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Meghalaya Tourism To Grow To Rs 12,000 Cr: Official

 ‘Annual Footfall To Reach 20 Lakh By 2028’

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SHILLONG, Nov 22: The tourism industry of Meghalaya is expected to grow to Rs 12,000 crore, and the annual footfall of visitors is set to increase to 20 lakh by 2028, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Tourism director Cyril VD Diengdoh, while speaking at the International Tourism Mart here, said that the state’s tourism industry was valued at Rs 1,600 crore in 2022 and is expected to grow by 10 per cent annually.

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He said the industry is receiving a boost with the state government making efforts to incentivise tourism-related investments by entrepreneurs.

“We have a projection that the tourism industry in Meghalaya is set to grow to Rs 12,000 crore or USD 1.5 billion by 2028, with the state’s pristine environment and cool climatic condition welcoming 2 million or 20 lakh tourists annually by then,” Cyril said.

Last year, the industry was estimated to be around Rs 1,600 crore, he said.

From 2024, the state government expects 10 per cent year-on-year growth of the industry, he said.

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The annual tourist footfall to the state has almost doubled in the last 10 years. It has increased from 6.9 lakh in 2013 to 12.7 lakh this year.

“Statistics indicate that 9.38 lakh were domestic tourists coming mostly from Assam (43 per cent) and West Bengal (14 per cent), with the remaining from other states,” he said.

The state has also welcomed 10,000 international tourists, with 79 per cent from Bangladesh alone, Cyril said.

He said that the COVID pandemic had affected tourism to a large extent and the state received less than 2 lakh tourists in 2020 and 2021.

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In her address, Union Tourism Secretary V Vidyavathi said, “Northeast is a very sensitive region from the ecological point of view. Whatever we do in the region has to be mindful of the carrying capacity and not exploiting the potential beyond a certain limit.”

Stating that “rural communities are not museum pieces”, she said, “They are a part of the ecosystem. We have to be careful while projecting rural tourism.”

She said that the Centre is looking forward to bringing in more vista-dome trains in Northeast so that tourists can enjoy the scenic beauty of the region.

“Tourism is also about cuisine, handicrafts, culture, traditions, festivals and spiritual experience,” she said.

She lauded the rural communities’ involvement in boosting tourism in the region.

“Rural communities here are stakeholders with us,” she added. (PTI)

 

 

 

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