TODAY -

How many tourists visited during Sangai Fest : Awaiting the figures
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: December 06, 2022 -



Has the Government or the department concerned been able to work out the number of tourists who actually visited the State during the Sangai Festival this year?

Or is it going to be like the earlier editions when no figures were ever trotted out for public consumption?

This question is relevant for the people ought to know how much the said festival is able to attract people from outside Manipur, or is it going to be a case of nodding one's heads to all the acquaintances one meets at the venue of the festival, like in the earlier years?

How much progress has the Sangai Festival made since 2010?

Is the Government in a position to give this answer or is it best left to guess work or to the native wisdom of the people to judge the turn out on the basis of traffic jams or the number of vehicles headed for the venue of the festival?

How does the Sangai Festival measure up vis-a-vis the Hornbill Festival in neighbouring Nagaland ?

Not exactly a comparison but it would help for the people to get an idea on how much progress the State level festival has made since 2010.

Can one expect the day when anyone from outside Manipur would pack his or her bags to head for the State solely to witness the Sangai Festival or is it going to be a case of roping in celebrities to come here at the 'invitation' of the organisers?

More to the point, what are the things needed to make the place more attractive to people outside Manipur and hence entice them to visit the place during the Sangai Festival ?

The answer could be many, but to start the Government will have to think out of the box and see how to package Manipur and by extension the festival to the outside world.

Law and order situation has improved, so goes the loud and clear claim coming out from the stable of the BJP led Government, both at Imphal and New Delhi, and this is a situation which can be positively exploited to package Manipur as a tourist destination, for ultimately this is what the Sangai Festival is all about.

Manipur has a fine weather, not too hot even during the peak of summer and not too cold even during the peak of winter.

The State is being touted as the gateway to South East Asia and just next door is Myanmar, the first country that one would need to cross to go further into South East Asia, if one takes the road.

What steps have been taken by the Government to harness the geography of the land and present it as a must visit place in the North East?

When one talks about the Sangai Festival, then obviously tourism should be high on the agenda.

The question then is, how much has the Sangai Festival been able to promote Manipur as a tourist destination?

One need not compare Manipur with say Goa, Ooty, Kashmir (before militancy reared its head there), the deserts of Rajasthan, Kerala, but does the State come anywhere near say Sikkim, or Arunachal Pradesh or Meghalaya on the map of every traveller to the North East ?

As suggested in an earlier commentary, perhaps the Government at Imphal may take a leaf or two out of Kerala and see if a catchy slogan to showcase Manipur to the outside world may be coined.

Professionals may be hired for this, and if Kerala is underlined by the tag line, 'God's Own Country,' perhaps Manipur may also think of a catchy phrase to catch the attention of the outside world.

Tourism, this is one avenue which the State Government may study with the seriousness it deserves for it can be a big job provider, open up earning avenues for quite a large number of people etc.

In many ways the Sangai Festival should be something more than holding a State level festival for ten days, and the bigger vision should be to put Manipur there on the tourist map.

This would give more substance to holding the Sangai Festival annually.



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