New Delhi, Jan 16 : Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh discussed here on Monday the tourism promotion plans for Shillong and other surrounding areas of Northeast with a group of professionals led by Member of Parliament from Tura, Meghalaya, Conrad K. Sangma.
The Minister was given an audio-visual presentation about the roadmap conceived for placing Shillong as a tourist attraction on global platform and thereby also promoting the entire region through a similar strategy.
The presentation highlighted the various options and itineraries with focus on a 3-day holiday capsule incorporating cultural activities, meditation centres, music workshops, experience of food cuisines and trekking options.
Dr Jitendra Singh said there is no second opinion about the fact that Shillong has not received the kind of tourism attention as it deserves.
This, he said, is an irony considering the fact that Shillong is the original capital of Northeast right from the days of British Empire to the post-Independence era of undivided Assam State.
However, he said, the Central Government has done its best to fast-track and make up for the undone initiatives of the past.
Dr Jitendra Singh also disclosed that, with a view to make the Shillong Airport fully functional with wider utility, the Ministry of DoNER has offered to fund the budget required for extension of the air-strip. At the same time, he said, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has also been approached to extend the facility at the airport and at the same time, increase the number of chopper / helicopter flights.
Some of the music groups from Meghalaya can also be made part of the tourism bonanza capsule, he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh also referred to the practice of home-stay tourism which has caught up in a big way in Shillong and surrounding areas, and said, this is a practice which is worth emulating by other tourist destinations of the country as well.
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