Nagaland beckons: Shaped like a footprint, the Shilloi Lake is located at Lütsam village under Meluri sub-division in Phek district, about 300 km from state capital Kohima. (Image courtesy: Department of Tourism, Kohima, Nagaland; http://tourismnagaland.com)
Thrust areas to be identified in context of indigenous development and tourist’s expectation in the area of ethnic/rural tourism, cultural tourism, adventure tourism and eco-tourism
Morung Express News
Dimapur | July 11
The Nagaland State Government has drafted a tentative tourism policy that aims for the moon.
The Department of Tourism, Government of Nagaland has announced that the department is looking to bring out a new Tourism Policy 2018. The department has uploaded the Draft Tourism Policy 2018 on www.nagalandtourism.com or tourismnagaland.com/ with the aim to involve public stakeholders’ consultation in the process.
Here are some of its highlights:
Under the State Industrial Policy of Nagaland 2000, Tourism has been accorded “Priority Sector.”
A three level organizational structure will be created to deal with this—apex (headed by the Chief Minister), departmental and an attraction specific local level.
The infrastructural development of tourism will be commensurate with the tourist destinations.
At the institutional level, a framework which is “government-led, private- sector driven and community-welfare oriented,” will be evolved.
Sustainability will also serve as the “dictum for any development and management of tourism.” Thrust areas, thus, will also be identified in context of the indigenous development and tourist’s expectation in the area of ethnic/rural tourism, cultural tourism, adventure tourism and eco-tourism.
The planning and regulatory process will carefully go into various details that have a bearing on ecology and will specify methods for construction, incorporating the indigenous architectural style, encourage the use of eco-friendly local materials, and eco-techniques (solar energy, rain water harvest and utilization of recycling of waste etc, of all which will minimize the negative impact on environment.
Infrastructure like roads, railways and airports will be developed well with the intent to provide access to existing and new tourist destinations.
It will be the state policy to provide transport services, information counters, telephone and internet facilities etc. which will contribute in generating a tourist friendly atmosphere.
Tour Operators/ Travel Agents will get special permits to those registered with the Nagaland Department of Tourism, and will be granted assistance by the government.
Introduction of a Nagaland Registration of Tourist Trade Act to provide regulation and promotion by way of registration of persons dealing with the tourists.
A ‘Barrier Free Design’ approach will be adopted for making tourism friendly for differently-abled people. Tourist places will be “fully equipped” with amenities like wheel chairs, walking sticks, umbrellas and first aid.
The Government of Nagaland will have a list of approved/ registered hotels/lodges under the State Tourist Trade Act, which would be expected to function within the laid down norms / guidelines of the Government.
Home stays or Special Paying Guest scheme will also be introduced in some selected places/villages for providing affordable and hygienic accommodation for both domestic and foreign tourists.
Eco-tourism projects will need to be coordinated with the Forest Department. Khonoma, Dzulekie, Dzukou, Mount Saramati, Green Dikhu Project, Benreu, Sendenyu Bio-diversity Conservation, Intangki National Park, Rangapahar Wildlife Sanctuary, Puliebadze Wildlife Sanctuary are some identified unique protected areas of the state.
Agrotourism will also be promoted. “All we need is to build basic farm houses with modern amenities like showers, clean linen, European type commodes, solar lighting etc. to accommodate the prospective tourists.”
Adventure/Sports Tourism will be introduced in the form of mountaineering, trekking, zip lining, gliding, and mountain biking, cycling, rafting, angling and rock climbing.
Heritage Tourism will be introduced in sites like War Cemetery, Kohima Village, Medieval Kachari Kingdom Ruins, Dimapur, Khonoma Village, historical site at Naganimora, Mon district etc.
The government will endeavour to tie up with the NEZCC and Department of Art & Culture to organise and promote traditional festivals. Music tourism will also be promoted.
Apart from these, Wellness/Herbal Tourism, Experiential/ Rural Tourism and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) tourism will be introduced.
Professional skill development training for officers and staff of the department in various aspects of tourism sector to the different categories of staff is of utmost importance and also to keep up with the growing tourism trends.
Capacity building and awareness generation programmes will be held in all Districts to meet the demands of the Tourism sector and requirements of accommodation, catering, tourist guides, Hospitality and Travel Agent etc.
Marketing plans include Production of publicity materials, such as brochures, tourist literatures, handouts, audio-visual materials/films etc. as well as wide participation in Domestic, National and International fairs and festivals in Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi etc. and marts like World Tourism Mart (WTM), London, ITB Berlin, Doha.
Financing of the tourism department’s development activities will be primarily from three sources – State, Central and NEC-DONER. The Nagaland State Government will also try to invest/divert substantial funds in this sector.