Meghalaya: CM Sangma inaugurates first five-star hole, the Vivanta Meghalaya
The Vivanta, Meghalaya

Shillong: After a gap of 36 years, Meghalaya’s first five-star hotel, the Vivanta Meghalaya, Shillong, was inaugurated on Friday by Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma.

The event was attended by Tourism Minister Sniawbhalang Dhar, Meghalaya Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) Chairman Saleng Sangma and Chief Secretary D P Wahlang, among others.

In his inaugural address, CM Sangma said that the occasion was truly momentous in the history of Meghalaya. He informed that the work for the hotel had been going on since 1986 and could be completed after decades. He congratulated and thanked all the stakeholders for completing the project despite the COVID-induced disruptions.

“The Vivanta is another example of the determination to not give up and continue doing things even when faced with a number of challenges and this hotel can be a story of the state of perseverance, commitment and dedication,” he said.

He added that the state faces a shortage of high-quality rooms and the presence of five-star hotels in Shillong would allow the government to attract high-value tourists, and host national and international music and sports events, and other seminars and conferences. “The Vivanta Meghalaya would herald an era of luxury tourism in the State and will go a long way in fulfilling the aspirations of the residents of the state,” he said.  

The CM reiterated his vision of transforming Meghalaya into the top 10 states within the next 10 years and said that tourism was at the core of realising this vision.

 “Tourism is a very important sector and has a great multiplier effect therefore the government is working to create the right ecosystem for Tourism in the State,” he said. In line with this strategy, the government has taken a number of initiatives to augment the accommodation infrastructure in the state. These include the construction of large resorts and tourism infrastructure in Sakaladuma in West Garo Hills, Shnongpdeng in West Jaintia Hills, Sohra in East Khasi Hills, Mawlyndep and Nongmahir in Ribhoi, Nongkhnum in West Khasi Hills, Thadlaskien in West Jaintia Hills and Pelgawari in South West Garo Hills. Tourism infrastructure and amenities at a cost of Rs. 5 -10 crores each, will also be set up in several villages. 

To further augment the accommodation infrastructure, the ‘Homestay Scheme’ has been launched, wherein 2,500 accommodation units will be built over the next five years in convergence with the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme ( PMEGP). 

A subsidy of 35% is being given on loans of up to Rs 10 lakh by the State government which is over and above the 35% subsidy being given by the Government of India under PMEGP. The residents stand to earn a monthly revenue of up to Rs 50,000 by paying an EMI of just Rs 5,000. The Government has received over 480 applications and has sanctioned Rs 7.1 crores to build about 75 homestays. 

In addition to accommodation infrastructure, the Chief Minister said that the connectivity infrastructure is also being upgraded to decongest Shillong and provide connectivity to new destinations. He informed that a fleet of electric buses and luxury tourist vehicles will be introduced to add capacity to the transport sector.

Further, he said that the works for the iconic Shillong Peak Ropeway, being taken up at a cost of Rs 140 crores, are also expected to commence by the end of this year. The CM also spoke about the ‘Meghalaya Grassroots Music Project (MGMP)’ as part of which regular musical performances are being organized in Shillong, Sohra, Tura and Jowai. Apart from providing livelihood opportunities to the artists and entrepreneurs, MGMP is also playing an important role in promoting the musical culture and heritage of the State and at the same time is also providing a unique experience for the tourists.

The CM also said that the Vivanta, along with the upcoming hotel Courtyard by Marriott, will give a huge boost to high-value tourism in the state. This model will be further replicated going forward to transform Meghalaya into the most preferred destination for ecotourism. 

“Today we have handed over the hotel to IHCL and the hotel will soon be open for guests,” Sangma said.

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