Scenic Nagaland has no tourist office in districts; house panel pulls up department

  • | Saturday | 27th November, 2021

Kohima, Nov 27 (PTI) The Nagaland Tourism Department, famous for hosting the annual Hornbill Festival which attracts a large number of domestic and international visitors, does not have full-fledged functional offices in any of the 12 districts of the picturesque North-eastern state, except Kohima. This was revealed by a report of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly Committee on Estimates, which was tabled in the House during the winter session which was concluded on Friday. The committee regretted that the Tourism Department in spite of its existence for over four decades could not establish full-fledged functional offices so far in all the districts of the state - a land of mountains, valleys, forests and colourful tribal people. “As of now, the department has posted tourism officers in all the districts but, we don"t have proper offices there. We are proposing to set up permanent offices in the districts,” the report quoted department officials as saying when asked by the panel how tourism can be promoted without establishing functional offices in districts.Those tourism officers do not have support staff in districts and a proposal to create posts is lying with the state government, the officials told the panel.Currently, there is a ban on creation of posts. The district tourist officer should effectively coordinate with the local community to sustain and conserve local heritage and take full responsibility for identifying and developing new tourist attractions, the committee said. The committee headed by Zhaleo Rio is of the view that a department like tourism must have a decentralised set-up and infrastructure to meet the needs of tourists all across the state.It recommended that funds should be sourced and utilised more on building infrastructure.The panel observed that with tourist flow into the state increasing each year during the Hornbill Festival there is strain on the existing infrastructure and amenities. Therefore, the committee asked the department to strive to maintain a broader perspective for any developmental projects meticulously in order to meet the needs of the tourists and make their stay comfortable and worthwhile.Over 1.12 lakh tourists came to Nagaland during the Hornbill Festival in 2016, while 2.82 lakh travellers, including 3,015 foreigners, visited the state during the event in 2019. The festival was celebrated virtually last year, amid the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country. This year"s edition will begin on December 1.Hornbill Festival showcases the culture, heritage, food and customs of Naga tribes and people from these tribes come together to celebrate their traditions with colourful dance performances.As the post of tourist guides has been abolished, the committee in its report asked the department to address the problem by introducing state-certified guides in every district. The Committee directed the department to furnish the Action Taken Report on its observations/ recommendations within three months. PTI NBS NN NN

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