A meeting in Guwahati on 11th September organised by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) discussed the need for various activities to promote tourism, particularly in the Northeast region of India.
The meeting in Guwahati, chaired by Rajen Gohain, Minister of State for Railways, was attended by senior IRCTC and Railway officials, state tourism secretaries and other officers of state tourism directorates and corporations. The agenda for the meeting was to look into possibilities of joint support and promotion that the IRCTC could provide in boosting the tourism sector in the country, with particular focus on the north-eastern region of India.
The accessibility to the region, for both domestic and foreign travellers, could be boosted through special tourist trains, suggested Gohain. IRCTC has been operating such special in other major destinations across the country, including trains such as the luxurious Maharaja Express and the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels. Mahaparinirvan Express or the Buddhist circuit train is another such train that covers places of interest for the spirituality seekers. Gohain pledged the necessary assistance from his ministry for the undertaking of such an initiative.
The meeting also saw an exchange of ideas looking to boost tourism in the Northeast. The IRCTC stepped up its efforts to partner the state tourism bodies to bring a focus and attention to the region on the global tourism map.The Ministry of state for Railways, for the Assam, in northeast India, shared the scope of the meeting through their twitter handle.
IRCTC-led meeting discusses tourism promotion in NE,Rly MoS Shri Gohain recommends special tourist trains for region pic.twitter.com/rZGMpl354S
— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) September 12, 2016
North eastern India, whose states are often referred to as the Seven Sisters, remains largely unexplored for travellers in and to India. With a wide range of wildlife sanctuaries, options of adventure expeditions and well-conserved natural beauty, this region is a great option for many different types of travellers. The floodplains of Assam, the breathtaking sights in Shillong, known as the Scotland of the East, in Meghalaya, the state known as the abode of clouds, stand among the numerous options for visitors to the states.
Itanagar, in the land of the rising sun in India, Arunachal Pradesh and the home to yaks and the Yumthang Valley, Sikkim, can also be on the itineraries for travellers headed to the region. The rest of the seven sisters also make for a great trip with Manipur, fondly called the jewelled land, Mizoram, literally translating to land of the hill people, Nagaland, known as the falcon capital of the world and Tripura for the heritage sites and cultural charm it holds.
The rugged landscapes, the rich tribal heritage and the cultural melting pot in the region remain vastly unexplored. Infrastructural problems with roads and transport as well as political tensions in particular areas along with a general absence of tourism initiatives mean that Northeast India is yet to become a popular destination. However, hope remains with the proposal of new train services and other such initiatives.