Arunachal may reopen for tourists after October: CM

Itanagar, September 28 (PTI): Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Monday hinted that the state will reopen for tourists after October.

Attending a virtual programme organised by the central government, Khandu said that the tourism sector has suffered a lot in the last six months due to the COVID-19 pandemic which affected the livelihood of thousands of people and dented the state''s revenue.

"Tourism is one major source of revenue and employment. Keeping all considerations in mind, we will be re-opening the sector. If everything goes well, after October we will be open to visitors," he said at the Destination North East programme.

Destination North East is a calendar event of the Ministry of Department of North Eastern Region (DoNER) showcasing the region''s rich heritage, diversity and tourism potentials. Union Home Minister Anit Shah inaugurated the four-day programme on Sunday.

Khandu lauded the DoNER ministry and the North East Council (NEC) for organising the virtual event and said that it would boost tourism in the region post-pandemic.

He said that Arunachal Pradesh with its diversity of geographic and demographic profiles can become a centre of rural, cultural and adventure tourism.

The chief minister said that in the last six years, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, North East has witnessed a paradigm shift in its infrastructure development.

"Thanks to Modiji''s love and concern towards the region, today we have railways, roads and airports. Several projects are under implementation while several are in the pipeline," he said.

Endorsing DoNER Minister Dr Jitendra Singh''s prediction that North East would be next tourism hub of post- COVID-19 India, Khandu said "We are committed to preserve our culture while walking the path of development."