SUBJECT :Over 32 crore budget provision for tourism in 2017-18 

Tourists enjoying a cultural performance (not pictured) during Hornbill Festival 2016. (Manen Aier/Morung File Photo)

Kohima (Nagaland), April 7, 2018: The 16 page Annual Administrative report 2017-2018 of the Department of Tourism, Nagaland reveals that the budget provision for Tourism during 2017-2018 under the State Plan was Rs 2390.84 lakhs and Rs 822.92 lakhs under Non-Plan.

To promote Nagaland as a tourist centric destination, the department reports that it has completed infrastructural and developmental projects under the North East Council, Shillong along with a few ongoing projects. The Enopen Tourist Resort at Khonoma, Kohima; Tourist Trekking and Base camp at Mt. Saramati, Kiphire and eco-tourism destination at Sendenyu, Tseminyu have been completed.

The ongoing tourism infrastructural projects comprise of Swadesh Darshan Scheme under CSS (completely funded by the Ministry of Tourism), which include the Tribal Circuit at Peren-Kohima-Wokha, with 60 percent of the work completed. Another is the Tribal circuit at Mokokchung-Tuensang-Mon, where 30 percent work has been completed.

The construction of an Institute of Hotel Management at Dimapur with funding from HUDCO/negotiated loan is also nearing completion. Further the report informed that the Yatri Niwas Kohima was dismantled and new construction is under progress with funding from the State Government, for which Rs 150 lakhs is being released.

The Swachhta Action Plan (SAP) scheme is also underway for construction of toilets in “world class standard” at selected tourist destinations to ensure the desired level of cleanliness at these sites to attract more foreign and domestic tourists. The Hornbill Festival 2017 saw a marked increase in the number of tourist visiting with a footfall of 2, 23,214 visitors (foreign, domestic and local tourists) at the Naga Heritage Village.

The department has further printed updated versions of tourism brochures for circulations and use in fairs and festivals. Promotional videos, tourism brochures are produced for international fairs and events.

In its activities, the report stated that the department has participated in various promotional events organised by the Ministry of Tourism. Department officials attended the World Tourism Day 2017 at Doha, World Trade Market London and other domestic events such as the Capacity Building for Ecotoursim Development in North East India organised by the Tata Energy and Research Institute, Assam. However, no further details of the purpose and outcome of such tours were furnished.

Privatization & Communitization of Rural Tourism Assets

Under the Communitization and Privatization Act, the department has leased 46 buildings/assets which according to the report are fully functional and earning good revenue. The tourist lodges at Kohima, Mokokchung and Wokha have also been privatized, with the report stating that they have been “functioning satisfactorily till date.” The revenue earned has not been mentioned.

Identification of tourism potential

The Department of Tourism has meanwhile identified six tourism potential areas for Nagaland, namely agrotourism, adventure tourism, tribal and cultural tourism, wellness tourism, ecotourism and experiential tourism. The reports states that the department’s policies and activities are framed in the line of eco-tourism. Khonoma, Dzulekie, Green Dikhu Project, Dzukou, Mt. Saramati and Sendenyu bio-diversity conservation are some of the popular eco-tourism spots in Nagaland.

The report notes that in Nagaland the development of rural areas and villages can provide an ideal solution for promotion of experiential tourism. In the state, the implementation of such tourism is done through the Village Tourism Development Board (VTDB).

Identification of villages is based on the merits of tourism point of view, where villages are identified for taking up rural tourism projects after a thorough survey and inspection by the department. There is no mention of the villages that have been selected under this category.

Except for the possibilities of such potentials, the report makes no mention of policy formulation and planning for such potential tourism.