Promoting rural tourism

Editor,

The report on ‘Workshop on Rural Tourism’ carried by your paper (ST Sep 6, 2018) was quite revealing on the extent to which rural tourism has developed and is being promoted in the state. Before I offer comments on this particular sector, I ought to congratulate the MVDPTCS and the Registrar of Co-operative Societies for organising the one day workshop at Raj Bhavan. From the report one could gather that there was no concrete action plan adopted at the workshop on how to steadfastly speed up the progress of rural tourism in Meghalaya. However, I hope that participants of the workshop, especially the co-operative societies engaged in the line, have benefited immensely from their interaction with other tour promoters and will carry forward the agenda of promoting rural tourism.

Even though the workshop has highlighted some factors that hinder the progress of rural tourism, I would like to emphasize here that the primary setback towards speedy progress and development of rural tourism and tourism in general in the state is the absence of good road communication network. In fact, there are no roads at all in many rural areas where tourist spots are in abundance and where both foreign and domestic tourists would love to visit at will. Another reason that holds tourists back from visiting rural remote tourist spots is their lack of knowledge and information about the potential of these places. There is no one to publicise their potentials on the internet or in the print media. Again, most tourists are hesitant to venture into remote rural areas to enjoy the rich bounty of nature because of the absence of wayside amenities like clean and decent eating and drinking joints and lodging. In fact we need to have both Indian and Continental cuisines in the menu of the eating places to attract more Indian and foreign tourists to our state and to boost rural tourism. Tourist guides play a very important role for promoting tourism but in Meghalaya we have just a few qualified tourist guides and most of them have limited knowledge of languages and take tourists to just a few tourist circuits. This is major drawback. We need more qualified tourist guides who have command over several languages, including foreign languages, and who can take tourists to all possible tourist destinations in the state.

Again in Meghalaya we lack professional marketing of our state tourism potentials. We need a proper network for marketing our tourism potentials and the various packages connected with it. Other states, like Sikkim which have less tourism prospects have attracted a thousand times more tourists than we do. This is unacceptable. We should pull up our socks. I appeal to all stakeholders who are interested and engaged in promotion and development of tourism in the state to be up and doing. They should  work hard and quickly learn the ropes on how to reap rich dividends from the rich tourism industry. What is urgently needed in order to promote rural tourism in Meghalaya are good roads and communication networks, development of tourist spots, wayside amenities, clean, affordable and decent accommodation, availability of eating and drinking places with suitable cuisines, qualified tourist guides and security of tourists. The rest will come up simultaneously. Finally, I request the MVDPTCS and the Registrar of Co-operative Societies not to have just a one day workshop on this important subject but to pursue the matter till it reaches the ultimate objective.

Yours etc.,

Philip Marwein,

Shillong-2.

Unrealistic routine

Editor,

NEHU announced the end semester examination routine for final year Business Administration, on September 5, 2018. As students who will be writing this examination we were shocked and greatly disturbed by the manner in which the routine was chalked out as we would not be having a single day off before our Honours paper (Strategic Management). On October 10, we will be having Business Law which in itself is a tough subject. The following day we have Strategic Management which is a compulsory and Honours paper for all the students of Business Administration. Why do the NEHU authorities keep torturing the students like this? Why can’t the University give us even a one day gap? That’s all we’re asking for. Our lives depends on our final year percentages and with this move of NEHU how are we going to achieve the needed percentage to compete with students outside our state when we apply for our Masters? We appeal to the NEHU authorities to please revise the routine of BBA 5th Semester End Semester Examination 2018.

Yours etc.,

Concerned students of Business Administration 5th Semester

(Names withheld on request)