• State planning to promote traditional archery, seeks land at Mawphlang •
SHILLONG, May 13: Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma Tuesday inaugurated the Keanean Guest House, a rural tourism project initiated by the Lady Keane College, Shillong, at Mawphlang, a village famous for its world-known Sacred Grove about 25 kilometers from here.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Sangma said, “Tourism is one important sector which can provide employment opportunity to over 50 per cent of the population in Meghalaya.”
Stating the state has tremendous potentials, he pointed out, “But we are not being able to harness in this field and it remains a space available that is waiting to be tapped.”
He further stressed on the need to identify and structure those kinds of entrepreneurship which are “exclusive” and “unique” to make Meghalaya the destination for Tourism.
According to him, today, tourists who are travelling across the world are looking at products which are exclusive and unique.
“Therefore, we need to create such products for tourists who have reasons to want to come to Meghalaya as it is like any other business where competition level is high,” Dr Sangma said adding “The rich culture, music and way of life besides nature’s gift of scenic beauty is required to be put together and structured in such a way that they become products of demand for tourists to visit the state as well as spread the information to others.”
The Chief Minister further informed that the state government had structured a policy to promote investment in tourism designed to support potential entrepreneurs especially those who see tourism sector as a sustainable livelihood.
“With this, instead of people remaining job seekers, they can become job providers of which can happen only in tourism sector,” he added.
He also informed that under such investment strategy the state government is providing Rs 6 lakh for any such facilities such as setting up of home stay and eco-resort.
“But to implement such policy, it is important for the state government to have potential partners who will take advantage of such schemes that are available,” he said.
Stating that inspite of the initiatives being taken up, the response however is not so good, Dr Sangma said, “Therefore, there is need for complete synergy with the partners, entrepreneurs and institutions so that they will have access to information and take advantage of such support system being provided by the government,” adding “We also need to strengthen all activities which will go along with the concept of making Meghalaya a destination for tourism.”
Asserting that sky is the limit as far as Meghalaya is concerned in term of Tourism, the CM said, “We are also planning to promote the product of traditional archery and hope that Mawphlang village will also provide land for the purpose.”
Later, the chief minister also released the Keanean Journal of Arts and ICARE president Toki Blah released the College Magazine Vision-2013 during the function.
Earlier, College Principal Dr C Massar in her welcome address informed the tourist guest house is part of the college’s pilot project design sticking to the most basic of requirements for the leisure seeking tourist.
She said the aim of the project is also to move beyond the campus and make students good entrepreneurs.