This long-term project is aimed to economically benefit host communities by creating a fresh pool of socially and culturally aware individuals Credit: Twitter image

India City Walks has collaborated with Northeast Odyssey to organise India City Walks Festival (ICWF) in the Northeast Region. Utilising a well-thought out formula that centres on community-led tourism, the stakeholders in this unique concoction involves multiple stakeholders and partners from the hospitality and tourism industry — all of who bring their expertise to the homes of the host communities.

With social-distancing habits that die hard, a post-COVID tourism sector is predicted to be prejudiced towards non-crowded, clean and pristine destinations – one such as India’s great green Northeast. Likewise, the newly “reimagined” tourist now moves towards the direction of slow travel and authentic cultural experiences – both of which allow for a lesser environmental footprint.

Hoihnu Hauzel, Founder, Northeast Odyssey, a digital platform that showcased hotels/resorts and culture of Northeast India said, “Partnering with the country’s best tourist outfit (India City Walks & India with Locals) would mean a great deal for Northeast. It is about time professionals with passion who understand the sector do something truly path breaking for Northeast. This initiative comes at a time when all the eight states are in a revival mood for tourism. The festival is thoughtfully designed to have locals understand their own backyards so that they can become proud ambassadors for their own respective states. We are hopeful and confident of getting all the required state support.”

This long-term project is aimed to economically benefit host communities by creating a fresh pool of socially and culturally aware individuals – who are passionate locals that have a desire to showcase their heritage, neighbourhoods and city to residents and travellers, yet face the challenge of finding a platform to pursue their interests. India City Walks aims to generate employment by creating Heritage Heroes™ and strengthen tourism delivery for in-destination activities. This branding process seeks to connect with communities at every social tier. Participation of local communities forms the foundation of this new era of tourism. It stems from the belief that by fostering cultural pride in their heritage and ecosystem through learning and training, there is greater incentive to support ecosystem conservation and cultural-heritage preservation.

All the eight states: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura are rich in biological diversity and contain more than one‐third of the country’s total biodiversity. The ecosystem diversity of the region ranges from tropical ecosystems to Himalayan alpine ecosystems, while also including wetlands, flood plains, riverine and aquatic ecosystems. From palaces and forts to tribal villages and a 7th century monastery that still stand, no two states in the North East are made of the same cloth. ICW seeks to utilise its impactful thematic walks and city tours across North-East India to bring each state’s unique shades into the limelight. Comprised of its built environment, cultural heritage, historical and contemporary facets, the exploration themes will draw upon history, archaeology, art history, food history, rural and urban planning, and environmental science.

Nidhi Bansal – Group CEO, India City Walks & India With Locals said, “Our tourism business intent is to celebrate the diversity of cultural environments, heritage and local traditions, thus fostering creative and inter-cultural exchange process. Through our several flagships we aim to strengthen tourism delivery by involving locals to showcase each participating city’s distinctive offerings. The core objective is to empower residents and travellers through thematic experiences India has to offer. Our in-depth knowledge enables us to maximise the potential and values of India’s built legacy.”

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