Vice president M Venkaiah Naidu on December 18 called for fully tapping the immense tourism potential of the Northeast states and underlined the need to improve air connectivity to the region.
He said that eco-tourism and cultural tourism can become the mainstay of development in the northeast if the tourism potential was fully leveraged.
Noting the efforts of Centre and state governments in providing connectivity and tourism infrastructure, Naidu said that improving air connectivity to the region can singularly bring a significant positive impact on tourist inflows.
Pointing out that India has 26 million outbound tourists every year, the vice president said that one could assume that most of them would prefer to ‘travel local’ in the post-COVID-19 phase. This presents a huge opportunity for northeast states to promote their tourism sector for this domestic audience, he said on December 18.
Urging the state and central governments to fully tap the tourism potential of the region, he suggested to them to consider the possibility of incentivizing travel to the northeast.
Virtually releasing the book ‘Oh Mizoram’, written by Mizoram governor P S Sreedharan Pillai, Venkaiah Naidu praised the region for its pristine natural beauty and said that Mizoram’s colourful festivals, folk music, and energetic dance make Mizo society truly unique.
Often called as ‘Songbird of the East’, the Mizos are blessed with a natural talent for music, he added.
The vice-president said the whole of northeast region presents a mosaic of diverse Indian culture with its more than 220 ethnic groups and an equal number of dialects.
Living harmoniously with nature is important: Venkaiah Naidu
Referring to a poem on ‘Diabetes’, Venkaiah Naidu observed that a large number of Indians are in the grip of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity due to sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy food habits.
In this regard, the northeastern people, who live harmoniously with nature and eat natural diet, can show the way to the rest of India in adopting a healthy lifestyle. Venkaiah Naidu expressed happiness that the Northeast is showing the way in organic farming and cited the example of Sikkim, which has become India’s first organic state in 2016.
The vice-president also commended the people of Mizoram for recording great social indicators in literacy (with over 91 percent) and child sex ratio. Mizoram also holds the highest child sex ratio with 971 females against 1000 males according to the 2011 Census, he noted.