TODAY -

Joint Tourism Management Committees (JTMCs)
Grassroots solution to evolution of tourism sector in Manipur

Rajesh AMh *



It is not always bad or wrong to begin on a true sad note. Tourism in our state of Manipur is a victim of circumstances. Many issues like ad hoc bandhs, insurgency, in adequate infrastructure etc have negatively affected prospects of evolution of a sound tourism. If we look at the statistics of tourism especially the number of visitors (both domestic and foreign), it is abysmal.

The reason is related to both supply and demand aspects. The supply aspects include adequate infrastructure, responsibility and more importantly a sense of safety and security to be instilled among visitors. The demand side will follow, spontaneously, once the supply sector is ready. Despite all such avoidable chaos, there is so much in our state of Manipur, especially Loktak lake, Sangai, the pride of Manipur, Polo, various forms of indigenous and traditional dances/songs, weaving, various dishes, our accomplishments during world war II, different cultures, organic agriculture, wildlife, village life, adventure sports, handicrafts, etc to present to the fellow citizens and friends from other countries.

Our state is endowed with natural capital like mountain ranges with scenic beauty, wildlife like indigenous and unique flora and fauna, rivers, lakes, migratory birds etc which is a primary requirement to install tourism with social and financial capital occupying secondary and tertiary roles. In such confusion, natural capital is the yet to discover winner.

Tourism depends on numerous factors of which quality of natural capital like forests, wildlife, water sources, mountain ranges etc and its conservation is most important and natural capital indirectly or directly depends sustainable tourism, and hence both tourism and natural capital are inseparable and offer huge potential for socio-economic upliftment of the poor. The untapped tourism potential of our state can be better exploited only if tourism is installed and initiated. For this to happen the best way is to decentralize how tourism is managed.

History was created in the field of forest management by establishment of Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMC's). JFMC's were established following The Indian Forest Policy of 1988 (then MoEF, 1988) and the subsequent government resolution on participatory forest management (then MoEF, 1990) to encourage people to identify themselves with the forest development and management through participatory planning and management. They are registered societies and duly elected. The results accomplished, especially in states like Manipur where forests are managed by communities, are encouraging.

Taking a cue from joint forest management committees where both the communities and forest department join hands to manage forests, the same model can be adopted through establishment of Joint Tourism Management Committees (JTMC's). These committees be given the responsibility of supply chain management and the government can join hands to impart them skills, knowledge and more importantly investment in infrastructure in hospitality sector. The funds be given to JTMC's to establish basic tourism infrastructure to ensure accessibility, safety, security and healthy stay of tourists.

The financial capital for establishment of infrastructure may be shared between state and /or union government (70%) and community (30%). The motive behind 30% contribution by community is to instill sense of ownership and responsibility of tourism (and resources) management. Similarly the benefits derived from such management be shared between state government and the JTMC's at the rate of 50% each. It is about transition from absolute responsibility (of government) towards shared responsibility (of government).

JTMC's along with state and/or union government should invest in proper planning, product development and marketing. The best advertising practice is to facilitate shooting of commercial movies and documentaries. A tripartite MoU between JTMC's, government and other agencies like private tour operators, tourism marketing organizations (both domestic and international), online travel agencies like makemytrip, via.com, goibibo, domestic and international Tour operators (Thompson, Thomas cook, Cox and kings etc), hotel chains and private and public sector airlines etc is necessary in order to build up tourism network of JTMC's and make community not only stakeholders but also responsible. Training in the field of preparation of cuisines of various countries, sanitation and hygiene, languages, tourist guides, drivers and more importantly, conduct of all the stakeholders is a must value addition.

As most of the nature based (natural capital) tourist spots fall in the forest areas, it is logical and rational to utilize the existing JFMC's (as additional responsibility of managing tourism) in areas where there are places of tourism importance. In areas devoid of JFMC's it is rational to establish JTMC's to install tourism. Because in order to take off we should first have runway. As a beginning a Pilot project may be taken up in suitable location by formation of JTMC's.

Even the existing tourism infrastructure of the state is under-utilized because of obvious reasons. Government infrastructure is a default target of many expected threats to tourism. Outsourcing the existing tourism infrastructure to JTMC's will reduce the pressure on government. The issue of Tragedy of the commons (In case of resources owned by community but utilized by individuals for maximizing their own profit without concern for collective interest) in case of common property resources can be well addressed through JTMC's.

JTMC's should mainly focus on our indigenous strengths like presenting skills of Local artisans, handicrafts, organic cultivation of crops, traditional methods of curing/traditional medicine, traditional martial arts, organizing summer and winter school camps, traditional dance festivals/competitions, tournaments like polo, football, rural tourism paddy fields, folk dances, drama, traditional instruments, traditional games, handicrafts, trekking expeditions, wildlife tourism based on sangai, migratory birds etc.

The driving force to have JTMC's is the community ownership of the land especially natural capital like forests etc and only through grassroots participation and subsequent confidence and assurance given to visitors that the negative travel advisories can be defeated. JTMC's can provide quality service in hospitality industry, ensure safety and security of the guests/tourists and place tourism industry in the exempted list of ad hoc bandhs.

JTMC's can prevent negative fallouts of tourism on social, cultural and environment diversity. For example drug abuse and trafficking, exploitation of women etc are few such negative fallouts of unregulated tourism as is evident in capitals of few developing countries in Central Asia, Asia and also in developed world. When people are stakeholders such impacts don't even find a trace of origin. Since cooperation of civil society is integral in JTMC's it makes process of regulation by government easier.

JTMC's can contribute to clear ecological, social and economic benefits. Because tourism depends on natural capital of our rivers, forests, wildlife, mountains, waterfalls etc. Communities through JTMC's will have to conserve natural capital for tourism to get installed and sustain. Socio-economic benefits arise as money can be brought in to local economy and subsequent financial activity promotes sustainable economic growth. At the same time indigenous communities can retain cultural and social identities along with the opportunity for the youth to stay within their localities. This will reduce scope for employment oriented migration to other parts of the country or other countries.

JTMC's can bring in community participation, access to assets and non-financial benefits and ensure inclusiveness by contributing to Pro-people, pro-poor tourism. Hence formation of JTMC's is a key to install inclusive and sustainable tourism in Manipur but conditions apply. Only sites with sustainable tourism potential can help providing sustainable employment and is rational to have JTMC's at such sites. It should be the joint responsibility of community and the government to scout for such locations. Let us show the world that tourism is not about situation in the past but about present and future.

The new slogan for tourism be "Tourism for present and future all"


* Rajesh AM wrote this article for The Sangai Express
Rajesh AM is 2013 batch Indian Forest Service Officer of Manipur cadre. He is currently posted as DFO/Senapati Forest Division, Government of Manipur. Views expressed by the author are personal
This article was posted on October 28, 2016.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.


LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Heikru Hidongba #1 : Gallery
  • Heigru Hidongba (Boat Race)
  • Get down to business
  • The Eternal Moment :: Poem
  • Why is oiling good for the hair
  • Jobs at SKY Hospital
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Creating Future Media Leaders in NE
  • Understanding Communist ideology
  • Suspended but drama not over yet
  • Arrested for molesting student in Mumbai
  • Manipuri Diaspora in Myanmar #1
  • Chingyainu, Chingnguremba :: eMing
  • Krishna Janma @Mahabali #2 : Gallery
  • Naga-Kuki Conflict: ..Kuki aggression
  • Tibeto-Burman Languages : Book
  • Indian Judiciary no more a caged bird
  • IGAR (S) calls on Governor of Manipur
  • Spirit of Irabot still runs in Journalists
  • Concern should be about mob mentality
  • Tribes, Art & Soul of India #1: Gallery
  • Rally against Mob Lynching #1: Gallery
  • 'Sahnit' an honour or a disgrace
  • Irabot : Socio-Political Challenges
  • Training employees for better governance
  • Blue Ocean :: Poem
  • Sextortion: Making money from shame
  • Condemn murder of Neiphretuo Metsie
  • Social lacunae
  • BJP on poll drive at Imphal, Kohima
  • Mary Kom lost 2 kg in 4 hours
  • Historical Evaluation of Puya Meithaba #2
  • Felicitation of Sportsperson: Gallery
  • ICJ: Investigation of Extrajudicial Killing
  • Legal profession as career option #2
  • Loktak Down Stream HE Project (2x33MW)
  • Protest against mob lynching at DU
  • Ripples of Music :: Poem
  • Memo submitted to CM over lynching
  • Poems of Peace, Resistance ...
  • Helicopter Schedule for Imphal-Jiri
  • Mirabai recommended for Khel Ratna
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #3: Gallery
  • Manipur State is still winning..
  • Gazetteer of North-East India :: Book
  • Sunfeast Cup Football Tournament
  • Trip down memory lane
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Folk Song :: Poem
  • The Endureres at Dwarka Half Marathon
  • Main accused in cop slaying nabbed
  • Naga talks not confined to Nagaland..
  • Trekking to Dzukou Valley #1 : Gallery
  • Rest in Peace Humanity
  • Ph Banti's artwork 'Trafficking of children'
  • Cry of a Dying River - 45 :: Poem
  • Buddhism is not a religion
  • Jobs at R-Square Design
  • Candle Light at DU over lynching
  • Society as a reflection of govt
  • Mobocracy : Shame on Manipur
  • Kuki Black Day @CCpur : Gallery
  • miAoIbgi pNTuH :: Seireng
  • An opinion on Tharoijam killing
  • How Manipur lost internal autonomy, Kabaw
  • Admission for PhD at Tripura Univ
  • Meefam ST at Nambol, Khangabok
  • Importance of Forest & Environment
  • Deep social divide: Two different folks?
  • Kuki Black Day: Kukis Will never forget
  • R & V Art House's First Art Fest 2018
  • Celebrating International Literacy Day, 2018
  • Born a Kuki, die a Kuki :: Poem
  • History of North East India :: Book
  • Will SimpliciTB make TB treatment simpler
  • Meefam chathaduna ST gi issue..
  • Dipankar Talukdar- Mr Model of World Star
  • System error- who will fix Broken Window
  • Reshuffle Talks : Say No to Yes Me
  • India negotiating vehicle pact with Myanmar
  • Chalwa Village, Kangpokpi #2 : Gallery
  • Thien & its downfall in Zeliangrong #2
  • Is FA a self exposed daylight robbery?
  • Nation Needs Small Farmers
  • Who is programming you ?
  • Bandhs as dissent & survival of laziest
  • Looking for Raju :: Poem
  • The cry of the 2nd class citizen
  • Bharat Bandh in Imphal
  • Historical Evaluation of Puya Meithaba #1
  • Sit-In: Naga Peace Talk #2 : Gallery
  • Naga-Kuki conflict: Search for definitions
  • Mega Marathon Manipur : Download Form
  • Legal profession as career option
  • Guv felicitates 5 JAK RIF for flood relief
  • Stored Anger :: Book Review
  • On stepping into the 20th year of TSE
  • Sept - month which reinstated our courage
  • Krishna Janma @ISKCON #2 : Gallery
  • Empty :: Poem
  • Lets beat littering - plastics pollution
  • NEHU Seminar : Urbanization in India
  • Jobs at JCRE Skill Solutions
  • Declaration of Naga Collective Spirit [Sep 8]
  • Akanba Khongjangidamak Yathokpa Loire
  • Support for STDC from UMA, Assam
  • 'Deplorable power supply in Nagaland'
  • Tryst with destiny - Should we accept ?
  • Stand off at MU : Impact on LS Poll
  • Exploring the enthralling Tuilha Kol
  • Kamesh Salam : Outstanding Green Activist
  • The Valley Of Brahmaputra :: Book
  • Development of road database
  • The inner page story :: Poem
  • Kakching WW-II Memorial Run 2018
  • STDC public meeting at Langathel Keithel
  • Maibi Jagoi at Sangai Fest : Gallery
  • My poll without prejudice to anyone
  • MEETAC - Mission for streamlining TK
  • Conditions leading to Marxism
  • Heart Camp at Khelakhong, Thoubal
  • Cyber bully: Crime that follows you home
  • Bhupen Hazarika : Tribute at London
  • AEP & Importance of Myanmar & NE
  • Political pandemonium
  • Students central to MU issue
  • Landscape from Koubru #2 : Gallery
  • Leishangthem Robert for Mr. World 2018
  • Oinam Shilla Chanu at Mrs India Earth
  • North-east Frontier Of India :: Book
  • Thien & its downfall in Zeliangrong #1
  • Cry of a Dying River - 44 :: Poem
  • JRF Post at Mizoram University
  • Honours to Bamboo; a ubiquitous gift
  • Case of hunter now being huntedr
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #3 : Gallery
  • Women Empowerment & judicial Activism
  • Narin Chenggum - wild edible mushroom
  • Flying Star at your lips :: Poem
  • Out of the box thinking
  • Call centre fraud: Vicious vishing attack
  • Changing India & its impact on Manipur
  • MU stand off gets uglier
  • Tikendrajit : The Lion of Manipur #4
  • Krishna Janma @Mahabali #1 : Gallery
  • Eastern Frontier of India :: Book Review
  • Remembering Radhakrishnan ..
  • Moments to cherish :: Poem
  • Glimpse of the Buddha's teaching
  • NH7 Weekender Express Editions
  • Rejoinder to NDPP from NPF [05 Sep]
  • Mental equation
  • Are teachers teaching ? Apt, timely poser
  • Sirarakhong Hathei Phanit @Ukhrul : Gallery
  • Sit-In: Naga Peace Talk #1 : Gallery
  • Globalization, Act East Policy & Manipur
  • Review on anthology of Parthajit Borah
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Child Friendly Police Stations proposed
  • ADBU Goes Green with Solar Energy
  • Convocation of Assam Don Bosco
  • Fetal Echocardiography - Seminar held
  • Rejoinder to NPF from NDPP [04 Sep]
  • Divide, divert and rule will not work
  • FA, MU crisis : Issues before LS polls
  • Krishna Janma @ISKCON #1 : Gallery
  • Komrem Student Day @Bangalore : Gallery
  • September Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • The Coils of Pakhangba :: Book
  • Physics Program in Don Bosco, Tura
  • Condemns MU VC's vindictive stance
  • 'Policy of India to suppress people'
  • NDPP congratulates Abu Metha
  • Pandey back at MU! Violating spirit of MoA
  • Exhibition @ Art College #2: Gallery
  • AMWJU Sit-In-Protest : Gallery
  • Shri Krishna Janmasthami :: Book
  • Life's heck :: Poem
  • Environment & lung health are vital
  • Innovation for the common man
  • Humanitarian crisis with NRC in Assam
  • Rejoinder to NDPP from NPF [02 Sep]
  • Jangou Rah : eRang Classic
  • The Story of 40 Pineapple Suckers
  • Rebirth of Manipur Human Rights Comm
  • Yumkhaibam Nanao Eramdam Yaourakhre
  • Lecture: Governance & Public Services
  • X-rated poem :: Poem
  • Ningol Chakkouba Celebration in Delhi
  • Baton changes hands at IGAR (South)
  • Rejoinder to NPF from NDPP [01 Sept]
  • A Wake-up call
  • Lok Sabha polls : More crucial for BJP
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #2: Gallery
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #2 : Gallery
  • The World of Kuki People :: Book
  • Effects of the Burning of Meitei Puyas
  • Soil Technician required at MaolKeki
  • Jr. Mr. India 2018, Gyanendra Thokchom
  • Rejoinder to HTC & allies' statement
  • Consensual sex..Does it amount to rape ?
  • Need for all to keep their sanity
  • Sanagi Tenawa :: Funga Wari
  • MU: Den of Insurgents or Den of Ideas?
  • Can NRC Update save Assam and NE ?
  • Victim of Enforced Disappearances
  • Admission for Ph.D. at Tripura University
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #1: Gallery
  • Physics Program in Don Bosco College
  • Resolution: Right of Human Right Defender
  • Advancing rights of Human Right Defender
  • Dolaithabi Dam , Senapati : Gallery
  • Eid-Ul-Adhaa Festival #2 : Gallery
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #1 : Gallery
  • 47th Nagas Annual Meet at Mumbai
  • Transcending Patriots' Day(s) #4
  • Sangai Fest: Fashion Show #2 : Gallery
  • Tikendrajit : The Lion of Manipur #3
  • Dr. Jodhachandra Sanasam : Sahitya
  • Architects announces 1st MADE 2018
  • Expedite FA Rally #2 : Gallery
  • Billie's Book by Ranjeeta Mayanglambam
  • Shougrakpam Bijaya :: A Profile
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Disputed Myanmar Border Pillar : Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #3: Gallery
  • Dzuko valley #4 :: 360 Panorama View
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS