Guwahati: MSME Export Promotion Council (MSME EPC) on Thursday urged the central government to increase the tourism budget of Northeast by Rs 10,000 crore, which will in return generate around three lakh new jobs in the region.
In a study, Northeast Paradise For Tourism: Need For Developing Tourism Markets, the export promotion body has suggested that the Centre should consider enhancing its budget by Rs 10,000 crore for tourism promotion in the region.
The study, prepared by the Northeastern Economic Development Division of the MSME EPC in association with BillMart FinTech, also requested the Centre to develop two tourist centres in each of the eight states of the region in coordination with local governments and equip them with all infrastructure.
MSME EPC Chairman D S Rawat and BillMart Fintech Founder-CEO Jigish Sonagara jointly released the study and emphasised the need for further incentivising the private sector with an attractive financial package for investing in tourism promotion in the NE.
“Once two tourist centres in each state are developed, 1.5 lakh new direct jobs and an equal number of indirect jobs will be generated, and this industry will be the largest job provider,” Rawat said.
Development of the tourism sector will solve the increasing unemployment problem in the Northeast, create consumer markets, encourage start-ups and generate revenues for the states, he added.
The study has further suggested encouragement to e-tourism and brand building for the entire tourism industry and also identification of prospective tourists.
“Innovation in tourism, as elsewhere, is indeed a collaborative action between governments, academia, corporations, micro, small and medium enterprises, start-ups, investors, supporting business partners and other stakeholders,” it added.
The study has tabulated and highlighted 20 facts about the region that together will help in developing Northeast as a ‘destination for tourists’.
These include “sun can be seen first, largest & smallest river islands, availability of golden/muga silk, largest weaving village, safe haven for one-horned rhinos, unique mothers’-run market, wettest place, largest electric guitar ensemble, floating palace etc”.
Stressing the need for a ‘tourism market’, the study says that a marketing plan is truly the road map for attracting tourists. It needs budget allocation for promotional activities and at the end of each tourism season, one can use marketing plans to set goals and make changes for the next season.
“Since the tourism marketing nationally and internationally is expensive, therefore, the tourism promotional agencies set by the state governments should jointly undertake the responsibility,” the study by the MSME EPC said.
The MSME EPC, a nonprofit organisation, works in close association with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to assist the MSME units in their export efforts.
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