Arunachal CM launches campaign targeting homegrown tourists

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Itanagar, Mar 22 (PTI) The Arunachal Pradesh government on Monday launched a campaign to encourage the people of the state to visit tourist places within it to heal the damage caused to the tourism sector by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Around 1,00,000 tourists, mostly from outside Arunachal Pradesh, visited various places of the picturesque Northeastern state in 2019-20, while the number of visitors is negligible in 2020-21 due to the pandemic, according to an official.

Launching the 'Dekho Apna Pradesh' campaign here, Chief Minister Pema Khandu said that not many people of Arunachal Pradesh visit places in the state other than those where they work and live.

'Ours is such a vast state and there is so much to see and learn of other tribes, culture and places. This campaign is to encourage our people to visit places of their own state.

'This will not only benefit the tourism sector but also create awareness on the diversity of the state bringing in unity,' Khandu said.

In the first phase of the campaign which is a brainchild of the chief minister, stakeholders such as tour operators, homestay owners, transporters, hoteliers and travel bloggers will visit various places of tourist attraction in groups.

'I may not be wrong if I claim that even not all stakeholders, especially tour operators, have visited all tourist places of the state. Therefore, we are facilitating them to travel to other districts in the first phase of the campaign,' Khandu said.

He said that this would allow the stakeholders to gain first-hand knowledge of the places they visit and get acquainted with local stakeholders.

Besides, they may also get business deals, the chief minister said.

Khandu requested the stakeholders to come back benefited from the 10-day trip and encourage people of their respective areas to explore places within the state.

This way people will become aware of their state and at the same time contribute to revenue generation, he said.

However, Khandu said, 'We have to teach our people to be good hosts, change our mindset of looking at every new face with suspicion and to have a welcoming attitude towards all.

Unless we do this, no campaign will succeed.' Tourism is one of the best sectors for investment, Khandu said and made a call to businessmen, entrepreneurs and youths of the state to invest in it along with agriculture and allied sectors.

He said that all tour operators along with District Tourism Officers and Tourist Information Officers should be well equipped with the history, culture and importance of all tourist places in their jurisdiction.

'Dekho Apna Pradesh' has been conceptualised in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Dekho Apna Desh' campaign. PTI UPL NN NN