India’s North-East region is an unexplored heaven, still waiting to open its doors to the world! One of the recent attractions in this region was the income tax exemption incentives that saw a lot of news items highlight the North-East States in present demonetisation transition in the country.
As the states in this region slowly realise the potential of tourism, the availability of room inventory will pop up as a major challenge. Hospitality is a capital intensive industry with long gestation period. But, the North-East region can’t wait for the hotels to come up-first. In fact hoteliers will be keen on seeing significant demand driven pull for parking their investments in this region, which will be profitable in years to come.
Here, the focus should be on promoting home-stays as suggested by Jitendra Singh Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space. Singh also recalled that during his recent visits to some of the scenic spots in Meghalaya and other States, he came across lot of tourists from outside preferring an accommodation within the home premises of local households which not only gives them a feeling of homeliness and privacy but also familiarizes them with the local ambience. At the same time, for the household family, this concept of ‘home stay” tourism becomes an added as well as substantial source of income.
“Promoting the concept of ‘home-stay’ tourism in Northeast is not only an exclusive and personalized approach does not only increase the tourist inflow, but also generates new avenues of livelihood for local youth and families,” said Singh citing the success of such experiment in States of Sikkim and Meghalaya during his meeting on the progress of work on Sikkim’s Pakyong Airport with the Governor of Sikkim, Shriniwas Patil in New Delhi.
Singh said Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had himself, during one of the monthly “Pragati” video interactions with State Chief Secretaries, expressed the need to expedite the project. With Gangtok having a large flow of tourists from across the world, Singh believes that the presence of an airport will make the accessibility more convenient and increase the number of tourists manifold. Similarly, Shillong is currently connected through a commercial helicopter service from Guwahati, but with the upgradation of the local airport, there will be a boost to the tourist inflow.
Likewise, Governor Shriniwas Patil recalled Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s visit to Sikkim when he had named three exclusive local flower plants as “NAMO”, “SARDAR” and “DEENDAYAL”. He said, the people of the State keenly look forward to Prime Minister visiting the State again. He also deeply appreciated the keen interest taken by Dr Jitendra Singh in following up all the issues and development projects related to the State of Sikkim.