Tourism in Meghalaya flourishes, spurred by revenge travel
Khrangsuri waterfall in Meghalaya is a popular destination

Shillong: Meghalaya, known for its tourism with a high footfall, has been able to cater to 12.71 lakh tourists in 2019 out of which 25,800 were foreign tourists.

This was informed by Meghalaya Chief Secretary DP Wahlang on Friday during the inauguration of the state’s most awaited first five-star hotel, Vivanta Meghalaya.

Wahlang said Meghalaya has one of the highest footfall compared to other northeastern states as far as tourism is concerned.

In 2016, Shillong was host to almost 8.3 lakh visitors out of whom 8,400 were international tourists. He informed that 2019 was a quantum jump and it is the highest ever. “We had about 12.71 lakh tourists, out of which 25,800 were foreign tourists. In 2020 the numbers dwindled because of COVID and in 2021 it went up to 15 lakhs because of what is called revenge tourism. People just wanted to travel in 2021,” stated Wahlang.

Fifteen lakh tourists visited Shillong in 2021 but only 411 of them were international tourists because of the many travel protocols that were still in place.  

Stating that Shillong is a popular destination, Wahlang said that with the inauguration of Vivanta Meghalaya, high-end tourism will soon emerge in the state, which is very important.

“Forty per cent or more of tourism in India is based on Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions (MICE) and Shillong is a hot destination for MICE starting with this hotel,” added Wahlang.

The chief secretary recalled the many challenges faced during the Vivanta Meghalaya project. Addressing the gathering at the inauguration, Wahlang remarked that most of those present at the occasion were not even born when the project was conceived (1985).

“It has been a long journey. I was also part of it for a short period of time. I know the challenges we went through,” said Wahlang. Congratulating and thanking Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, Wahlang said the CM provided the tipping point, ensuring the completion of this project.

Vivanta Meghalaya has 104 rooms of different categories, with an all-day dining speciality restaurant, bars, a banquet, and seminar halls.

The hotel will provide employment to locals as well as business opportunities to local entrepreneurs, and supply chain management at different points. 

Another hotel, Hotel Courtyard by Marriott is expected to be inaugurated by the end of this year.

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