Union defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, state chief minister N Biren Singh accompanied Governor Heptulla in inaugurating the Sangai Festival on Wednesday.

Imphal: Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla inaugurated the 10-day-long Sangai Festival, 2018 in Imphal on Wednesday.

“The Sangai Festival is now recognized as a national event and has brought the cultural flavour of Manipur to center stage. It is very comforting that the state tourism department has been making relentless efforts to woo the tourists and make Manipur a popular tourist destination,” she said.

Terming the festival a significant step towards this objective by making it a calendar event in the State, she reiterated that the state has a rich legacy of age old traditions and culture and they are the pride of its people.

The Sangai Festival spreading over 10 days provides an opportunity to showcase various aspects of state’s rich traditions and culture, besides promoting state’s handloom and handicraft products which are of high utilitarian and artistic values.

Now, under the Act East Policy ardently pursued by the Central Government and the State Government alike, steady increase in the tourism infrastructure like hotels and road and transport and specific initiatives taken up by the state government like the Sangai Festival, things have started looking up in the tourism sector, the state governor said.

“Tourism sector has become very competitive like never before and this is all the more reason why marketing should be packaged neatly to be able to catch the imagination of the tourists. This is one area where I feel the concerned authorities need to focus and do some hard selling to figure on the tourism map,” she added.

Union defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, state chief minister N Biren Singh were also present during the programme among many others.

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