Meghalaya enthralls tourists with first Northeast Regatta 2023 at Umiam Lake
Meghalaya Tourism Department, in collaboration with Umiam Sailing Club, hosts five-day long Northeast Regatta 2023.
Meghalaya is hosting its first-ever North East Regatta from April 28 to May 2 at the Umiam Watersports Complex. The initiative has been taken by the Meghalaya Tourism Department in collaboration with Umiam Sailing Club to promote water sports in the state and enhance tourism.
80 participants from 12 different clubs across the country are taking part in the five-day long racing extravaganza. This includes teams from the Indian Army, Naval Services and Uday Foundation. The winner will receive a cash award of ₹1 lakh.
The event was inaugurated by Minister of Tourism, Paul Lyngdoh. Addressing the public, Lyngdoh said, “Tourism has the potential to feed every family in Meghalaya. It’s a huge leap forward for Meghalaya. We not only have national talents but are capable of producing international talents in this particular sport. Meghalaya aspires to host massive national-level water sports events in the years to come. Such an event of this stature will motivate our young generation to excel in this sport."
Apart from boat races, guests are also getting an opportunity to enjoy music and cultural programmes, nature excursions, food and flea markets, a tour package for sailors and tourists, paintball and camping. An electrifying public concert was held on April 29 and 30 which featured K-Pop artiste Kim Woojin, Delhi-based band Twin Strings and several other talents from the Northeast.
Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Conrad Sangma graced the event as the chief guest on the second day. Addressing the crowd, he said, “Umiam Lake is one of the USPs in the state which has not been utilised to the potential it has. And it is with that thought that different programmes, ideas and activities started and I am very pleased and happy to see that today we are finally having the first Northeast Regatta and also the first sailing club in the entire northeast region.”
Speaking to the Hindustan Times about the investment the government will make in the next five years for the development of tourism in the state, Sangma said, “More than 2,000 crores worth of infrastructure investment is taking place and this is the highest it’s ever been in the tourism sector in our state. We feel and believe that the productivity we will get out of this investment and the multiplier effect will be very huge whether it’s in terms of the GDP or the employment generation.”
“My endeavour and the government’s endeavour will be to ensure that we enhance the investment even further. We are working on many projects. So hopefully in the coming years, we can increase this amount from 2,000 crores to 4-5 thousand crores,” Sangma added.
Akhil, an under-19 participant from Hyderabad's Secunderabad Sailing Club (SSC), who has been sailing for two years said that he is happy to be a part of the regatta. “The government is pretty cool to organise an event like this in Meghalaya which also includes concerts with a great lineup."
Meenakshi Vijayan, a tourist from Cochin, Kerala shared her experience about the festival and said, “This is my first visit to Meghalaya and this place already has my heart. The organisers have put up such a great show by bringing talents from different fields.”