The development of a region or a state depends to a very large extent on the availability; or otherwise of basic infrastructures like roadways, sanitation and power which will aid in accelerating the process further. The initiative of the state government to organize an annual festival aimed at creating awareness and interest for tourists and for developing tourism in the state and the rest of the North East region is a welcome move and is a sorely needed shot in the arm for jump starting the long neglected Tourism sector which holds a lot of potential for rapid development and a way for the state to wriggle itself out of the quagmire of disappointments and negativity that is threatening to pull the society into regression. The festival also entail the development of all related sectors like transportation, hotels, traditional handicrafts and hospitality industry etc- to name a few. Ushering in tourists will force the concern departments to make sure that the state looks presentable and neat, which in turn will hopefully witness a waking up of the lethargic and cumbersome Municipal Corporation into activity rather than indulging in endless agitations and cease work strikes. If and when the people of the state starts to mingle and interact with the tourists from different places will a better understanding of the world and ultimately a broadening of outlook and a better sense of empathy develop. Developing the natural prospects of the region will also present a better opportunity to the people from other parts to not only enjoy the scenic beauty, but also to appreciate the myriad cultures and traditions. The most important and basic consideration for the need to develop the tourism industry in the state is obviously the financial aspect which would act as a catalyst for further growth of a number of related sectors. The positive fallout will have a huge impact on the society and will no doubt mitigate a lot of social problems. But in order to realize the proposed move, a concerted and consistent effort is vital. Pouring huge amounts of money and materials alone will not make things happen.
William Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since beginning. A avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue.