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Meghalaya tourism to grow to Rs 12,000 cr: Official

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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.
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.

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.
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.

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“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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