of the strategy for the north eastern region to showcase the unique identities of the eight north eastern states and how to seamlessly integrate the travel experience of the tourist across states,” she added.
“Ministry of Tourism is fully committed to work towards the promotion of Travel, Tourism and Hospitality in the region. The Ministry has created working groups with the industry and we request FICCI to work with Ministry to create dedicated and effective working groups for the North Eastern region so that we can make a difference in the next few months. The Ministry and Mizoram Tourism needs to work dedicatedly on developing the destinations and with a common strategy a lot can be achieved,” she noted.
Ms K. Lalrinzuali, Secretary, Department of Tourism, Government of Mizoram said, “The pandemic has brought about a paradigm shift in the tourism market and a new trend is emerging which emphasizes on safety, health consciousness and sustainability. Our immediate challenge is to take a practical and progressive approach towards reopening and gaining people’s confidence to gradually resume travel. We must ensure that the health and safety of our travellers remain our top priority. But we must remember that we cannot afford to shut ourselves off indefinitely for fear of the corona virus. We must actively try to manage the situation and work with like-minded industry partners and stakeholders to strengthen our position.”
Mizoram Tourism is planning to capture these opportunities and we have been focussing on the facets of safety and sustainability. “We have recently unveiled the Mizoram Responsible Tourism Policy 2020 to drive our reinvention and recovery process. Our vision is to position Mizoram as a top safe and sustainable tourist destination in the entire country. We plan to be in the bucket list of every traveller who are environmentally conscious and are looking for safe and sustainable travel options,” added Ms Lalrinzuali.
Mr Saitluanga, Joint Director, Department of Tourism, Government of Mizoram said that the government of Mizoram has formulated the following policies, rules and guidelines so that tourism sector in the State may develop on healthy lines:
The Mizoram Responsible Tourism Policy 2020
The Mizoram Registration of Tourist Trade Rules 2020
The Mizoram (Aero-sports) Rules 2020
The Mizoram (River Rafting) Rules 2020
Guidelines for Dormitories/Hostels in Mizoram
Guidelines for Homestays in Mizoram
Guidelines for Tour Operators in Mizoram
Guidelines for Ticketing Sales Agent/Travel Agent in Mizoram
Guidelines for Tour Guides in Mizoram
Guidelines for Caravan Tourism in Mizoram
Guidelines for recognition of Tourism Service Providers Association in Mizoram.
Mr Ashish Kumar, Co-Chairman, FICCI Travel, Technology & Digital Committee and Managing Partner, Agnitio Consultinng moderated the webinar and panel discussion on ‘Tourism opportunities in Mizoram and safety protocols adopted by stakeholders.’
Mr V Lalengmawia, Director, Department of Tourism, Government of Mizoram, said “Aizawl is a modern city and is well connected. Mizoram has an abundant of green landscapes, lush forests, large areas of bamboo, teeming with wildlife, waterfalls and culture. There has been an absence of information on the tourism potential of Mizoram, but the state is untouched, unexplored and hidden from mass tourism with unlimited adventure. The state is paradise unexplored and hence the tagline ‘Mystical Mizoram; A paradise for everyone’. Information is vital for promoting tourism in the state and social media has been very useful in reaching out to wider audiences. Digital technology will continue to play a very important role in tourism promotion.”
Mizoram’s tourism infrastructure has been constrained due to a small tourism budget which is around eight to ten crore rupees. With funding from Ministry of Tourism, DoNER and NEC, Mizoram has been able to make strides in development and promotion. With the help of Ministry of Tourism, under the Swadesh Darshan scheme many state-of-the-art projects have been implemented like the Golf Tourism and Wellness Tourism at Thenzawl, Adventure Tourism at Reiek, Muthi,Hmuifang, aero-sports at Tuirial and Serchhip. The Ministry’s sanction for the development of the Aizawl convention centre will take the state to the next level for MICE tourism. As part of the responsible tourism initiative, Mizoram tourism has started pilot projects in two villages which is eco-friendly and sustainable.
Mr Prashant Pitti, Co-Founder & Executive Director, EaseMyTrip; Ms Vineeta Dixit, Head-Public Policy & Government Relations – India & South Asia, Airbnb; Mr Joe RZ Thanga, General Secretary, Association of Tour Operators of Mizoram; Mr Vanlalzarzova, General Secretary, Travel Agents Association of Mizoram, Mr Himangshu Baruah, CEO, Finderbridge Tourism, Guwahati and Mr Jayanta Das, Cluster General Manager North-East, Darjeeling and General Manager, Vivanta Guwahati also shared their views during the webinar.