Northeast India, largely unexplored by domestic and foreign travellers, came alive recently in a virtual tour of the region for various stakeholders of the tourism sector.
Showcasing the region’s various festivals, crafts, tribes, culture of the local people and valleys like Dzukou and Sangti, a webinar organised by the Tourism Ministry, offered many attractive destinations of four Northeastern states — Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Sikkim.
Named as ‘Northeast India for the Immersive Traveller’, the Dekho Apna Desh webinar series highlighted several facts about the region which were not much known to the outside world.
The presenters spoke about the unexplored destinations, tribes, festivals, crafts, culture of the local people to convey the message that Northeast’s speciality is not only hills but a lot more to explore and experience.
Some of the wonders and experiences that Northeast India offers to travellers which were showcased in the session included Dzukou valley situated between Manipur and Nagaland, which is the crater base of an extinct volcano. The most famous Dzukou lily is also found only in this region.
The Hornbill festival annually celebrated from 1 December to 10 December in Kohima has become a big attraction for both domestic and foreign tourists, leading to the development of tourist amenities in Nagaland.
The option that the largest northeastern state, Arunachal Pradesh, offers to tourists was well covered by the presenters.
The state with its 70 per cent forest cover and home to 26 major tribes, gives an opportunity to the traveller to experience new culture, tradition and dialects after every few km.
The beauty of Tawang, and Sangti Valley, which allows the visitors to experience fairy-tale views and the Losar festival which is celebrated in February were highlighted.
The webinar showcased Assam’s women-centric textile sector and willingness of locals to openly share and showcase their art and other special-interest tour options the state offers.
Sikkim’s success in adopting sustainable tourism practices and care for environmental ecology was highlighted too.
According to Ministry, environmental preservation, sustainable business models, sensitivity to and appreciation of indigenous cultures and social equity are being followed to boost eco-tourism in Sikkim.
Launched on 14 April, the Dekho Apna Desh series has conducted 25 sessions till date showcasing the varied tourism products and experiences that India offers across the country in the lockdown.
The series is also meant to promote the spirit of Ek Bharat Sreshtha Bharat through virtual tours of different parts of the country and it is promoting the same even during the tough circumstances arising due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The session was presented by Julie Kagti, proprietor, Curtain Call Adventures; David Angami, Traveller-in-chief, India Trail; Devraj Barooah, co-founder, Monyul Gathering and Pintso Gyatso, Co-founder, Ourguest.in.
The National e-Governance Division (NeGD) created by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) has been playing a pivotal role in supporting the Ministry in conducting of the Dekho Apna Desh webinars by providing technical assistance directly with a professional team, thereby ensuring effective citizen engagement and communication with all stakeholders using the digital experience platform.
The sessions of webinars are now available here and also on all social media handles of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.