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Stress on integration for better tourism

World Tourism Day celebrated in State

SHILLONG: Tourism binds people together and integration and mutual understanding of culture and tradition are necessary, said Kennedy C. Khyriem, Parliamentary Secretary Tourism.
Speaking at an event on the occasion of World Tourism Day on Tuesday, Khyriem said tourism “is a powerful economic sector that has assisted millions of lives”.
“There is a need to push integration and promote mutual understanding of culture and tradition. Tourism binds people together peacefully without discrimination and work together for a sustained future of human capital,” he added.
The celebrations by the Department of Tourism was based on the theme ‘Tourism for All – Promoting Universal Accessibility’.
The parliamentary secretary said policy makers and stakeholders should work together to make accessibility an important tool for marketing and varied opportunities. “Accessibility should be at the centre of policy-making so as to bring a level of fairness in terms of competition,” he added.
R.V Suchiang, Principal Secretary, Tourism, said in tourism terms, persons with disabilities include senior citizens, mothers with toddlers and infants, besides differently-abled people. She said, “We need to ensure that travelling is safe and seamless as possible. All tourist spots are ensured to be equipped with infrastructure and basic amenities inclusive for all.”
To mark the day, the chief guest felicitated persons  with disabilities who are involved in tourism-related activities. These awardees included Bashai Sohtun, instructor in Cane and Bamboo, Rihun Phawa, assistant instructor-weaving, Benister Kharpor, computer instructor for the visually impaired students, Shamonlang Nongrum, assistant instructor-bakery, Rambor Kurkalang, assistant instructor-tailoring, Aijinghun Kharmalki, assistant instructor-leather and Rexene. The awardees were from Roilang Livelihood Academy, Bethany Society, Shillong.
Students from Bethany Society and Mary Rice Centre for Special Education enthralled the audience with their talents.
Other programmes included an exhibition and sale of products by Persons with Disabilities and a workshop to sensitize the stakeholders.
Other dignitaries present were C Kharkongor, Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Donald Ingty, registrar, Martin Luther Christian University and Carmo Noronha, Executive Director, Bethany Society as well as representatives of tour operators and hoteliers, including students from management institutes.

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