Chief Minister Pema Khandu today hinted that the state government would completely overhaul the state tourism sector while expressing confidence that it will be the future of Arunachal Pradesh in the years to come.
Interacting with a delegation of Arunachal Pradesh Tour Operators Association (APTOA) at his offices here today, Khandu, who is a former Tourism Minister, reiterated that the state government is committed to utilize the immense tourism potential of the state to the optimum in a professional way by marketing ‘Brand Arunachal’ to the world.
“We need to create a brand, which resonates with the youths of the country. A holistic tourism roadmap with focus on high end and adventure tourism will be drawn and put in place soon,” he quoted from his Independence Day speech.
Khandu said that tourism is one sector – besides holistic development of hydro resources – that can generate revenue for the state exchequer while earn gainful livelihood for unemployed youths.
Enquiring on the business garnered by the tour operators in recent times, the Chief Minister encouraged them to contribute in marketing Arunachal as the most desired tourism destination and assured wholehearted cooperation from the state government.
He informed that the government will take up with the Center for utilization of the upgraded ALGs for civilian purposes, which will boost inflow of tourists to the state as transportation happens to be one of the major bottlenecks at the moment. He also revealed that many private airlines have approached the government to operate their fixed-wing aircrafts in the state.
The APTOA delegation, led by its president John Panye and secretary Bengia Mrinal, submitted a memorandum placing several requests to the government.
The Chief Minister assured that all the issues placed by APTOA will be properly examined and resolved.
The memorandum includes requests for approval of issuing PAP/RAP through state government registered tour operators, enhancement of APTOA corpus fund, holding of a mega tourism travel congress, involvement of APTOA in policy making body of tourism, opening up of Kameng River for tourism activities and development and opening up of new tourist circuits.
Meanwhile, Panye refuted media reports that tourist inflow to the state has declined in the past few years. He informed the Chief Minister that in actual terms inflow of tourists to the state has grown each year of which the tour operators have records.
“Those who compile reports never crosscheck with any of us and outcome is negative reports in the media,” Panye rued.