Union Tourism Minister. Shri Subodh Kant Sahai said that in the North-Eastern region, because of the fragility of habitat and society, it is niche kind of community based tourism which will succeed and will be “sustainable and not the five star tourism or mass tourism because that can permanently damage the habitat and the society of these innocent people living in this beautiful part of the country. Shri Sahai was speaking after releasing two books titled Sustainable Tourism Development of Nagaland” and “ Tourism Potential of North-East” written by Dr. DK Bhalla, IAS, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Food and Consumer Affairs, here today.
Shri Sahai said of late in most of the countries, there has been increasing demand for a broader perspective on the facts of tourism that go beyond any physical impact on natural environment and includes the consideration of how poorer sections of the community can obtain more benefit from tourism. He said this has been matched by a growing awareness amongst tourists that a non inclusive attitude towards local people is no longer sustainable. The Tourism Minister said if the anticipated growth in tourism can be managed wisely, then it can be used to alleviate poverty, promote sustainable and equitable development. Shri Sahai said “It is in this backdrop that these two books by the Author Dr. DK Bhalla has a lot of relevance”.
Shri Sahai said that he is fully aware and agree with the author that North-Eastern region of India is almost another world and a place of magical beauty and bewildering diversity. He said “that it is a land of myths and mysteries, folklore and legends and of many tender dreams. The region is unique with more than 150 tribes speaking as many languages. This is the only place in the world where primitive culture of Neolithic age co-exists with the modern life style. It is a paradise for travelers”.
Shri Sahai noted that Dr. Bhalla has not only talked about the need and potential of tourism in North-East but has explained the concept of sustainability very well and given in detail the case studies as well as strategies for development of tourism in his own State of Nagaland as well as the rest of North-East. The Tourism Minister expressed the hope that this will be appreciated by a wide variety of readers, tourists, tourism marketeers and variety of research institutions and tourism institutes.
The urgent need for tourism development is known to all but the sustainability of tourism development is more hyped about but less practiced concept. This is what the author has worked very hard to bring about in these books. He has critically examined the characteristics and potential of sustainable tourism development in North-East in general and in the State of Nagaland in particular. He has not only examined the concept of sustainable tourism but has also seen it in the context of sustainable development.
The second book by the author discusses the potential of the tourism in the North East India which is unbound. Besides the culture, history and prospects of social development in the North East, the author has discussed the community based tourism, policy planning and development in the States falling in the North East region. Ecological and sustainable tourism development in these States include visiting lofty mountains, turbulent rivers, deep gorges, flora and fauna, river water rafting, hiking and ethno biological tours with a view to taking care of health related problems.
27 April 2012