Y Merina Chishi
Tourism is serious business. If promoted and managed well, tourism can generate income for locals and boost the state’s economy. Many countries around the world depend on tourism to build their economy. States in India like Kerala, Goa and the Himalayan region are popular destinations that earn crores of rupees from tourism every year.
More and more people want to travel these days. The growing interest in travelling not just popular destinations but to smaller regions where tribal communities reside is increasing. In such a scenario, a place like Nagaland has the potential to become a tourist hot spot with the right kind of investments involving the local communities. Nagaland is already seeing a considerable increase of tourists in the past few years especially since the Hornbill festival was launched. The annual festival has also come to earn a name and it is a good feeling to know that our state too is on the list of places people wish to visit.
Since Nagaland is an industrially deprived state, investing in tourism can help create jobs in the service sector and also generate income for the government. Involving local peoples’ decisions can further enhance the wellbeing of host communities while also make positive contributions to the conservation of cultural heritage and diversity. The government should focus on the original vacation spots instead of building replicas. The Hornbill festival is just a representation of our culture and heritage while the real tourism lies within the community. Not just for ten days in a year; the government must also focus in promoting tourism year round.
For all this to happen, the government must take steps forward to improve access the tourism to industry. Several areas still need to be addressed. The road condition remains a big drawback. Bad roads are never a good experience for visitors. Many visitors have given negative reviews about it. During mega events like the Hornbill festival, overpricing, unpunctuality and delay or sudden changes in the sequence of events are not appealing either. Tourism should provide an enjoyable experience for the visitors and the host together.
In order to improve the quality of tourism in Nagaland, the government can stress on responsible tourism, a term that has come to replace sustainable tourism. Responsible Tourism is basically about making better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit. Responsible tourism requires the government, tour operators, businesses and local people take responsible action to make tourism socially, culturally and environmentally more sustainable.
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