Shillong: Meghalaya is a popular destination for tourists and the government is looking at ways to enrich and improve the experience of tourists visiting the state, and Cherry Blossom Festival is a step towards this direction, said chief minister Conrad K Sangma while inaugurating the fourth edition of the Cherry Blossom Festival 2019 at Polo Ground recently.
Sangma also said that the Cherry Blossom Festival is a great example of how the natural beauty of the state can be utilised in an effective manner. “The focus of the government in the tourism sector is on the natural strengths and resources and to device a tourism model that is sustainable,” Sangma said.
The chief minister also highlighted various tourism projects of the government and informed that one of the areas that were touched upon on his recent visit to Bangladesh was on developing tourism across borders.
Addressing the meeting, Meghalaya minister for forests and environment Lakhmen Rymbui said that the cherry blossoms have captured the fascination and appreciation of people all around the world and the festival is an occasion of pride and nurturing the creativity and talents of the people and showcase the art and culture of the state. He also added that in the next few days the government will be engaged in bilateral talks with South Korea, the partner country of Cherry Blossom Festival 2019.
The chief minister also released a book, Trees of Shillong, by state forest and environment department during the programme.
Sangma and Rymbui also visited some stalls and interacted with farmers and visitors visiting the festival. Several entrepreneurs, craftsmen, artisans were seen displaying their products and spreading word about their stalls. The ministers also enjoyed themselves in purchasing some of the products and also engaged with the people who had set up their stalls.
The festival started on November 13 and will conclude on November 16.