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Attracting tourists: post Covid pandemic

by Rinku Khumukcham
0 comment 3 minutes read

The COVID-19 pandemic will be with us for some time but we cannot put our life to standstill and that is what every developed or developing country are resuming life but with a new policy. This is the time that the state like Manipur has to ponder on Tourism sector as this is one of the only industry that will make Manipur marching forward. For that proper planning is a much.
The local government sector has traditionally played an important role in supporting tourism development of local areas. This included the provision of infrastructure, the development of tourist attractions and experiences, support for festivals and events and the implementation of tourist promotion plans. Tourism plans, policies and development objectives are core elements of the state, City and local Development Plans. Importantly, the sector should mobilise a network of stakeholders including agencies, community groups and the private sector to invest in and promote their local tourist offering. These activities should be driven by the ambition of each local authority to harness the development opportunity of areas throughout the state as places to live in, invest in and visit in a sustainable way typically celebrating local assets and heritage.
The Government should draw up an Action Programme for effective local government in which the key element of the reform of local government should be the strengthening of role the tourism sector plays in economic development. Tourism is recognised as an important driver of the local, regional and national economies, and therefore is a central component of the economic ambitions of all local authorities. The tourism objectives for each local area should be clearly stated in each Local Economic and Community Plan. After thorough deliberation and approval of the plan, each local authority needs to launch the Tourism Strategy Statements and Workplans. These should be aligned with the objectives of the Local Economic and Community Plans. The Tourism Strategy Statements and Workplans are aligned with local, regional and national strategies and plans, in particular the Regional Action Plans for Jobs and the Government’s tourism policy.
And what is the ground reality regarding facilities and incentives for tourists at present? Besides most tourist places in the valley area, while the roads to a few district headquarters can be accessed most times of the year, many of the places remains unreachable during rainy seasons. Besides the condition of the roads, there is a total lack of uniform tourist processing system in these places which shows the absence of a comprehensive and sustainable tourism policy in the state. Except for a few government guest houses run by the locals which are at best shoddy and ill-maintained, facilities for overnight stays are very limited in most places. Looking from the point of a tourist, what is required is a comprehensive data of the tourist-oriented places, hassle-free and quick processing system, a reliable and safe mode of transport and functional roads, and most importantly, local contacts or facilities including local guides, foods and stays with clean and basic facilities which would make all the difference in the experience for the tourists, one which will determine the success or failure of all the efforts and plans. It would be a better option for the state government to rope in local authorities, private groups engaged in similar activities in planning and execution of the policies rather than make the plans and works a happy hunting ground for the unscrupulous contractors with neither the concept nor the passion for developing tourism or even the expectations of a tourist.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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