Picturesque Shillong, which once served as the summer getaway for the British colonialists along with Darjeeling hills, has witnessed a phenomenal jump in the arrival of tourists.
The city, atop the Khasi hills, has become a great hit with the tourists for the last five years after the Kashmir valley and Darjeeling hills fell out of favour because of militancy and political trouble there.
State tourism department officials said although they were yet to compile the exact number of tourists visiting the resort, provisional estimates said there had been a 50 per cent increase in the last five years.
The total number of tourists coming to Meghalaya last year was 4,62,952 as compared to 4,00,287 in 2006 and 2,71, 720 recorded in 2002.
The number of foreign tourists has also increased over the last five years. Last year there were 5,267 foreign tourists visiting the state as compared to 3,191-recorded tourists in 2002.
Buoyed by the increased tourist inflow, the Meghalaya government has floated the idea of Bed and Breakfast (BnB) scheme under which willing families will host tourists to give them a first hand feel of the food and culture of the region.
The scheme will also give tourists good alternative accommodations considering the limited hotel space available in Shillong and elsewhere in the state.