TODAY -

Stable situation essential for attracting tourists
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: December 01, 2022 -



THIS year's Manipur Sangai Festival will definitely be counted among the best attended tourism promotional events which successive governments have been organising with the stated objective to showcase to the world that Manipur is not only about insurgency and ethnic strife but has many others to offer and tranquil locations to explore.

With footfall of visitors among the highest and no major incidents occurring during the 10-day period, the successful conduct of the latest edition of the festival should inspire the present government to prioritise development of more infrastructures to tap the potential in the tourism sector.

Even if the festival revellers were mainly from among the local populace, the events conducted in all the 13 venues this year witnessing healthy attendance underscores that the people had been longing to explore their own backyard and enjoy some quality time with their loved ones.

Since its inception in 2010, conduct of successive editions of the festival used to be generally overshadowed by public dissent as the state remained in the grip of one sensitive issue or another not to speak of the perennial insurgency problem.

While outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic forced cancellation of two previous editions of the festival, some previous editions were bereft of festive flavour due to bomb explosion close to the main venue at Hapta Kangjeibung that killed a rickshaw driver, boycott call given to denounce the centre's move to implement Citizenship Amendment Bill, protests in pursuance of the demand for scrapping of AFSPA 1958, public uprising against stage-managed encounters, etc.

in fact, one of the festivals had to be wrapped up after the first week of commencement due to lack of visitors in-spite of the then government's announcement not to charge entry fee.

The largest festival of the state witnessing poor turn-out of visitors caused serious embarrassment to the government as it yearned to bring positive changes in the state.

Nevertheless, inspite of distressful situation diluting all flavours of the Sangai Festival it has been of the most eagerly awaited events for the state's masses to revel in.

Due to unstable law and order situation in the past, the people notably had the tendency to rejoice the most as if there were no tomorrow and looked forward to refresh their minds and relish the festive mood.

As such, the healthy public response to the festival this year testifies that in case the government authorities could create conducive environment then the people too would play their part in the development of the tourism sector.

Compared to the foreign tourists whose presence in the landlocked state would depend on having better air connectivity and classy accommodation, for the locals stable law and order situation and quality roads coupled with basic facilities at the tourist spot are few of the conditions that the government shall have to ensure.

As it is obvious that initiation of infrastructural development works for the annual festival is not only for recreational purposes but also has long-term plan, the government must convert the tourism potentials into sources of revenue generation and create employment opportunities for the youth of the state.



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