The Nagaland Tourism Department, famous for hosting the annual hornbill festival which attracts a large number of domestic and international visitors, does not have fully-fledged functional offices in any of the 12 districts of the picturesque northeastern state, in the exception of Kohima.
This was revealed by a report from the Nagaland Legislative Assembly Estimates Committee, which was tabled in the House during the winter session that ended on Friday.
The committee regretted that the tourism department, despite its existence for more than four decades, has so far been unable to establish fully-fledged functional offices in all districts of the state – a land of mountains, valleys, forests and colorful tribal people.
“So far, the ministry has posted tourism officers in all districts, but we do not have suitable offices there. We are proposing to set up permanent offices in the districts, ”the report said, citing officials from the department interviewed by the panel on how to promote tourism without establishing functional offices in the districts.
These tourism officers do not have support staff in the districts and a proposal for the creation of positions is incumbent on the state government, officials told the panel.
Currently, the creation of posts is prohibited. The district tourism manager should coordinate effectively with the local community to support and conserve local heritage and take full responsibility for identifying and developing new tourist attractions, the committee said. The committee led by Zhaleo Rio believes that a department like tourism must have a decentralized configuration and infrastructure to meet the needs of tourists statewide.
He recommended that funds be sought and used more for the construction of infrastructure.
The panel observed that with the increase in tourist flow into the state each year during the hornbill festival, existing infrastructure and amenities are strained.
Therefore, the committee asked the ministry to strive to maintain a broader perspective for any development project meticulously in order to meet the needs of tourists and make their stay comfortable and interesting.
Over 1.12 lakh tourists came to Nagaland during the Hornbill Festival in 2016, while 2.82 lakh travelers, including 3,015 foreigners, visited the state at the event in 2019. The festival was celebrated practically last year, amid the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country. This year’s edition will begin on December 1.
The Hornbill Festival showcases the culture, heritage, food and customs of the Naga tribes and people from these tribes come together to celebrate their traditions with colorful dance performances.
The post of tourist guide having been abolished, the commission in its report asked the department to remedy the problem by introducing state-certified guides in each district.
The Committee requested the Ministry to provide the action report on its observations / recommendations within three months.
(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)