Itanagar, May 26: “Arunachal Pradesh has got everything to satisfy the taste of every visitor,” pitched Kiren Rijiju advocating the significance of cultural tourism of Arunachal Pradesh.
Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju has stressed on projecting and promoting his home State, Arunachal Pradesh, as a hot spot of cultural tourism.
Addressing the 12th travel congress of (Arunachal Pradesh Tour Operators’ Association) APTOA “Arunachal Pradesh has got everything to satisfy the taste of every visitor,” Rijiju said, while calling for inculcation of the right attitude towards tourists and creation of a clean image of local hospitality.
On the controversy over the Centre’s move to relax the purview of RAP/PAP (Restricted Area Permit/Protected Area Permit), Rijiju said the demand has been made by successive State governments to increase the inflow of foreign tourists. He, however, made it clear that the relaxation, if made, would not affect the demographic profile of the State or create any security lapse.
Attending the event as the chief guest, Chief Minister Pema Khandu termed tourism as the only viable sector that could help Arunachal develop economically, followed by agriculture and allied sectors, as the hydro potential of the State was yet to be tapped on the expected lines.
Lauding the APTOA, a conglomerate of local tour operators of the State, the Chief Minister said that the tourism sector has grown exponentially in the last couple of years due to their sincere efforts.
Bengia Mrinal, APTOA General Secretary, said this year the State witnessed footfalls of over 26 lakh domestic and 52,000 foreign tourists, a commendable increase from the figures of last year. APTOA members have contributed to the State exchequer by generating revenue running into about Rs 17 crore revenue till date, he added.
CM Pema Khandu admitted that despite the increase in revenue generation, the State is way behind the national average in the tourism sector and has to work much more in this line. “Despite the increase in the tourist inflow to the State, we are far behind when it comes to what we have to offer in terms of potential. With the immense potential available here, we can attract tourists several times more than what we are doing right now,” he maintained.
Mentioning many potential areas of the State coming under restricted or protected areas, Pema Khandu said that relaxation of the restriction for foreigners would be beneficial from the tourism perspective. He, however, categorically said ‘no’ to any relaxation in the existing Inner Line Permit (ILP) system of the State.