Namsai: Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein on Saturday asked the department of tourism to simplify the process of obtaining Inner Line and Protected Area Permits for tourists willing to visit the state.
This, Mein said, would raise the tourist inflow and make the state more traveler-friendly.
The Inner Line Permit (ILP) is an official travel document issued to Indian citizens who want to visit protected/restricted areas or states like Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram for a limited period.
The Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR) Act of 1873 prohibits all citizens of India from entering Arunachal without a valid ILP.
Similarly, The Foreigner (Protected Areas) Act requires foreigners to obtain a Protected Area Permit (PAP) to visit certain areas in India including Arunachal.
“A large number of people/tourists want to visit Arunachal; however, many of them are reluctant because of the complexity one has to go through in obtaining the permits. The future of Arunachal lies in tourism, so we need to work together to develop Arunachal Tourism into a responsible and sustainable one,” Mein said.
The DCM was addressing a workshop on ‘Responsible Tourism – Future Forum’ organised by the department of tourism in collaboration with the Outlook Group here.
Mein said the state government is working keenly and in tandem with all the stakeholders to transform Arunachal into one of the most sought after tourist destination in the world.
“Special emphasis is being given to ‘responsible tourism’ and activities related to rural, adventure and eco-tourism are being encouraged in the state,” Mein said while adding that several tourist circuits are also being developed.
Thanking the tourism ministry for sanctioning necessary funds for the infrastructure development of Parsuramkund, the DCM, at the same time also emphasised on the need to develop more infrastructures for the tourism industry to grow in the state.
Mein also informed that there will be no shortage of power supply in the state for those wanting to establish industries in the region.
Ministry of Tourism director general Meenakshi Sharma said Arunachal has immense potential for attracting tourists, thanks to its natural beauty, diverse culture and amazing hospitality.
She suggested developing new and traditional tourist destinations that would contribute to the development of the local economy on a long term basis.
“No tourism is beneficial if the local communities are not helped,” she said.
Sharma informed that a ‘Buddhist Circuit’ is soon coming up in the country with Arunachal being a part of it.
“There are several schemes implemented under the Ministry of Tourism such as Swadesh Darshan Schemes and PRASAD (Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive) that focuses on identifying and developing pilgrim sites across the country to promote religious tourism,” she said.
Tourism minister Nakap Nalo said the Arunachal government is putting all efforts to promote responsible and sustainable tourism in the state besides focusing on proper waste management and maintaining cleanliness and hygiene.
Among others, state tourism secretary Sadhana Deori, Outlook Group CEO Indranil Roy, Grassroutes co-founder and managing director Inir Pinheiro, CGH Earth Hotels managing director Michael Dominic, Invest India vice-president Varun Sood, Snow Leopard Conservancy India Trust director Tsewang Namgail also spoke.