‘A change in mindset’

Pre-conceived notions can dent tourism to certain parts of the country like the Northeast, and tourism minister Prahlad Singh Patel urges travellers to look beyond prejudices.

Anupriya Bishnoi

According to Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism, Government of India, the Northeast has immense potential when it comes to tourism, but the same has not been realised because of several reasons. He says, “The North-east has been away from everyone’s gaze and attention because of connectivity issues and pre-conceived notions about the region, which need to be balanced. If travellers visit this part of the country, then both international and domestic visitors will not go anywhere else. This region is blessed with beauty in abundance.”

More than the budget, it’s the people and their notions towards the Northeast region that need to change

Analysing why the Northeast remains backward despite having enough budget, Patel adds, “I think, more than the budget, it’s the people and their notions towards the region that need to change. They should look past them and visit the region in order to experience its true essence, first hand.”

He reiterates that keeping international travellers in mind, all facilities at Indian monuments should meet international standards. “While the culture will be ours, amenities should be internationalised. Basic amenities and hygiene should be paid attention to. In the last five years, we have risen from the 65th to the 34th rank in the ‘Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index’, and in the next few years, we can be in the top three positions, easily,” he says.

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