Guwahati: North East Festival concludes with focus on making region tourism hub


GUWAHATI: The two-day North East Festival concluded in Guwahati on Sunday after setting the NE Growth Agenda with discussions on the revival of travel and tourism industry post-COVID-19 pandemic and showcasing manufacturing potentials of the region.

The second day of the festival started with a tourism B2B meet, where tour operators of the region connected with all India tour operators and stakeholders and discussed ways to promote tourism in the region.

Talking about developing the northeastern states as tourist destinations, Razvee Hussain, Secretary of Assam’s Tourism Department, said that “tea tourism” can help the region become an attraction to travellers.

“All northeastern states can be a great tourism destination. Focus on tea tourism where old bungalows can get converted to boutique hotels. Experiencing and living the life of a tea planter here can be a tourist attraction. Chopper service availability from Guwahati to Kaziranga, Majuli, etc. will also help the tourism industry here,” the official suggested.

Tourism Director of Assam suggested that the tourism sector can benefit from the region”s geographical location surrounded by international borders.

“The North East Region shares borders with different countries and it is an incredible boon. Assam is chicken neck with West Bengal and 5 International borders which is the best for tourism. One more major focus is in medical tourism…. We are blessed with resources…,” Mishra said.

In another session on “Make in North East”, companies such as ITC, Patanjali, and NRL shared their experience doing business in the region. 

B Sumant, executive director of ITC Ltd, said the company, which has a century-old association with Assam, continues to expand its footprint in the North East Region.

“ITC has a growing presence in the region, demonstrated by its investment in a state-of-the-art Integrated Consumer Goods Manufacturing facility at Bartezpur in Kamrup district, manufacturing a range of foods and personal care products. We have also set up other manufacturing units to support local entrepreneurs for manufacturing the company”s wide array of FMCG products,” Sumant said.

For the most part, the North East Festival was conducted online in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have to focus all NE states as tourist destinations for the growth of the Regional Tourism Sector. The North East Festival is a festival of all eight NE states. Provided full support from the various governments, it will bring a massive change in the post-COVID-19 period,” said Shyamkanu Mahanta, the chief organiser of the festival. PTI