TODAY -

Sangai festival and tourism multiplier

Mohendro Nandeibam *

  Inaugural Day of annual Sangai Festival of Manipur at BOAT, Imphal :: November 21 2017
Inaugural Day of Sangai Festival of Manipur at BOAT, Imphal on November 21 2017 :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam



Let me begin with a fact that development cannot be created. It evolves. It has difficult stages. It passes through a process of calculated engagements. The trajectory needs to be carefully reassessed and critically reviewed and taken care of with renewed synergy, - possibly with a New Vision. We can step up the momentum of the process but cannot bypass. In fact, there is no short cut to development. Hence prioritisation is highly critical.

Wrong prioritisation upsets the prospects of commendable fulfilment of the proposed targets and ultimately invites the sad situation of policy-paralysis and gross misallocation of scarce resources. Classified documentation of every sector is therefore the basis of any meaningful intervention. Very unfortunately one of the greatest weaknesses of Manipur is lack of proper documentation; a sign of primitive economy and a living testimony to haphazard interventions.

It could be interesting and decidedly relevant to recapitulate the general framework of development when the small open economy of Manipur is increasingly troubled by weak interventions unmindful of huge negative externalities. Virtual absence of proper planning for effective implementation remains visibly discouraging. In fact, any economy preparing for a new turning should act with a system; - with a set of interrelated activities working together to serve a common goal.

Lack of systematic approach is one of the greatest challenges of Manipur. We should have Industrial System, Agricultural System, Irrigation System, Administrative System, Educational System, Financial System and Marketing System. Otherwise, the systemic failure may be a very very costly and may amount to Zero-Game. And we are all dead in the long run.

Tourism Sector Manipur can now think of re-establishing its small economy with FEASIBLE MASTER PLAN OF TOURISM & TRAVEL, strengthened by Industry, stabilised by Agriculture, vitalised by Culture & Sports and beautified by Ecology.

It is good that in 1987 tourism has been given "industrystatus". Arrival of tourists is encouraging with 1,48,721 (2016-17). Although tourism is "most fractured industry" demanding various components of different sub-sectors, the distinct advantages are less fixed capital and less gestation period. The highly labour intensive character of this industry may go a long way in addressing the rising concern of jobless growth being experienced in Manipur.

The human factors are extremely important. We know how to speak, but not how to talk. We know how to walk, but not how to march. We know how to respond but with less professional decency and discipline. Hospitality with enthusiasm should be the guiding article of engagement. In due course we acquire better professional discipline and become innovative. One can subsequently expect better opportunities when we are connected with the best of noble tourists. It is, indeed, "sunrise" and "smokeless".

A time has definitely come for Manipur to undertake realistic Evaluation of 23 Destination Development Projects and 15 Tourist Circuit Projects sanctioned till 2013-14 and identify Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat. The past performance could be meaningful guide for better future. How many of them are now economically viable, ecologically sensitive and culturally appropriate? When the tourism is not sustainable livelihood, people will say goodbye.

We have to follow commercial approach. It requires a clear picture of design, funding, governance and time frame. It definitely requires a professional touch Sangai Festival and Tourism Multiplier .

Of a number of festivals such as Kut Festival, Lui-Ngai- Ni, Pineapple Festival, Orange Festival, Lemon Festival, Loktak Day, Lily Week ........ etc, Sangai Festival is longest event of extensive attraction. In view of its sound forward and backward linkages, financial support to the extent of Rs. 13.1 crore in 2017 and Rs. 9 crore in 2018, is, indeed, encouraging.

To make the Event more meaningful and lasting, there is need for calculating Tourism Multiplier of Sangai Festival in this age of good governance. What is the contribution to the Gross Domstic Product of Manipur in terms of income, employment and production? What about asset creation?

Well, one should have thorough knowledge of expenditure pattern of tourist to calculate the Tourism Multiplier. A tourist normally spends 30% on accommodation, 25% on food & drink, 25% on purchase, 10% on recreation and entertainment, 5% on internal transportation and another 5% as sundry expenditure (Peter Michael, 1969).

The Master Plan of any tourism industry should be prepared with necessary thrust and priority accordingly. Organised community participation otherwise known as Social Entrepreneurship with commitment rooted in domestic institutions could be a necessary strategy.

Meet the tourists as stranger and let them go back as your friend. Remember, a satisfied tourist is the best ambassador of tourism industry.


* Mohendro Nandeibam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on October 08 2019.



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