TODAY -

Dying tourism in Manipur and a lesson from Himachal Pradesh

Mohendro Nandeibam *



Tourism derives its meaning from Hebrew word 'torch' which means 'search to learn'. At global level the year 1967 was declared as International Year of Tourism with 27 September being observed as World Tourism Day. The 'smokeless industry' is marked by 'painless transfer of income and highly decentralized.' Liberalization and Globalization foster the momentum and spirit of tourism. In India the Tourism Multiplier is about 3.

The Manipur Tourism Policy 2014, one of the most comprehensive documents, marks the recognition of increasing importance of tourism, for the first time, in the economic planning and development of the State, although in 1987 tourism was given 'industry status'. "The Mission of the Policy is to promote sustainable tourism as a means of economic growth, social integration and to promote the image of Manipur (p-4).

"The Asian Development Bank has identified the region as "Key Area" due to its unrealized potential as eco-tourism product" (P-14).

".....Planned Development of Tourism Infrastructure and aggressive marketing of Manipur Tourism would lead to creation of employment potential to the tune of 10-15 percent as against 6-7 percent globally (P-2)".

But the development experience for the last 63 years is marked by the lack of policy planning, policy direction and policy co-ordination. Himachal Pradesh goes much ahead. Tourism contributes 6.8 percent of State Domestic Product whereas the annual revenue collection in Manipur till 2003-4 was Rs 0.93 lakh only;- much less than 1 percent. The lackluster performance of smokeless industry in the State has a long shadow of premature future while the whole world has witnessed exiting changes in all works of life.

Today the integrated policy of tourism, trade and investment has become a very important chapter of larger economic policy. Curiously tourism in Manipur is largely restricted to sight seeing and pleasure trip while modern tourism demands us to go far beyond. What about "creation of Tourist Economic Zones based on Tourist Index of scenery, accessibility, accommodation and safety" (P-36).

The long term contribution to economic growth via trade, investment, employment and income has not been adequately taken care of. The low sensibility of arm-chair administration produces stagnation and is now treated as a thing of the past. It is not a surprise that the Dying Tourism in the "Jewel of India" has raised the critical eyebrows of the thinkers.

Rightly tourism introduces the economy, industry strengthens, agriculture stabilizes and ecology beautifies. As game setter, modern tourism should be significantly pregnant with three components namely 'See, Feel and Admire'. The tourism policy without specific components of See, Feel and Admire, could at best be a mere ritual exercise without lasting impact.

Tourism cannot be created overnight. It evolves and passes through different stages continuously shaped and tuned from time to time. A report highlighting a few critical areas may open our eyes to go ahead with a pragmatic road map. 1. What are those deserving things in the State to be seen ? 2. What do they feel about them ? 3. What are those distinctive attractions watched keenly and admired by the visitors ? 4. How far RAC and ILP are responsible for fluctuating fortune of tourism in Manipur ?

Perhaps it is against the background of highly comprehensive and highly fragmented character of tourism, that the Department of Tourism attempted to go ahead with 23 Destination Development Projects sanctioned till 2013-14, 15 Development of Tourist Circuit Projects sanctioned till 2013-14 and 2 Mega Tourist Projects sanctioned till 2013-14 (Manipur Tourism Policy, 2014).

Taking into account both forward and backward linkages and also as a mark of Government-led-Private Sector-driven and Community Welfare-oriented policy, concrete attempt has been made to step up the momentum of tourism in the State by investing Rs 179 crore in 11 tourist projects such as Upgradation of Imphal Hotel (Rs 163.89 lakh),
Renovation of Yatriniwas at Moreh (Rs 407.82 lakh),
Construction of Circuit House at Churchandpur (Rs 466.67 lakh),
Construction / Renovation of Tourism Infrastructures Development around Govindaji Temple (Rs 694.24 lakh),
Infrastructure Development of Tourist Destination at Andro (Rs 478 lakh),
Development of Tourist Circuit-Imphal-Khongjom (Rs 7222.8 lakh),
Development of Spiritual Circuit in Manipur (Rs 5379.5 lakh),
Eco Tourism at Cheirao Ching (Thangmeiband) (Rs 13.30 lakh),
Development of Cave Tourism at Ukhrul (Rs 7.50 lakh),
Construction/Renovation of Tourism Infrastructure around Mahabali Temple (Rs 440.88 lakh) and
Infrastructure Development for Destination/Construction of Administrative Buildings, Statues, Landscaping at Marjing (Rs 2700 lakh).

The inauguration of 1 at Andro and 1 at Sendra Hillock in June 2017 and 1 at Marging and another at Keirao in June 2018 could also be a new attraction. To attract tourists across the globe the department is organizing promotional festivals such as State Level Shirui Lily Festival, Manipur Sangai Festival, Women Polo Tournament and Barak Spring Festival. On an average, the Sangai Festival is attended by 40,000 people per day including foreigners from 20 countries.

The State Government has initiated a proposal for regular bus service from Imphal to Mandalay. Rail and Air link between Manipur and Myanmar is also under active consideration. In short, Manipur is going to be opened up for larger global connectivity with a view to sensitizing the land locked State in terms of greater competitiveness, innovation and investment. Isolation is a thing of the past. When the whole world has become a global village, isolation may create the painful feeling of being left out. What we should do is to enrich and strengthen the internal competitive potential.

For the delicate task of maintenance we need service-oriented and performance-driven manpower who looks after the tourist homes with or without the arrival of tourists. The service of private player may now be better option in view of three distinctive articles of courtesy care, and convenience.

Only strengthening the hard wares of tourism is not enough. The role of soft ware is equally important. As unique feature of service sector we do not go out for selling; on the contrary the buyers, come, see, buy and enjoy.

Sitting at home, we sell the beauty of our culture, the beauty of uprightness, the beauty of decency and discipline, the beauty of hospitality and the attraction of humble simplicity. One of the key factors which enabled Philippines to receive millions of tourists in 2006 was the spontaneous warmth and the heartwarming friendliness.

The clean and peaceful environment, hospitable people, clean administration and the mantra; 'your expenditure is my income,' faithfully worked together to ensure the astounding success of tourism in Himachal Pradesh. Of course, the State is endowed with beautiful streams, sacred shrines and historical monuments.

Excellent public utility services, roads communication networks, clean toilets at bus stands, restaurants and petrol pumps are some of the deserving features of Himachal Pradesh. There are about 2604 hotels with about 70869 bed facilities and about 787 home stay units in the State. Priority, not on paper, but actually in action on the ground is the hallmark of tourism in the State. Now additional incentives are being made available to increase the contribution of tourism to the State more than 7 percent of the Gross State Domestic Product.

The general trend of tourism in Manipur is not so encouraging. The tourist arrival has increased from 1,20,835 in 2006-07 to 1,78,941 of which 12,102 only were foreigners. The average duration of stay of domestic tourist was 1.22 nights while that of foreigners 2.44 nights. Most of them are students and researchers. Business and social tourism was extremely low.

Now a few questions have been raised in Manipur. What are the benefits of tourism in terms of income and employment that accrue to the local economy ? What is the value of tourism to the local enterprises ? What is the attitude of people towards tourists and tourism ? What are induced social changes in the area ? What prevents them to get willingly involved in the initiative ? How far tourism can address the problem of overuse and indiscriminate destruction of natural resources by the poor people ?

The socio-economic changes that take place in and around a particular tourist spot differ from spot to spot, place to place. The changes at Keibul Lamjao, Moirang, are not the same at Andro, Imphal East. To produce a realistic Vision Document of Tourism one has to take into account the changes that have taken place at all tourist spots in the State. Otherwise we go by the same beaten track, while a dynamic economy demands a new line of action in the light of a number of changes.

The fine weather behavior, natural beauty and scenic splendor are exceptional gifts for tourism in Manipur. The challenge is how to capitalize them to position Manipur as the most preferred State in the world. The success stories of China, Philippines and Himachal Pradesh could be a Guide Book.

One thing is clear that the arrival of visitors would be significantly increased in immediate future. The air connectivity has been improved with seven flights a day. Rail connectivity is going to be operational up to Imphal by 2024. Attempt is being made to improve National Highways with the expansion to 4-lane. As part of Act East Policy of India Moreh is going to be International Commercial Hub.

Besides One Economic India (One Tax, One Market, One India) encourages the unfettered movement of goods, services, capital and people. Of course,we may face a difficult choice between National Ambition and Regional Aspiration. Pre-plan and prior arrangement with mature guidance is the need of the hour. First, Tourism Development Committee (P-32) may be constituted to aid and advise Government on strategic policy matters from time to time. It is, it appears, long overdue.

Second, Evaluation of all Tourists Projects in the State should be carried out by an independent competent body of experts. The findings would certainly help us prepare a better home-work for a brighter future in this age of cut-throat competition.

Third, Manipur Tourism Vision 2030 should be prepared with the objective of contributing 2% of State Gross Domestic Productand 10% of Employment to redefine Tourism in Manipur as Third Sector,next to Agriculture and Industry.


* Mohendro Nandeibam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer, was a member of State Planning Board, Manipur
This article was webcasted on July 13 2021.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.


LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Violence in Manipur 2023-2024 : Timeline
  • Meeting with MP Dr Bimol Akoijam
  • Manipur: 11 medal (5 gold) @ Natl Taekwondo
  • Scientist of Manipur: Raghumani Ningthoujam
  • Chilli Chicken Delivers a Flavorful Punch
  • International Day of Yoga 2024
  • Antimicrobial Resistance: Top 10 health threat
  • Indo-Naga Talks (From 2012) :: Timeline
  • Taste vs Health
  • Fiasco of UGC-NET, NEET 2024
  • From NEET to NET: It's time to fix NTA
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #1 : Gallery
  • Ema Panthoibi Phijol Hongba at Mandalay
  • Proposed Palm Plantation behind Jiri violence?
  • 'Why Impose War on Us'
  • Why workers most affected by scorching heat?
  • Coup of 2021 not the only push factor
  • Last chance not to fall from grace
  • Ibudhou Cheng Hongba #1 : Gallery
  • Kind attention 'Your Lordship' CJ of India
  • 'Opposition-less Govt in Nagaland is rhetoric'
  • Xorai - Assam's cultural symbol
  • Natural ways to lighten dark underarms
  • Is Delhi doing the right thing ?
  • Set the priorities right
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #3 : Gallery
  • Modi's arduous journey & fate of Naga peace
  • Autism: Why fit in, when you can stand out?
  • Bloodstained Masquerade :: Poem
  • Dharamvir Singh: Forgotten hero of TV
  • What is keeping the clash going on ?
  • Warning of a coming politico-military storm
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #6
  • The Great June 18 Uprising : Timeline
  • The Great June 18 Uprising : Gallery
  • Are we on track to end AIDS by 2030 ?
  • 3 writers from Manipur for Sahitya Akademi
  • Manipur's traffic, parking: A big nuisance
  • Career in elderly care
  • Keeping the folks under a state of confusion
  • Nothing neat about NEET
  • Aid to relief camps @ Jiribam : Gallery
  • Id Festival- 'Id-Ul-Azha' :: Book
  • World Day to Combat Desertification 2024
  • NDPP did not lose LS due to local problem
  • RSS chief says, priority Manipur
  • What if not IIT ?
  • Waiting for a response from the PM
  • The test of leadership failed
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #35: Download
  • Gastronomy tourism in Manipur : Gallery
  • Triathlon : Manipur bag 6 medals (3 gold)
  • Illegal immigrants/fugitives from Myanmar
  • Eid-ul-Adha: Embracing sacrifice
  • A solution to Meitei-Kuki-Zo conflict
  • The Power of Poppy - 35 :: Poem
  • Scientist of Manipur: R K Brojen Singh
  • Brief sketch on General Balaram Sougaijamba
  • Non-violent for peaceful, mutual co-existence
  • Homeless person ..alcoholism & defeated TB
  • Cancer on rise among young adults
  • Defending, fighting for Idea of Manipur
  • From partiality to complicity
  • Bike Rally - Sekmai to Kangla : Gallery
  • 'Modi must announce finality of Naga pacts'
  • Gliding over Brahmaputra
  • Question leaks cause stress among student
  • Home remedies for prickly heat
  • After IIT, AIIMS it is now IIM
  • Stealing spotlight from Manipur crisis
  • Tarpon chaklen katpa @ Andro #2 : Gallery
  • Strongly condemns violence in Jiribam
  • Lessons from outcome of LS election
  • Tumcho releases "Goodness of God"
  • Right diagnostic for antimicrobial resistance
  • 12th June is World Day against Child Labour
  • Hands of geo-politics ?
  • The row over NEET-2014
  • 2nd Annual Art Exhibition #1 : Gallery
  • Chilli Chicken: Film Spotlighting NE in B'lore
  • Committee of Narcotics Anonymous - Imphal
  • The Power of Meditation
  • Oceans as a career choice
  • Getting more and more audacious
  • A test of leadership
  • Education Fair @Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Gifting two seats to Cong
  • Voters empowered democracy
  • Postcards from Meghalaya premieres
  • Milk : Essential nutrient for a healthy body
  • Failing in competitive exam not end of world
  • Delhi : A mere spectator
  • Abandoning Jiribam
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #5
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #2 : Gallery
  • Mainstream in Shoes of Alternative
  • Protect the medicines that protect us
  • Lets take action for our land & our future
  • Democracy and independent media
  • Agenda at work to shut Western Gate
  • Keeping Manipur on the boil
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #34: Download
  • The Enigmatic Journey of 'Laikhutshangbi'
  • Individual and the Social
  • An Ardent Appeal to All Concerns
  • Condemnation of Attack & Govt Inaction
  • The Power of Poppy - 34 :: Poem
  • Scientist of Manipur: Laishram Shanta
  • Alien fishes spotted in Manipur's rivers
  • Training on mushroom at Langthabal
  • Digital avatars or deepfakes ?
  • 7th June is the World Food Safety Day
  • How to prepare for UPSC after 10th ?
  • The Jiri violence
  • Beginning of a new vote culture ?
  • Bimol Akoijam (Cong) wins Inner PC : Gallery
  • BJP, NPF & other NDA pay heavy price
  • Nature is one of greatest blessings of God
  • Plantation drive in Tripura, Assam & Manipur
  • Summer beauty
  • Environment conservation & over-exploitation
  • Is Modi cut out for leading a coalition ?
  • 'Ishanou' Selection @ Cannes #2: Gallery
  • Scholarship for Johnstone Hr Sec students
  • 1st foundation day of Interfaith Forum
  • World Environment Day: Our land, our future
  • Indonesia stronger anti-tobacco measures
  • Navigating a fragile Myanmar: India's policy
  • New breed entering electoral politics
  • The road to formation of new govt
  • International Dance Day #1 : Gallery
  • Matchbox marketing mantra
  • Stop harming nature :: Poem
  • Saving for oneself & the Nation
  • Model United Nations (MUN) conducted
  • Tobacco: Threat to health & environment
  • Candidate from ruling party biting the dust
  • The verdict
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #4
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #3 : Gallery
  • Navigating Remal amidst Manipur conflict
  • We are #GenerationRestoration
  • Intl Day of Innocent Children Victims
  • Apparel Industry Skills & Innovation CoE
  • What's in a cyclone's name ?
  • Ongoing clash, the floods, the losses
  • Exit poll predictions
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #33: Download
  • Evading flood & rethinking urbanization
  • Manipur Flood: Health Advisory
  • Onus on civil bodies to ensure NNPG unity
  • Rats also cause flood
  • Benefits of JEE Main mock tests
  • People have spoken, now the results
  • The fury of Remal
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #1 : Gallery
  • The flood in our Stars
  • The Power of Poppy - 33 :: Poem
  • 'Group of people misrepresented themselves'
  • EV industry and career options
  • Scientist of Manipur: Chandrakant Aribam
  • Candy flavoured traps to hook next Gen
  • Commemorate Naga Plesbicite Day 1951 #2
  • Tobacco affects health & environment too
  • Jio extend validity for Customer in Manipur
  • Students must learn about AI irrespective
  • As vote count day approaches : Floods
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #2 : Gallery
  • Flooded : Sacrifice of Yairipok's Maiden
  • World No Tobacco Day 2024
  • Chandam Rishikanta wins NPC Nat'l C'ship
  • Flood: Helpline numbers for emergency
  • Battling body odour ?
  • Floods : Not entirely natural phenomena
  • PM Modi's purpose
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #1 : Gallery
  • June Calendar for Year 2024 : Tools
  • Flood: Control Rooms & Helpline numbers
  • Economic impact of ongoing conflict
  • Army Recruitment Rally for Manipur
  • Cut deficit, boom likely
  • Are Gods angry ? Wake up call for Manipur
  • Beating of the Retreat #2 : Gallery
  • We did Overcome: Mayhem of Month of May
  • Training on mushroom at Potshagbam
  • Famous female Mathematicians in India
  • Disinformation campaign thengnare
  • Human trafficking puts humanity to shame
  • Sky opens up in all its fury
  • Licypriya meets Italy PM & Pope Francis
  • HSLC (Class X) 2024 : Full Result
  • HSLC 2024 : Important Info & Grading System
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Private Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Aided Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Govt Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Statistical Abstract
  • HSLC 2024 : Comparative Statement
  • Combined Defence Services Exam 2024
  • Good show in Class X exams
  • Downplaying the crisis
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #3
  • Reviving Lamphelpat : Conservation : Gallery
  • Commemorate Naga Plesbicite Day 1951 #1
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Hojai
  • The Power of Poppy - 32 :: Poem
  • Insights from CUET-UG Counselling
  • International Day for Biological Diversity
  • Unseen force at work: Time to unravel it
  • Sheikh Hasina's revelation
  • The Vanishing Meitei Tribe
  • Building career in defence & strategic study
  • Why example of model code of conduct ?
  • Ownership of responsibility
  • Will pressure mount on key players in NE
  • How to save your foot after an accident
  • Children Camp @JNMDA Imphal #3 : Gallery
  • Education Fair @Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Project Associate @ CSE, Assam Univ
  • Understanding schizophrenia
  • Advancement in Multi Objective Optimization
  • When will women in voter list increase ?
  • Making 2 plus 2 is equal to 5
  • Changing face of drug menace
  • Scientist of Manipur: Jayanta Manoharmayum
  • 25 yrs since Atal Vajpayee visit to RIMS
  • 4 Lakhs donated to support (L) Maipak Family
  • Clarification: Guwahati Meet on Humanitarian
  • Start UPSC prep after 12th for success
  • Tips to avoid melting makeup in summer
  • Giving a big solid push to ST demand
  • Time to come clean
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba: 1 occasion, 2 narratives #3
  • Khongjom Day @Khebaching #2 : Gallery
  • 'Ishanou' Selection @ Cannes #1: Gallery
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #2
  • Scientist of Manipur: Amom Ruhikanta
  • Preserving Thang-Ta :: Rare Photos
  • Regarding Human Rights Situation in Manipur
  • Malemnganbi Laishram : Science Topper
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2024 #2: Gallery
  • Thokchom Sheityajit : Arts Topper
  • Aiena Naorem : Commerce Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Science Topper
  • HSE 2024 : Subject Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : District Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : Candidates with Highest Marks
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Science Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Arts Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Commerce Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Arts Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Commerce Topper
  • Aftermath of ferocious hailstorm #1 : Gallery
  • Radio E-pao: Manipuri Film OST (130+ song)
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing : Full Book
  • A ferocious hailstorm @Imphal : Gallery
  • '365 Days of Chin-Kuki Aggression' : Gallery
  • National Science Teacher workshop
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #2 : Gallery
  • Scientists of Manipur : Ngangkham Nimai
  • GHOST of PEACE :: Download Booklet
  • List of Kings of Manipur: 33 - 1984 AD
  • SPONSORED ADS