• Mon. May 27th, 2024

Round Table Discussion on “Untapped Eco-Tourism Potential” held in Aizawl

 The Department of Planning & Programme Implementation, Government of Mizoram; and the Tourism Department, Government of Mizoram in collaboration with the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region and the North Eastern Council, Government of India organized a round table discussion on “Untapped Eco-Tourism Potential” at RB McCabe Hall, Aijal Club today as a part of the North East Festival under the ongoing Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM). Shri Robert Romawia Royte, Tourism Minister graced the event as Chief Guest.

Robert Romawia Royte in his speech expressed his pleasure to witness the launching of the North East Festival in Mizoram and the unique roundtable discussion on the subject of Eco-Tourism. He hoped that this comprehensive program, under the initiative of the State and Centre, will help unlock the relatively unexplored eco-tourism potential of the north east, particularly in the state of Mizoram. Stressing on the need for promotion of responsible tourism, sustainability and responsible travel, the Minister said that Mizoram‘s Tourism Department had recently framed a policy to this effect known as the Responsible Tourism Policy, 2020. As the crippling effect on tourism industry induced by the pandemic is gradually wearing off, Shri Robert Romawia Royte said that the State’s Tourism Department is currently focusing on post-covid strategy and plan for revival of tourism in the State. “We have prepared a comprehensive recovery plan to rebuild destination Mizoram focusing on responsible and sustainable standards” he said. Being in the center of one of the world’s richest bio-diversity hotspot, blessed with rich and rare varieties of flora and fauna and ideal climatic conditions, the Tourism Minister hoped that the State of Mizoram would soon become a favourite destination for tourists, both domestic and international.

The Tourism Minister stated that there is a strategic shift in India’s perspective of the world, and the Government of India had unveiled its Act East Policy. Giving top priority to connectivity, he said that the Centre is undertaking several mega projects to enhance inter-connectivity within the North East and with the neighbouring countries; he further added that the opportunities unleashed by this shift in India’s policy will make the North Eastern States as the main gateway for South East Asia. With help and support from the Ministry of Tourism, the Government of Mizoram is working tirelessly to bring about a strategic shift in the tourism scenario and the state will change significantly in the coming years, the Minister said. Highlighting a few of the current efforts undertaken by the State Government for development of Tourism in Mizoram, Shri Robert Romawia Royte said that eighty three (83) Tourist Guides had successfully completed Guide Training Programme ; destination based Capacity Building Programme is being undertaken in six (6) destinations across the State; and the Department also plans to diversify markets and introduce niche products like wellness tourism, golf tourism, wedding tourism, MICE tourism, voluntourism etc. to tap the state’s robust domestic tourism market. “We are also focusing on restoring travellers’ confidence and stimulate demand with clean and safe labels by encouraging the hospitality sector of the state to join SAATHI Certification Program”, he added.

The Tourism Minister also launched the Mizoram Tourism Department’s official portal “mizoramtourism.com“; and an android and ios based app, which can be downloaded from the newly launched portal. Detailed technical report on the new website and smartphone app was presented by a representative from the Mizoram State E-Governance Society.

The Chief Secretary of Mizoram, Dr Renu Sharma, spoke on the efforts taken by the State Tourism Department in developing and implementing various tourism activities to make Mizoram an Eco-tourism destination, while keeping in mind sustainability and conservation of environment. She stressed that in the context of Mizoram, eco-tourism is being promoted as a means of adding value to nature, thereby achieving sustainable tourism. It is a form of tourism which fosters environmental principles with emphasis on visiting and observing natural areas relatively undisturbed by human activities, she added. The Chief Secretary also expressed her sincere hope that eco tourism would provide the local community with jobs, enabling a shift from unsustainable practices to environmentally sensitive eco systems.

The Director of Tourism, V.Lalengmawia in his power point presentation, highlighted the detailed scenario of tourism in Mizoram, its challenges and opportunities. AKAM NEC Nodal Officer for Mizoram Pi R Lalrodingi also gave a short speech on how initiatives had been taken by the Union Government, through the Ministry of DoNER and the North Eastern Council towards the development and prosperity of the north eastern hill state.

Steve Borgia, Chairman & Managing Director, INDeco Leisure Hotels also addressed the gathering through virtual mode.

Experts on the field of eco-tourism such as Aditi Raval, an award winning media personality; Zonunthari, Deputy Secretary Tourism, Mizoram; Himangshu Baruah, CEO, Finderbridge Tourism, Guwahati; Dolly Lalmuanpuii, Asst Secretary, Mizoram Hotel Owners Association (MHOA); Zoliana Chhakchhuak, President, Association of Tour Operators Mizoram (ATOM) and Lalhruaitluanga, President, Travel Agent Association of Mizoram (TAAM) were among the panelists.

By NE India Broadcast

NE India Broadcast is a news and media platform, with focus on the Northeastern states comprising of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim and Eastern Region West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha. You can email us at : neindiabroadcast2021@gmail.com or office@neindiabroadcast.com

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