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Eco-Tourism, the new mantra for India's North East

Tourists have started visiting the tourists spots in the region as peace is returning to north-east.

india Updated: Oct 14, 2005 20:14 IST

With peace returning to the north-east, tourists have gradually started visiting the popular tourists spots in the region, and to promote tourism in these seven states, Assam recently organized the first ever tourism and travel expo.

The fair held with the idea to highlight the immense tourist potential of the northeast especially the region's unexploited culture and history, saw participation from all the seven states as well as from Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Bhutan.

"There is a great potential here and there are number of facilities here too. These type of exhibitions provide a bigger market and help them in a big way," said Subramanium, a sales representative from Tamil Nadu.

Seen as a perfect platform for giving a boost to the tourism sector, the fair witnessed a massive display of the unique customs and traditions of the tribals of the region. The exhibits included the region's fabric, its art as well as craft.

Each stall had a distinct identity of its own. For the participants from the northeast, it was an opportunity they had long been waiting for. It provided them a platform, and complemented their endeavours to promote what they have to offer to the outside world.

"People are more frustrated in the urban areas. They go to relax in the jungle and tourist spots. They need a different kind of experience and exposure," said Nakul Marsa, a Bamboo architect from Tripura.

A seminar titled Perspective Tourism Vision plan for North East 2020, complemented the expo.

The key issue for discussions was eco-tourism for the North East. With 166 tribes, each with its own language and distinct identity and customs, the prospects of eco-tourism are immense.

"Tourism will grow as an industry in the North east. We are very optimistic and positive about this. This change has come about even in the government in the northeast. Recently the Governor of Assam, announced that all the eight North-eastern states will join hands along with the private tour operators, airlines and hotels to promote north-east as one destination," said Ashis Phookan, Managing director, Jungle Travel.

Promotion of travel and tourism is important to improve business opportunities and it is a sure certain way to boost the economy of the once trouble torn region and enable it to emerge as a tourist hot spot.

First Published: Oct 14, 2005 20:14 IST