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North-East states asked to get on TV programs

Better get programs on National Geographic instead of advertising to get international tourists.




October 21, 2006

Looking to promoting tourism? Win slots on National Geographic. Though this may seem a campaign promoting the television channel, it in fact is what the Northeastern states have been advised.

The suggestion has come from India Tourism Development Corporation Chairman Parvez Dewan. According to him, Northeastern states looking to increase tourist inflow should invite television channels like National Geographic and Discovery to showcase their diverse natural wealth.

It is indeed an accepted fact that the northeast has wildlife, forests and caves which are worth to be showcased on the telly. Dewan advised a seminar on infrastructure development that TV channels should be invited to highlight them in their programs.

According to the ITDC top official, a 30-minute show on the caves in Meghalaya has the potential to lure more international tourists than spending a few lakh rupees on advertisements. He also called for measures to offer a multiplicity of experiences so that visitors feel inclined to spend more time in these states.

Tour itineraries should be charted out in such a way that backpackers who head for the Kamakhya temple in Guwahati should be persuaded to go to Shillong, Itanagar and other destinations in the region.

Elaborating further on steps that could help tourism in the region, Dewan said sops should be doled out to taxi drivers to take tourists from one spot in the region to another. Taxi drivers and hoteliers could pay commissions to each other, he added.

Apart from the foreign tourists, there exists much potential in the domestic scene too. Suggesting that more and more travellers from neighbouring West Bengal need be lured to visit the North East destinations, he said the people of Bengal are adventurous travelers and they would be open to the idea of experimenting with new destinations.

He also called for organizing festivals that could attract tourists. He pointed to the fact that festivals like the one in Ladakh have been successful in their endeavour to lure more tourists. Such festivals can also be organized in the northeast, according to the ITDC boss.



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